The FPS rpg, can it really work?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Cyratis, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. PossibleCabbage

    PossibleCabbage Vault 22 Survivor

    889
    Jul 2, 2015
    I don't think "depends on player skill" disqualifies something from being an RPG. I mean "strategic planning" is a skill that will get you far in most RPGs, and there are even things like various live-action RP systems where opposed checks are just done with rock/paper/scissors (and being good at RPS is absolutely a skill.) A lot of tabletop systems give XP rewards (or even mechanical boosts) to people who are good roleplayers or who have ideas that enhance the experience for everybody at the table, and "extemporaneous character acting" and "improvisation" are very much skills.

    Every piece of skill that your game requires in order to play it disqualifies someone somewhere from playing it, but that's fine since not every game needs to be for everybody (just so long as everybody has something to play that they like.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
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  2. Yes, It's mostly a question of money.

    Most AAA companies will not invest into a project that will not see huge quarterly returns, and tried-true name branding/formats that sell lots of units are what they go for.


    Indie-development is where you are going to find games that push the envelope and experiment with new systems, or niche markets. The economy is the question concerning if we are going to see good RPG experiments unfortunately.
     
  3. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    though, if something is sold as Action RPG it is a good chance that it is's not an RPG.
     
  4. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign ⛧卐⛧ [REDACTED]

    Apr 1, 2005
    Bullshit. I hate that mentality. Diablo is a RPG goddammit! :yuck:
     
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  5. PossibleCabbage

    PossibleCabbage Vault 22 Survivor

    889
    Jul 2, 2015
    I think there's ultimately two ways something can qualify as a RPG:
    - It is a game about roleplaying.
    - It attempts to evoke the experience of a classic tabletop RPG.

    So as TorontRayne points out, Diablo should probably count since it's very much in the vein of an old school dungeon crawl. But generally you're right since a lot of "Action RPGs" accomplish neither of the above. When Ubisoft goes on stage and calls "the Division" an RPG, that just bugs me.
     
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  6. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Admin

    May 27, 2004
    Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines.

    Need I say more?
     
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  7. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    Except "strategic planning" is not a PART of the games. They're an element outside that the player cannot be stripped of. But twitch aiming, jump timing, angle of approach... these are gameplay elements. I think I need to repeat that. Gameplay elements. These are NOT outside of the game which cannot be stripped from the player. They are GUIDED by the very "strategic planning" you considered to be a part of a game. But these actually ARE a part of the game.

    People seem to be confusing the argument for dealing exclusively with combat, but (to go back to FONV again) let's use the minigames, which are SUPPOSEDLY governed by character attributes. Specifically, lockpicking. If you have enough lockpicking skill relative to a lock's level, you may pick its lock. Then engages the minigame interface with the giant lock to be prodded and angled at with a screw driver and bobby pin. Now the character statistics are thrown out the window. It's all up to the player feeling out what angle to approach the lock. Like the rest of the game, this is done in first person perspective, and it's (arguably unintentionally) reducing the impact of the character on the practice, while focusing more on the player's ability.

    Relying on player skill doesn't "nullify" the RPG gameplay, it simply reduces it. Taking a step back amidst a many-miles-long march. ENOUGH steps back can result in nullifying any forward movement... it's just not likely you're to go THAT far.

    A role playing game constitutes some form or structure that causes a player to take the ROLE of a character who is not them. An otaku who never gets out much acting out the role of a badass swordsman, when they'd never swung a real sword (plastic replicas don't count) in their life, to use a very stereotypical, but not inaccurate example. If you were to change the player, an ACTUAL sword master, it wouldn't change anything about the character, because the character is still the same. The player's skill simply wouldn't factor into the character's ability to swing their sword and not miss a target. But games which use elements that rely ENTIRELY on the player's physical attributes and less on the game's calculations actively dilute the role playing aspect of said games... assuming they were going for it to begin with (obviously, you were never role playing as Soap MacTavish in COD4, though you were controlling him for most (but not all) of the game).

