What mechanic or element would RPGs be better without?

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by Wavelength, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    When you decide to spend your time with an RPG, you're investing in a big package - usually consisting of combat, narrative, dungeon-crawling, inventory management, character-building, puzzles, minigames, physical exploration, sidequests, and more.

    Each of these activities contains a lot of smaller mechanics that are common among almost all RPGs, as well - to name just a small selection: equipment, healing, random (or visual) encounters, mana, towns, treasure chests, stats, enemy troops, save points, gold, pressing switches/buttons to open doors, consumable items, plot flags, EXP/level-ups, inns, boss fights, item crafting, elemental weaknesses, rare drops, skills, cutscenes.

    We don't think twice when we see these mechanics pop up in RPGs, because they've become a part of the "standard formula". Well-designed, most can lead to player fun and engagement, but too often they're there just because "RPGs have them".

    If you could completely erase one standard mechanic or game element from existence in the RPG genre, what would it be?

    Feel free to go "off the board" and pick something detailed or unusual, but please stick to things that you feel represent bloat in the genre and would best be erased - not things that you would simply like to be done much better.
     
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  2. The Stranger

    The Stranger The Faceless Friend Veteran

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    Levels and and levelling. Needlessly restrictive and arbitrary things which only appear in RPGs due to tradition. There are more creative and interesting ways to reflect character progress outside of a character being assigned an increasingly higher number. In my opinion, levels either ruin games (needless restrictions on gear\quests based on level rather than skill\attributes) or play such a small role they may as well not exist at all.

    In Fallout 4 you have levels, why? Why not just reward the player with perks or perk points based on their interactions with the world? The levels themselves don't do anything. The Witcher 3 also has levels, again, why? Levels in that game do nothing beyond needlessly restrict what gear you can equip.

    I'm struggling to think of a game in which levelling adds to the game. In every RPG I've played, levelling simply serves as a nonsensical barrier. It's meant to represent progression, but I've never felt that it does.

    It's a mechanic I'd like to see tossed in the bin where it belongs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2017
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  3. Rhaeami

    Rhaeami The Sleepy-Eyed One Veteran

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    I second exp/leveling, in particular because it mostly serves to make content progressively easier the more you play the game, which is somewhat contrary to what you'd expect the player to want. Most traditional RPGs are a cakewalk if you're overleveled, and literally impossible if you're underleveled. Ideally the game balances the exp flow so that you're at a reasonable level for a given challenge, but then what's the point? Mostly, I think, it's just an easy way to force the player to actually fight things.

    This is just personal preference though, I wouldn't want games to stop being made like this because I know good and well a lot of people enjoy grinding to the point that they can utterly decimate the final boss. :kaoswt:
     
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  4. Lnik3500

    Lnik3500 Master Troll Veteran

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    heum how about theres a level requirement to progress?

    In the recent days, I've played a JRPG called Xenoblade Chronicles, it was great for what it was and it's my favourite game of all time, but I felt that I needed absolutely to level up my characters to progress the story. It makes sense in a way, but it's something that I dislike from every rpg ever.

    The real issue would be to make a game without level requirements tho...
     
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  5. XIIIthHarbinger

    XIIIthHarbinger Part Time Super Villain Veteran

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    Personally I think one of the mechanical tropes I enjoy the least, is the idea of classes.

    I very much prefer games that allow you to develop characters in a free flowing manner, than more restrictive systems set around predefined roles. I think the removal of such a system improves the overall gameplay, so long as your player can't create an ubermensch, like the one that everyone made in Fallout 3 by simply maxing out intelligence.

    I think the more the player is free to develop the character as they like, the more it allows the player to make the character theirs', as well as adding replay value to the game. It's just a question of balancing it enough that the choices have consequences.

    Beyond that, I hate what everyone hates in RPGs, namely grinding
     
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  6. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    Accuracy. I hate it. It's about the only RNG element in this style of game and it's far more just annoying than it is debilitating. Things like Blind and other states that can hugely affect accuracy are fine, probably even more so if they are absolute (mute stops spells, blind stops skills?), and skills that have inherently low accuracy are options (such as Deathblow that guarantees crit but halves accuracy), but otherwise I just don't see what it adds to the game.

    This is especially true when I compare it to other game types; In pen-and-paper roleplaying, accuracy often takes away skill and hinges your options on luck. Can you imagine playing an FPS or Platformer or Fighter and having an accuracy stat ("Even though Mario lined up with the Koopa, he missed").
    Ironically, I can accept accuracy in trpgs like Fire Emblem, even though that's the genre where people throw their system because of accuracy problems.

    I would like to counter the level thing; Levels are a simple way to track character progression. You don't need to tie everything to the levels themselves, or restrict exactly how you level, but the levels do give a sense of you getting better and being more powerful, which is it's way of doing something that comes easy in a reaction-based game like a platformer or FPS. There are games that are needlessly restrictive about it, but the system in and of itself I don't think is inherently wrong. I couldn't imagine how a game like Bravely Default or any Dragon Quest would work without them well. I've seen Square try with Final Fantasy. And "build your own character" games just about always fall flat trying to do this.
    I do think that levels should mean something but not everything, and that being the "proper" level comes naturally to the player. I hate grinding, so I only fight the battles I come across and in most rpgs, that's perfect.
     
