ShiraCheshire

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I think the crux on whether or not I like a crafting system is how tedious the gathering portion is.

If each piece of gear clearly explains what I need to gather and gives me a good heads up on where I might gather it while at the same time not wasting an entire afternoon to do said gathering, I like it.

If I *have* to resort to an online wiki or guide and take up most of my day's gaming time just to craft a few pieces of gear...yeah think I'm gonna start to drift away from that game.

Also a small extra thing...if the game has crafting I want that to mean something. I don't want to craft a cool new sword and have it immediately invalidated by opening a treasure box with a better sword. This is a big problem with buying/finding gear in a lot of games as well. Why did the game just allow me to spend 30% of my gold on a shiny new toy if I'm going to immediately find a better one two minutes into the latest dungeon?
All right, I'm with you there. I think it was soooorta okay I guess to need a wiki to go with your game when it was just Minecraft, but when every game got into it it was like... there is not enough room in my brain for all this, just tell me the recipes.

As much as I love crafting, I think the game should outright tell you how to craft. It can make finding the recipes part of the fun if it wants, but it should tell you.

Side note, I'm reminded of Ni No Kuni. That game had the idea of coming with a physical spellbook (and later on a digital one, because printing costs) you could use to consult for various magical things. I really enjoyed that. What a super cute way to hand the player a guidebook without breaking immersion. Not to mention that when it's done right, it's actually sort of fun to explore the book and look for what you need. More games should do something like that instead of just saying "wiki it."

I also totally agree with not wanting items to be invalidated. That's always frustrating, no matter what's going on. But I think that's pure bad design, not a problem with crafting systems. A good crafting-focused type game would never just hand you a powerful sword already made- That big special treasure chest would contain a magic stone that could upgrade your existing sword, or it would have one of the three needed blocks of unobtainium to craft the ultimate sword, or it would have the blueprint for the next sword you need to find materials to forge, or etc.
 

Sword_of_Dusk

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FE, specifically 4-7, did it well because so much effort was put into actually making the degradation work... ish. There's still a sense of not wanting to use legendary weapons (at least on a first playthrough) which seems backwards. If the games that do it best still don't do it fantastically, that's a sign to me that it's one of the few mechanics that won't ever be worth using.
I think people not wanting to use the legendary weapons is a personal player issue rather than a mechanics one, much like how a Persona player might hold onto a Soma (Persona equivalent of the FF Elixir) because they think they'll need it later.

While you don't want to use those weapons for easy fights, it's perfectly fine to actually get use out of them. If nothing else, you can always turn to a Hammerne staff to restore a weapon.
 

kirbwarrior

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"wiki it."
This one is actually huge for me; Don't make me look outside of the game for information pertinent to the game. Don't make me stop playing the game so I can play the game. This actually happens a lot in big/popular games but in pretty large variances and when the effect is very small I tend to forget about it.
While you don't want to use those weapons for easy fights, it's perfectly fine to actually get use out of them. If nothing else, you can always turn to a Hammerne staff to restore a weapon.
I did intentionally point out a first playthrough. On your second or tenth playthrough you know enough about the game to figure out where to use those uses, but first time players don't even know about Hammerne or which bosses actually need those extremely limited uses of insanely strong weapons. And that's not even talking about when the flipside happens with some of the legendary weapons being mostly worse than store-bought stuff due to absurd weights and bad ratios.
 

Sword_of_Dusk

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I did intentionally point out a first playthrough. On your second or tenth playthrough you know enough about the game to figure out where to use those uses, but first time players don't even know about Hammerne or which bosses actually need those extremely limited uses of insanely strong weapons. And that's not even talking about when the flipside happens with some of the legendary weapons being mostly worse than store-bought stuff due to absurd weights and bad ratios.
Looking at you, FE7 Durandal. It's still weighty in FE6, but at least a hefty boy like Dieck can wield it there.

Anyway, to not stray too far off topic, the only mechanic that immediately comes to mind that I dislike (yet mostly tolerate because I can usually mitigate the problem) is losing a battle when the protagonist falls. SMT and Persona are the standard bearers for this, and I don't complain most of the time because I know how to fuse Personas to cover my weaknesses in the Persona series, or equip armor or magatamas or whatever the current SMT game does to improve the protagonist.