    Acknowledging the NAME of these things is all you need to do. They're HYBRIDS; neither full FPS nor full RPG. Of course they lack the same depth of RPG gameplay as a true RPG. Same way that they lack the depth of FPS gameplay as a dedicated FPS. Arguing otherwise and ignoring this relationship of status is simply just that: ignorance.
     
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  8. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Most of the time they tend to move rather to the FPS side than the RPG side. For obvious reasons. Nothing sucks more in FPS games than bad shooter mechanics, and the moment you start to mess up with the aim of the player, it can become EXTREMLY frustrating. One example? Look at World of Tanks and its fucked up spoting system. Not your ability of identifying targets is what counts, but the skill of your crew. Yet you assume direct controll over your tank, and if the "skill" of your crew is not good enough or if the camouflage skill of the enemy tank is very high it can easily disapear in plane open sight. Like a Romulan warbird ... sucks sometimes a lot. When it works against you. Because here logic and gameplay directly contrict each other. Everyone knows that it can be very difficult to spot targets, particularly if they are well camouflaged. But on the other side everyone knows that tanks in real life don't disappear infront of your eyes like star ships with a cloaking generator.

    The problem, in my opinion, is conflicting design goals.

    Of course I am not saying that First Person RPGs can't be very fun games. But from the ones I played I always felt more like playing a shooter with a very complex story rather than playing a real RPG. I mean games like Deus Ex for example. Particuilarly as you are always playing the role of J.C. Denton. And I love the game.

    Though there is really a difference between the use of mechanics. Just because a game like CoD is using "perks" or "Experience" for level ups doesnt mean it becomes an RPG. A game like New Vegas though that allows you actually to use skills in dialogues is a lot closer to the core of RPGs. Yet, I still played even New Vegas like a shooter first and as RPG later.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  9. ChildServices

    ChildServices Banned

    319
    May 22, 2015
    That's because the aim-fuckery they do is really poorly implemented. If it was like screen-shake effect from this mod for New Vegas it would still reflect player stats in a way that honestly reflects actual firearm use more without being so intrusive as to make the game unplayable at lower levels. People don't wobble around like they're drunk when they try to aim their guns. Unless they actually are drunk.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015
  10. PossibleCabbage

    PossibleCabbage Vault 22 Survivor

    889
    Jul 2, 2015
    I think ideally for the FPS RPG to work it's best done in something more towards the "more on rails" end of the RPG spectrum rather than the "do what you want" end of the RPG spectrum. It's an awkward match with open world games. Since the more effort you spend towards making combat good and setting up environments for having interesting combat, the more you want to push people into those firefights. When "sometimes the GM is going to move the plot along" is part of the player expectation this is less annoying.

    Whereas when a significant part of your RPG is the ability of players to go where they want, do what they want, and approach problems the way they want the less appropriate it is for you to try to script specific firefights at certain moments. You see destructive interference in Fallout 3 when the game wants you to get into corridor fights with super mutants over and over again, despite being nominally an open world game where you can do what you want. If you're really trying to make an open world RPG, you should really focus more on "creating multiple ways to solve problems" than "creating good FPS combat." Since if you're truly committed to player freedom, you should make it possible for people to play through your game without getting into gunfights (as exciting as you think they might be.)

    So the shooter/RPG hybrid is better off as something like Deus Ex or Alpha Protocol than something like Fallout 3.
     
  11. ChildServices

    ChildServices Banned

    319
    May 22, 2015
    New Vegas had multiple ways to solve problems, though. Fallout 3 was just made by a developer that doesn't understand RPGs anymore.
     
  12. PossibleCabbage

    PossibleCabbage Vault 22 Survivor

    889
    Jul 2, 2015
    New Vegas didn't exactly have fantastic combat though, and definitely was not as heavily invested in funnelling you through shooting galleries as Fo3 was. Ideally, a shooter/RPG hybrid would have better and more dynamic combat.
     