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  7. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @kirbwarrior : I'll second the accuracy one. I had a saying when I played Persona 5: "Death by RNG". I joked the final boss of that game should have been a pair of dice as much as the RNG hated me. I still remember the battle where all but one person missed the enemy with their spells (not attacks...spells), and the enemy didn't have an evade skill to those elements either.
     
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  8. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    And I'll "third" the accuracy. Loathe it. I still remember a game where at level 1, it took eleven (I spelt it out so that no one thinks that it was a typo) turns to kill the mouse because the character kept missing. Accuracy improved slightly with better gear, but not nearly enough to make it enjoyable. I never finished that particular game. Although that is an extreme example, there are plenty where combat just becomes tedious because of the number of misses.
     
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  9. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Honestly, I think the reason everyone still keeps accuracy as the old games used to have it. What we all forget is most of those games had one of two things that made it work:

    1: Really low HP across the board. Getting even one hit was important. Also players could easily raise their EVA too (or the stat which influenced it), so it didn't feel like something only monsters had.
    2: A tactical system where you could influence the accuracy. I still remember Realms of Arkania where every time you attacked the enemy for the first time that round you missed or were parried (usually), but the second one to attack them almost always hit as the second attacker onward that round could not be dodged or parried. So in that game, there was a tactic you used to increase accuracy.

    @Kes : Reminds me of the old story of how a 1st level wizard would die to Mr Whiskers the house cat in old school D and D due to all the misses the 1st level wizard would keep rolling.
     
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  10. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    I'll add my two cents in, for whatever it's worth. Though, I want to provide a different take on Levels and Progression at the end. It might fall a little off topic there, but I consider it a problem in the "RPG Genre".

    Crafting - I hate crafting systems. I've never seen one done well. Not once. Crafting systems are either pointless wastes of time because items you loot from treasure chests or monsters are better (as well as what you can buy in towns) or annoying grinds because the only way to progress equipment is to craft it. Sometimes, you get more ridiculous systems where you craft modifiers on equipment like in FFX, which turns into a retardedly insane grind all on its own where you wonder why you can't just craft an entirely new weapon/armor with all the materials they're asking you for, instead of just to fill a single freakin' slot. Sometimes you get RNG crafting systems where you have to find the blueprint first! Then, you can build the customized pieces! A La Dead Space 3... Dragon Age Inquisition... and others. Frankly, it's a bit ridiculous. What I'd like crafting to do, is not be a "progression system" at all. I'd like crafting to be a means of customizing your existing gear. It shouldn't grant "more power". It should grant, "bonuses or features to existing equipment". That way, it fills the niche it's meant to fill: It is both easily ignored for those who don't care about, as it isn't necessary, and it's an amazing boost to players who do care about it and want to engage in it. Also, crafting systems should NEVER require you to grind combat to obtain materials. I'm sorry, but this is stupid and annoying. If crafting exists in your game, then by extension, your world is going to have a crafting economy. Which means, people are going to be buying and selling crafting materials. You break immersion every single time you have crafting materials that are ONLY obtainable through grinding monsters yourself.
    Mini-Games - This is just personal preference. I wish they'd go away. I'm here to play Final Fantasy 9... not some stupid Card Game. If I need to take a break from Final Fantasy 9... I'll pop in a disc of a game. In fact, I'll pop in a disc for one of the MUCH MORE BETTER DESIGNED card games on the PS1 or PS2 than fiddle with the absolutely grind-tastic and cheaty card game in Final Fantasy 9. I feel like, as a player, anytime you introduce a mini-game for me to play within your already existing game, that you are a terrible dev, because instead of focusing on making your game better, you devoted hours to programming a second... or third... or tenth game inside your already existing game. In short, you're cheating me of content I paid for. If you got mini-games, count me out. I wish this trend would die. If you want to make a card game, make a freakin' card game. Don't slap it into your RPG. If you want to make a chocobo racing game, just make that, don't slap it into an RPG. Seriously. LASER FOCUS ON YOUR PRIMARY CONTENT.
    Puzzles - I just find puzzles boring. They're nothing I haven't seen done 2000 times before. Oh look, another simple logic puzzle. Yawn, where's the wiki so I don't have to bother with this nonsense. Oh look, pushing boulders... 'cause that didn't get boring with Pokémon Red and Blue. Oh, look, go fetch random crap to press into a wall, that doesn't break immersion or turn into tedium. Oh, hooray, a Sudoku puzzle. Just what I wanted to do in a game where I shoot things 99% of the time and talk the other 1%. Just... no. Stop including them. Your "puzzles" should be in combat. That puzzle in combat being, "How do I most efficiently kill these enemies by using the least amount of resources possible?". Don't get me wrong, I do like puzzle games in and of themselves... I just don't like when people combine puzzles with RPGs. It was cute in the SNES days. It's played out by now. It needs to die.
    Dedicated Healer Class - I feel like this needs to die. Not because I hate it. But, it currently makes most RPGs far too easy. Even MMOs. Even worse, it guarantees that said character is always in your party, whether you like them or not. It turns most people into the "Tank, Healer, DPS, Annoyer" party runner, because that's all anyone does with a dedicated healer class. It also limits what other skills you can give to other characters, as everyone has to fill that "golden trinity" rule with character archetypes. However, the most damning thing of all... A dedicated healer means you are going to accumulate a massive amount of Money that you can never spend. Why buy 10 Potions when I can buy 2 Ethers and heal everyone the same amount of HP with a dedicated healer? Nobody in battle even has to waste a turn to pop a potion since the Healer's turns are all dedicated to doing NOTHING except healing every single round, whether you need it or not! 'Cause MP healing items are so much cheaper and more cost effective! Personally, I think it adds more depth to combat and difficulty when you have to decide to spend a valuable turn with a character to heal up... or to use one of their attacks and hopefully win the combat. Might be fun to see the Dedicated Healer class also be the best DPS in the game, to make sure the player has to decide how to play them in combat. They can glass cannon... or heal everyone... Which do you pick? I just want Dedicated Healers to either vanish entirely or to be reworked to be less "mobile infinite heal station" and more, "I'm a character who is useful in battle beyond healing every single turn".