Still, no amount of prep can stop a demon from managing to wreck my day with an unlucky crit or, if I'm stupid enough to not guard against them, an instant kill from Hama or Mudo skills. Then it's back to my last save.

This is currently my biggest gripe with SMT V, since SMT IV did away with this and allowed your demons to fight on even when the protagonist died. Why it's been brought back is a mystery to me.
 

kirbwarrior

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the only mechanic that immediately comes to mind that I dislike (yet mostly tolerate because I can usually mitigate the problem) is losing a battle when the protagonist falls.
In a vacuum I dislike this mechanic, but I've seen a few games that directly apply upsides to the main character to balance it out; Immunity to death effects (and other related states like "curses"), unable to be killed from full HP, access to best armor, generally (or strictly) better than any other character, etc. With a system like that the game is saying "you lose the MC and you lose, but it's also your fault if the MC dies and generally won't before the rest of the party" instead of leaving it up to chance.

FE in particular works because of how much control you have and how anybody dying is such a hefty deal that you can generally figure out when someone will. But, like many things, that's a different genre and can get away with different things.
 

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After playing a game today, I've discovered another mechanic I absolutely hate. It's related to the illusion of choice, only this illusion of choice doesn't just say "lol! No. Pick the other answer", it either outright gives you a game over, or it restarts the whole scene again until you pick the right one. I was always given three options, and two of them were always wrong. These were meant to be dialogue choices. lol.

It's frustrating to pick something only for the screen to fade to black, and for "Looks like you picked the wrong choice." to appear on the screen. Oh, and it feels like it takes forever for this annoying message to go away and for the scene to restart. Why does such a thing even exist?
 

kirbwarrior

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I was always given three options, and two of them were always wrong.
Looking at this more broadly, trial-and-error gameplay is generally bad design. Instead of making the player think things through or get choices or do things linearly, they are forced to pick the right choice without any communication which one is the right choice. It's RNG with the illusion it isn't because it's only RNG the first time you play. At least it's not an rpg where every battle is rock-paper-scissors.
 

The Stranger

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@kirbwarrior Some visual novels I've played use this crappy mechanic, too. Only, instead of it restarting the scene, you get a full blown game over and a swift kick back to the main menu. Sometimes the right choice isn't even obvious. You might be given a whole host of choices and pick one, thinking it's giving you some small say in how the story plays out, only to be met with "Wrong choice, idiot!" and booted back to the main menu without warning.

I was just surprised to see the same garbage had somehow found its way into something that wasn't a VN.
 

Sword_of_Dusk

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FE in particular works because of how much control you have and how anybody dying is such a hefty deal that you can generally figure out when someone will. But, like many things, that's a different genre and can get away with different things.
Oh, I don't even give FE crap for that. After all, taking out an enemy general is a great way to drop morale and send soldiers scattering. There's also the fact that FE Lords are usually the only ones who can wield the necessary weapons to kill the big threat.

@The Stranger What game were you playing?
 

VegaKotes

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After playing a game today, I've discovered another mechanic I absolutely hate. It's related to the illusion of choice, only this illusion of choice doesn't just say "lol! No. Pick the other answer", it either outright gives you a game over, or it restarts the whole scene again until you pick the right one. I was always given three options, and two of them were always wrong. These were meant to be dialogue choices. lol.

It's frustrating to pick something only for the screen to fade to black, and for "Looks like you picked the wrong choice." to appear on the screen. Oh, and it feels like it takes forever for this annoying message to go away and for the scene to restart. Why does such a thing even exist?
I feel like if a game is going to only have 1 solution it should only present one solution. If the designer is that determined to tell a singular story then just make a kinetic novel/book. Also as a side note if the puzzle in a game has one solution please do me a favor and either remove it from the game or remove my brain from my skull. I don't want to have to wiki how to do another stupid puzzle for what's probably a worthless item/weapon.

I used to crusade hard against the illusion of choice almost as much as I still do against Active turn battles but there's some real value to be had in simply making a choice. Maybe you can't control the story but you can control how your character reacts to the story which has become very important to me.

However...if, like you said, the presented options are:
1. Continue story.
2. Die.
3. Also die.

That's not even a choice. That's just the designer teasing you and then slapping you in the face when you dare to pick one of the "wrong" options.

Also for me I like to seperate "Illusion of choice" and "But Thou Must." Even if they're technically part of the same type of game design one can be clever and still open options for roleplay. The other needs to go die in a fire.
 

