Cythera

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Inspired by this thread and because I noticed that one was starting to lean into mechanics and not story territory.
Not sure if this belongs in general or game mechanics; I could make an argument for both(general because we're talking player preferences and not any specific mechanic; mechanics because, well, we're talking mechanics!) but I'll let the mods decide on that one! :yswt:

Anyways. Mechanics that drive you crazy - and a small explanation would be nice too! Just be aware some people may actually be using those mechanics in their game. This isn't to attack their choice of game mechanics; just to discuss everyone's preferences!

Here's a few of mine:
  • High encounter rates. I think most of us can agree to this one. Be it random or on-screen encounters, too many of them is painful. Even if you have the best battle system in the world, if I'm interrupted every 10 steps, I am going to be very frustrated!
  • False choices, or low-impact choices that trick you into thinking you have any choices at all. If you give me the choice to say 'let's kill the bad guy' or 'show mercy' and I pick the first...let me pick the first! Don't force me into showing mercy because "plot need it"
  • PTB. Press turn battle. No no no no NO. NO. NO. I instantly despise any game that uses PTB. No exceptions. It's unbalanced, it forces the player to have specific setups if they want to win, and if they don't, good luck getting a turn. And some games do this 'fun' thing to 'balance' their PTB where enemies have a null or all element that always counts as an effective element. I guess some people enjoy this combat system (otherwise it wouldn't still be used) but nobody in existence will ever change my opinion of this...thing.
  • "Bring enemy HP to 0 to win! If your HP falls to 0, you lose!" Do I really need to say anything on this one?

And now I'd like to place my bet on someone mentioning durability and stealth side quests. Thank you.
 

The Stranger

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I'm right there with you when it comes to high encounter rates and false choices. I don't mind choices having negative outcomes, or even leading to the same outcome in the end if it makes sense, I just hate all but thou must choices. If I have to choose one thing to continue, why even give me a choice? Just carry on and forget the stupid "do you want to play the game?" choices. xD

I'm also not a fan of crafting and randomised gear in games. Always been a fan of special items being meaningfully placed by the dev as either rewards or secrets. Who cares if you stumble upon a super powerful weapon early on, that's all part of the fun! Sorta related to this is randomisation in general. I can't stand randomised maps, encounters, etc. I guess I just prefer places and events that have been carefully crafted.

Oh! Also not a fan of how so many RPG seem to be trying to rip off Dark Souls. Stop it! If I wanted to play Dark Souls, that's what I'd play. I don't want every RPG to be Dark Souls. I don't enjoy combat systems in which you spend half the battle rolling around the floor avoiding attacks that drain half your health, and which make levelling up feel pointless.

By the way, what's press turn battle? I'm not sure I've heard of it before.
 
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TeiRaven

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I don't usually get into threads like this, but...

-Random battles. I really, really prefer being able to navigate around enemies if I'm in a hurry, or if I'm at low health and just trying to make it back to somewhere. I especially dislike them if there's any sort of timed component to anything else--you have to make it back to town with this perishable item in three minutes. Oh no! A random battle!
Legend of Dragoon showed the arrow over the player's head that changed from green to yellow to red, depending how close to a random encounter you were getting, and that helped--but I would so much rather be able to see the enemies.

-Trigger-based battle systems. I love turn-based combat, I don't mind real-time a la Tales Of (although I can only manage one character at a time that way) but trigger-based combat is in some in-between space that I just can't quite wrap my brain around and enjoy.

-Combat that's so unforgiving that min-maxing is the only way through it. If you don't have The Best of Everything, a certain party composition, and choose your combat actions Perfectly, you're doomed to fail and do the whole battle over again. I get that some people like challenging combat, but I prefer a bit of breathing room if something goes wrong. Someone gets a crit, someone misses, a DoT state doesn't apply, whatever--I prefer not having to spend ten minutes on something only to have RNG fail me and have to spend another ten minutes at it.

[edit] today I learned that ctrl+enter posts a message, oops. I was not done typing XD
 
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HexMozart88

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- ABS. To put it simply, RPG Maker ABS's are garbage. All button mashing.
- Random encounters. No one knows how to do them right. Whenever I play a game with them, I'm constantly dying.
 

ATT_Turan

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"Bring enemy HP to 0 to win! If your HP falls to 0, you lose!" Do I really need to say anything on this one?
Yes, you do, for my sake :stickytongue: Isn't this basically every battle system? What else do you do, trounce the enemies to 2 HP and they run away? I'm assuming you must mean something else, but I dunno what mechanic you're disliking here.

For my part...
  • More a storytelling mechanic than gameplay mechanic, but I hate unwinnable/scripted battles that still force you to play through them.
  • Unnecessary realism
  • Piles of loot (kind of goes along with @The Stranger and randomized loot, but I don't mind randomized...I mind tons of useless drops)
  • Libra spells, or equivalents. If there's important information about an enemy, either tell it to me, or have it readily accessible after I've learned it (Shin Megami Tensei displays elemental rates once you've used them on an enemy type, Etrian Odyssey does it after you've beaten that enemy). Don't make me waste turns in combat trying to get information, I'll just spend that turn killing them instead.
 