  13. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    It had excellent combat..... considering the engine (read: anchor) it was strapped to. Doesn't hold a candle to games that actually DESIGN themselves to contain flowing combat and character interaction with their environment, and so on and so forth. But for a game where the only thing that matters is of Space Invaders levels of "is target behind brick block" consideration, it was pretty damn good. Leagues beyond FO3, though that should go without saying.
     
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  14. IrradiatedGarlic

    IrradiatedGarlic First time out of the vault

    18
    Jun 20, 2015
    It's high on my list of games which provide a good roleplaying experience due to the quality of the the writing and quest design. That said, the combat was craptastic, which is a common theme in FPS RPGs.

    No, it really didn't. Improving the combat was clearly not a major focus of New Vegas, that isn't to say that they didn't improve it at all, just that it was still garbage.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2015
  15. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Well combat in First Person Shooters is so defined today by good shooters that FPS RPG hybrids can easily piss a lot of shooter fans off. Neither fish nor fowl. Hence why games like New Vegas and Deus Ex will be always FPS games with excelent writing for me.
     
  16. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    The fact tha tNew Vegas didn't Funnel you into combat is one of the reasons why it's a better RPG, it actually gave you different paths to approach your goals, be it solving a quest or getting to a city without engaging in combat. Fallout 3 on the other hand was infatuated with it's metro tunnels and fooling players into thinking an area was open when in reality it was just surrounded by unclimbable rubble that formed a hallway or a small arena in most cases. Try find alternate ways to get anywhere in Fallout 3, is almost impossible.
     
  17. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hey, that's alright. I see and respect your point. But for me gamemechanics matter a lot. And in my opinion as far as RPGs goes those are relatively strict - see Wasteland, Fallout, Baldurs gate, Diablo and many more. Their design and mechanics work very well with the fundamentals of RPGs where you play a role. First Person Shooters have a very high emphasis on First Person Shooter mechanics - what surprise eh >_>! If a game like Vegas gives you the option to ignore those becuse of alternative paths to solve a situation, than its awesome, but the mechanic is still there, it is still an FPS at its heart.

    Hence why games like New Vegas are for me FPS games before RPGs. I am not saying that this has to be the best approach to RPGs or that this is the ultimate definition. But it works best for me, because I can see New Vegas as mediocre shooter with great writing, and I have more fun that way.
     
  18. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    Uh, I don't think it was fooling ANYONE. Who really looked at the map and saw that where they were standing was represented by a big white block and thought "How do I walk straight through this?" Well, people expecting an RPG did, I'm sure. But all the rest probably fell in line immediately and understood, "Oh, I get it, I need to go from one corridor to another to a tunnel to another corridor to a tunnel to another tunnel to get to the other side! OF COURSE! God I love this game! =D"

    Although I kinda liked the abandoned subway tunnels. Having never played the Metro series, it was its own thing, for me. I didn't like what was DONE with them, but I liked the idea of it.
     
  19. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    Well considering the amount of Fo3 players who swear the map in FO3 was bigger than new vegas despite New Vegas having much more open space, tells me that they fooled A LOT of people. They also managed to snuck in hypnotic suggestions in some players as I have seen FO3 apologists who always forget about the metro tunnels.
     
  20. PossibleCabbage

    PossibleCabbage Vault 22 Survivor

    889
    Jul 2, 2015
    That's what I'm saying. It's better to do a FPS/RPG hybrid when you're talking about something at the more linear end of the RPG spectrum. RPGs don't automatically need to maximize player freedom, sometimes it's enough to provide the players meaningful agency while telling a story that is still driven by the GM/writers more than the player. I mean, dungeon crawls are almost completely linear.

    That you have a design philosophy that values maximizing player freedom in giving them the ability to do what they want how they want, is at tension with "providing a dynamic exciting combat experience." I mean, for the most part in New Vegas I choose to resolve combat by minimizing it or trivializing it.

    The FPS RPG if it "really works" would be better off to be in the vein of something like Deus Ex and its modern incarnation, than something like Fallout. For New Vegas the thing that keeps it from the "really works" category is not that the RPG half of the combination, it's the FPS half of the equation.