The Stranger

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@Sword_of_Dusk I don't think I can say because it's a NSFW game. lol. It played a lot like Fallout Shelter, but with some story elements in which you learn about different characters.

@VegaKotes Those were might thoughts exactly. It's not really a choice at all. You know, I'd be okay with a choice leading to a bad ending, or even a game over, if I got to see or read something interesting happening because of that choice. Like in Mass Effect 2 if you side Samara's daughter and let her reward you with Asari sexy times, allowing yourself to die because she's one of those weird Asari that kill when they get intimate. You get a game over, but at least you saw the reason why, it wasn't just white text on a black background telling you that you chose wrong. xD

I don't expect every choice to alter the course of the story, I just want it to have some sort of effect, even if only small.
 

Cythera

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Like in Mass Effect 2 if you side Samara's daughter and let her reward you with Asari sexy times, allowing yourself to die because she's one of those weird Asari that kill when they get intimate.
What. The. Flip-Flop :kaoswt:
This isn't what I was expecting to read when I logged onto the forums here.
I mean, kudos for the reasoning behind the game over, and for doing something a little different with choices. But still. What the flip-flop?!
Let's just agree false choices = bad mechanic! Nobody likes them. It's either a guessing game as to what's going to kill you, or you'll get the 'wait, not this one, try a different choice!' Both are annoying and do nothing but frustrate the player and pad playtime. Or the choices all lead to identical plot advancements anyway - I will notice. Players will notice their choice didn't matter.

Moving on...I've never been a fan of games that require money for things I'm not explicitly paying an NPC for. Crafting systems that require money? That makes sense if I'm paying a blacksmith for work, but if the team has the tools themselves?
Or stat boosts - tons of games allow you to allocate stats to character. Why does that cost money? If I'm at a training dojo, sure! But if I gain stat points on level up, why am I paying to allocate them?
It feels like a shoehorned-in resource management system to 'counter' the current issue in games. As I'm sure we've all experienced, money steadily loses its value in RPGs as the game goes on. Soon, you're rolling in money with nothing to spend it on. Surely there are better ways to fix this problem then shoving in an extra resource management system that hinders players at the start far more than towards the end of the game.
 

Sword_of_Dusk

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Let's just agree false choices = bad mechanic! Nobody likes them. It's either a guessing game as to what's going to kill you, or you'll get the 'wait, not this one, try a different choice!' Both are annoying and do nothing but frustrate the player and pad playtime. Or the choices all lead to identical plot advancements anyway - I will notice. Players will notice their choice didn't matter.
Well, not all the time. Henry Stickman is all about the false choices, for example.
 

The Stranger

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Moving on...I've never been a fan of games that require money for things I'm not explicitly paying an NPC for. Crafting systems that require money? That makes sense if I'm paying a blacksmith for work, but if the team has the tools themselves?
Or stat boosts - tons of games allow you to allocate stats to character. Why does that cost money? If I'm at a training dojo, sure! But if I gain stat points on level up, why am I paying to allocate them?
It feels like a shoehorned-in resource management system to 'counter' the current issue in games. As I'm sure we've all experienced, money steadily loses its value in RPGs as the game goes on. Soon, you're rolling in money with nothing to spend it on. Surely there are better ways to fix this problem then shoving in an extra resource management system that hinders players at the start far more than towards the end of the game.
I'm guessing it's done because no one seems to have any idea what to do with money in RPGs. xD

It's not just RM games that struggle with making cash useful, big RPGs also suffer the same problem. You end up with so much money but nothing to spend it on. Shops quickly lose their importance outside of healing items (that's if you can't just craft healing items), and when you're taught that better items await as drops from monsters or in chests in dungeons, you're not going to waste your money buying gear from a shop.

Instead of fixing this, devs seem to want to implement other systems that serve only to drain your money. Buying skills and attributes, spending money to craft even if it makes no sense, literally throwing your money at enemies using a skill. Even these aren't enough to prevent the rise of the inevitable millionaire who wants for nothing, though. lol.
 

VegaKotes

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Honestly it feels like quite a few games might be improved by *removing* the money portion. I've mentioned this before but I hate buying/crafting a weapon and then immediately finding a better one the next time I go exploring. What even was the point of money in that situation?

Equipment? You're already giving the player better stuff in chests, why make them pay for garbage or soon to be garbage.
Potions? You can just give better healing spells for the player or more rest spots. You don't need potions.