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Ami

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i'm at point 2,but my case is the wrong choice led you to the bad ending (i have trauma with Phantasy Star Portable 1 that i got bad ending back there,i'm never play that game,anymore :stare:)

Edit: more,Weight System. God,i hate this system which those game doesn't let you carry more loot or you walking slow & (the worst) get stuck forever
 

ScorchedGround

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I personally really dislike durability systems and side-quests.

Okay joking aside, in my case you can get away with a lot if it's implemented well.

As ironic as it is to say now, I generally dislike any mechanic that seems fun at first, but increasingly becomes more tedious as time goes on without evolving. That includes durability.
It's essentially an annoying "side-game" you are playing, filled with guessing whether or not you should use something now or need it later. Or forcing players to stop their progress to return to some kind of blacksmith to get their stuff repaired. Don't bring it anywhere near my RPG.

Here are some other quick points I generally dislike (if done incorrectly):

- Unwinnable battles (specifically, battles the player doesn't know he can't win)
- Boss rewards based off random chance (applies mostly to rare loot you could miss)
- Unskippable/Unescapable battles against low tier trash enemies
- Bosses requiring you to equip specific skills or items without signaling that to the player beforehand
- Bosses using powerful AoE moves twice in a row (e.g. extreme Boss RNG)
- Random battles that can occur in low-level areas
- Limited Inventory space without a valid reason (e.g. it does nothing except annoy the player)
 

Cythera

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PTB - press turn battle system. It's in Shin Megami Tensei and some of the Persona games (might be all persona; can't comment; only know about some of them). It's where if you hit an enemy with an element it's weak to, you gain extra turns. Hit an enemy with an element it's strong to, or get hit with an element you're weak to, and you lose turns.
It's a speed meta, and you BETTER have the right elements or you can kiss your turns goodbye. It's awful. Stay away from it. Always.

Also...

I'm also not a fan of crafting and randomised gear in games.
Never speak to me again :ywink: I love crafting, and I LOVE when crafting stuff can roll random traits. Makes it more exciting!
 

The Stranger

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i'm at point 2,but my case is the wrong choice led you to the bad ending (i have trauma with Phantasy Star Portable 1 that i got bad ending back there,i'm never play that game,anymore :stare:)
Kinda sounds like how so many visual novels play out. Here's a bunch of choices, but only one is the right one, the others lead to a game over. Enjoy! xD
 

HexMozart88

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OK, about the choices thing, I have it where the wrong choice leads to a bad ending, but only if you have too many of that wrong choice and there are indicators that you have made the wrong choice. About the VN thing, that's why I kind of like what One Night, Hot Springs does where you have hearts. If you continue making poor choices, you get the bad ending, but there's a bit of a safety net.
 

Cythera

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Oh gosh, I type out one reply and a handful load in O.O
@ATT_Turan Obvious tutorial is obvious is my gripe lol. Unless you specifically tell me enemies will flee at low health, I'm gonna assume I need to kill them to win, and I lose if I die :p
Thank you, @ScorchedGround for meeting my expectations! Seriously though, all those points are very good points. And how did you get coloured text?!
Wait a second...haha! Found it!
 

ATT_Turan

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PTB - press turn battle system. It's in Shin Megami Tensei and some of the Persona games
It's in all of them, at least from 3 on. I've also never heard that terminology, so I didn't know what you were referring to.

I don't see it as any kind of negative, personally...it very naturally goes along with the entire central gameplay of collecting/evolving/combining demons to just make sure you have access to all elements at the same time. You usually don't have to get very far into the game to have that.

But hey, if it bothers you, you're entitled to it bothering you :biggrin:
 

Milennin

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High encounter rates. I think most of us can agree to this one. Be it random or on-screen encounters, too many of them is painful. Even if you have the best battle system in the world, if I'm interrupted every 10 steps, I am going to be very frustrated!
This one makes sense as an annoyance, and it's one easy to run into when playing RPG Maker games.

  • False choices, or low-impact choices that trick you into thinking you have any choices at all. If you give me the choice to say 'let's kill the bad guy' or 'show mercy' and I pick the first...let me pick the first! Don't force me into showing mercy because "plot need it"
I don't mind low-impact dialogue options, just to let me steer a dialogue into a direction without having any real impact on anything, but I agree it sucks when the game gives me a choice that seems like it'd be meaningful, but then you find out it doesn't matter what you pick because it doesn't change much.

PTB. Press turn battle. No no no no NO. NO. NO. I instantly despise any game that uses PTB. No exceptions. It's unbalanced, it forces the player to have specific setups if they want to win, and if they don't, good luck getting a turn. And some games do this 'fun' thing to 'balance' their PTB where enemies have a null or all element that always counts as an effective element. I guess some people enjoy this combat system (otherwise it wouldn't still be used) but nobody in existence will ever change my opinion of this...thing.
I don't even know what this is.

"Bring enemy HP to 0 to win! If your HP falls to 0, you lose!" Do I really need to say anything on this one?
I'm not bothered by basic tutorial messages, as long as it's not overdone or dragged out. If it's just a single line, then that's fine with me.

A similar thread was posted in another section, so I'll just list the same stuff I had there (and add some extras):
  • No enemy HP bars. Visible HP should be a default in every RPG, IMO.
  • Crafting systems. They cause inventory clutter and feel like timewasters. I can't think of any RPG I've played where I enjoyed the crafting system.
  • Bad checkpoint systems. When a game's difficulty is based on the amount of backtracking you need to do upon party defeat, it needs to rethink the way it challenges players. Wasting time ≠ challenge.
  • Guessing enemy weakness. When the game doesn't make it clear what enemies are weak to, and you're supposed to trial and error with different skills to find their weakness, and then afterwards remember what they're weak to. Trial-and-error ≠ challenge.
  • Lack of MP management. When the game gives my characters a ton of MP with none or limited methods of restoring it, and I have no idea how I'm supposed to spread out my MP usage in a dungeon before I get to the next full recharge point. You end up slowly slogging through regular encounters trying to preserve the MP for the boss, or run out of MP on the regular encounters and suffer at the boss encounter.
  • Unhelpful skill descriptions. When the skills have descriptions that sound cool, but are incredibly useless in figuring out what they're good for. Don't care if it hits enemies with the flames of a thousand suns, I just need to know the gameplay effects for the skill, pls.
 

Lunesis

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Games that are difficult not because of mechanics, but because the creator just cranked the enemy stats way up and didn't include enough tools for the player. Not giving the player a way to heal when monsters are taking 10% of your HP per hit, and it takes 5 rounds to kill them... and you're solo. If you make your intro a grueling battle of attrition to get to the next part, it is not fun.
 

HexMozart88

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@Lunesis I hate hate HATE tilted games. Those are the kind of games that are just eternally difficult without any allowance for mastery.
 

Cythera

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  • Lack of MP management. When the game gives my characters a ton of MP with none or limited methods of restoring it, and I have no idea how I'm supposed to spread out my MP usage in a dungeon before I get to the next full recharge point. You end up slowly slogging through regular encounters trying to preserve the MP for the boss, or run out of MP on the regular encounters and suffer at the boss encounter.
An extension of this, powerful spells/skills/items that you stock up because you don't know when or how to restore them so you save them for the boss. Only for the boss to be an absolute pushover. And then you never use those things because you don't know when or how they'll be restored.

Games that are difficult not because of mechanics, but because the creator just cranked the enemy stats way up and didn't include enough tools for the player.
This a 1000 times. There are ways to create difficulty without stat-loading bosses. I love difficult games; games that make me want to throw my laptop out the window. But stat-loading isn't difficult; it's false challenge. Give me good enemy AI, impressive skills that I can block with strategy, anything other than stat-loading. It's not challenging. It's not fun. It's frustrating.
I wish I could say it's a rookie thing, that it's what devs new to balancing due, but it's not. Plenty of notable games have stat-loaded bosses and proudly claim 'they're challenging super bosses!' *cough* Yiazmat *cough*
 

The Stranger

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Oh, and as much as people like it, I really dislike the holy trinity in RPGs. I don't like characters being dedicated healers, damage dealers and tanks. I like more customisation and fluidity in characters and their roles in the game.

All that happens when you have dedicated healers and what not is ensure that one spot in your party will always be taken up by said healer, while another is likely occupied by the protagonist you can't remove. This leaves you with, in a three member party system, one spot open for a single character you like the most. Like more than one? Tough! Unless they're a healer, they're probably never gonna see any action beyond the inevitable party split section in which you're forced to use characters who have their starting gear and who have never been levelled. xD
 

ATT_Turan

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Guessing enemy weakness. When the game doesn't make it clear what enemies are weak to, and you're supposed to trial and error with different skills to find their weakness, and then afterwards remember what they're weak to.
I would counter/supplement this with "or make it not make a huge difference." If being effective in combat is predicated upon exploiting elements, then yes, this is bad design. If it's just, like, a moderate bonus, I would say that's fine with me as just flavor.

Take (for an example that doesn't bother me) Final Fantasy V. There are some enemies (off the top of my head, the water-themed enemies on boat rides) that are vulnerable to electricity, and undead things are vulnerable to fire, but not so much so that you're screwed if you use other spells, it just might take, like, one more turn.

Of course, I think there's a Libra spell in there (which I formally add to my list of mechanics I hate :stickytongue: ) which might give you that information, so maybe it doesn't count.
Unhelpful skill descriptions. When the skills have descriptions that sound cool, but are incredibly useless in figuring out what they're good for. Don't care if it hits enemies with the flames of a thousand suns, I just need to know the gameplay effects for the skill, pls.
I agree with this, and I will add the other side - too much information in skills. If I'm looking at a description and it includes the entire damage calculation formula and 5 different icons of elements and parameters that are related to it...that's not useful. I should know what it does, but know it at a glance.
 

HexMozart88

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Oh, and as much as people like it, I really dislike the holy trinity in RPGs.
For a minute there, I thought God had somehow found his way into RPGs, LOL.

Jokes aside, I sort of agree. If they lean more to one side, then I'm OK. But if I have a healer who is guaranteed to die first in every. single. battle... I'm going to be more than a little annoyed.
 

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