I dunno, it just feels like some games have money because they're expected to not because it actually has a serviceable purpose.

You could just as easily replace money with a reputation system. Do enough quests and the npcs will just give you better gear or items. Games like State of Decay do this.

@The Stranger xD Just as I was typing this up you pretty much said what I mean to, haha.
That is another thing though, money sinks are a mechanic that need to be considered if one is going to use money and hand it out like candy.

Much like Elixers, if you're not using your money it's wasting space. Even if you have infinite space.
 

The Stranger

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@VegaKotes Fully agree. Seems like video game RPGs have money just because a lot of ttrpgs have money, forgetting that in a ttrpg a DM can come up with all manner of creative uses for cash.

I don't know, maybe some would think less of an RPG if it didn't have some sort of pointless form of currency for them to horde. Doesn't matter if there's no real use for it. At least some RPGs attempt to implement bribery and other such role playing elements into the game. I've always been a sucker for repairing and upgrading keeps and other such things in RPGs, as long as there's a point to it. In Neverwinter Nights 2, your keep will be attacked by an army of the living dead. In that expansion to Dragon Age: Origins, your keep will be attacked by Darkspawn. Your upgrades can help in these situations, so you're incentivised to spend money, find resources in the world, hire retainers, etc, so as to get the best outcome.

In one of the Fable games (may have been 2), you can give a stranger a large sum of money for the purpose of repairing a bridge. If you do so, the bridge is restored when you come back after a certain point in the story, allowing you to explore the areas it's connected to.

I guess I just like it when the spending of money serves as another choice for you to make. lol.

You could replace cash with a number of abstract systems if you really wanted to, though. You could even do away with it entirely if it's not all that important in your game.
 
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VegaKotes

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There's also another option which some uh...let's call them VNs do where money exists in the game but not as a physical representation. Rather it's either more like a switch "Player has at least 200$ let them do this part of the branching story." or it's just a plot point. "I don't have money so I have to do this quest in order to advance the plot." Stuff like that.

I'm still of the opinion more games should switch to a Reputation system if they have no real use for money. You can still allow players to horde big numbers but you're no longer carving gold coins out of rabid wolves in the forest.
 

Cythera

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Well, not all the time. Henry Stickman is all about the false choices, for example.
Yes, but Henry Stickman gives you bloody hilarious scenes of your death! It's a game about dying and laughing at the cutscenes haha. The game depends upon bad and false choices :p
Who doesn't love dying in a pathetic or funny way in games?!
 

RCXGaming

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All of this money discussion has me thinking of a shop where, after saving the town or something, the shopkeepers will let you get anything you need for free but there's a limited amount of things you can take. I know I can certainly pull it off with my script sets.

Either way, yeah Crafting-Crafting sucks. I don't know if I've brought it up in this thread before but I vastly prefer the synthesis shop version where it's used explicitly to get equipment you can't find anywhere else, usually at around mid-game + a method to make stuff like Elixirs + sidegrade equipment that aren't necessarily better than each other but provide different utilities like element absorption.

It's a lot less clutter and less work because of both a smaller pool of things that fuse together and you can't just use it to make something that gets obsoleted in a few minutes.
 

VegaKotes

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All of this money discussion has me thinking of a shop where, after saving the town or something, the shopkeepers will let you get anything you need for free but there's a limited amount of things you can take. I know I can certainly pull it off with my script sets.

Either way, yeah Crafting-Crafting sucks. I don't know if I've brought it up in this thread before but I vastly prefer the synthesis shop version where it's used explicitly to get equipment you can't find anywhere else, usually at around mid-game + a method to make stuff like Elixirs + sidegrade equipment that aren't necessarily better than each other but provide different utilities like element absorption.

It's a lot less clutter and less work because of both a smaller pool of things that fuse together and you can't just use it to make something that gets obsoleted in a few minutes.
I had the idea of a like...farming game where you're on an island with a few people and have to slowly delve into these magical dungeons to rescue the other villagers and that would slowly open up things in the village. And as you turn in food and rescue villagers you would slowly gain reputation points.

Each day you could go to the town hall/supply warehouse and be given like seeds and a meal or such and as you gained more reputation with the village you would get better items each day. And like if you rescued the blacksmith they would help you upgrade tools to level 2 and then as you gained more reputation to level 3 and so on.
 

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