    Progression System - Okay, here's what I don't like about "Levels". They are now the entire measure on whether any game gets an "RPG" label on it. "Action Adventure RPG". What the heck is that? Oh, it's a game where I'm allotted skillpoints at Level Up and can use them to unlock skills? Thanks Farcry 3 and 4. You're not really an RPG. Games with minimal progression systems are touted as, "With RPG Features". No, that's silly. You know what an "RPG Feature" is? It's character customization. It's an immersive story. It's making decisions (either in dialogue or in gameplay) that affect the game as a whole. An RPG is more than a progression system. There are RPGs without progression systems. I don't like the "level up" systems because they now determine that pretty much anything with levels is an "RPG". And... that dilutes the market quite a bit. It makes buying games confusing. So, instead of just typing "RPG" and getting a story driven game with a lot of character customization... You now have to SPECIFY you want story driven games. You have to SPECIFY you want character customization and then see HOW MUCH OF THAT they even give you. I don't like this whole, "RPGs that don't have a story" nonsense we've got now, just because anything with a Progression System of any kind is now labeled "RPG". An RPG without a story is supposed to be called, "Dungeon Crawler". I kind of wish there were no such things as "level ups" anymore, just because of this. I kind of wish people just touted "Skillpoint Based Progression System" or whatever EXACT method of leveling up they were using. This would make deciding if the game is actually an RPG much easier. It would also end the whole "If you gain levels, it's an RPG element" thing.

    That's my ranty two cents. Sorry.
     
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  11. XIIIthHarbinger

    XIIIthHarbinger Part Time Super Villain Veteran

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    @Tai_MT
    I would certainly agree with you on minigames, I am honestly hard pressed to think of a single game where I actually enjoyed playing them. But I can think of several games where I found them to be profoundly annoying even in games that I liked; because playing them was a requirement to advance in the game, usually to get some meaningless plot McGuffin. The other times were usually when playing them was prerequisite to unlock some achievement.

    As for crafting systems, I think probably the two games that come to mind whose crafting systems I enjoyed the most, was probably KOTOR 2 & Skyrim. With KOTOR 2 you found parts, received parts as quest rewards, could purchase parts from vendors, & you could create parts yourself if your character had the right skills. Combine that with the large variety of customization options & variety of available baseline weapons, it made crafting very rewarding. Plus it allowed you to spec out different characters to fulfill different roles, based on the modifications you made to their weapons & armor.

    Skyrim, on the other hand only really had a fairly small number of weapons & armor, but a rather extensive number of potential modifications. But managed to avoid some of the absurdly overpowered modifications that could be created in previous Elder Scrolls games, unless you used glitches & exploits. Which I think is another thing that is important with a crafting system.

    So I wouldn't say that I've never seen crafting done well. However, I would say that I've seen executed poorly far more often than I've seen it executed well.

    I think the problem with "puzzles", is that they are often used in very linear games, as road blocks to progression. I think they would be more rewarding if they were potential methods of opening up alternative paths, like lock picking in Elder Scrolls or hacking in Fallout is often used. To give the player an option of approaching the goal with a more stealthy approach.

    Not to mention it would allow for certain "role playing" elements. The clever rogue disarms the traps to get behind the target, while the Barbarian charges forward with their Warhammer shouting a war cry to their gods kind of thing.
     
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  12. mauvebutterfly

    mauvebutterfly Veteran Veteran

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    Thieves/Steal

    I hate it when I'm playing a class-based game and one of your characters has a steal skill that lets you take items from enemies in combat. Inevitably, these games also seem to have unique or powerful items that can only be stolen from encounters (or even worse, from bosses.)

    This means that I feel punished if I ever complete a boss fight without successfully stealing the item from the boss, since I'm now at a disadvantage with regards to gear going forward. This is even stupider if the rogue isn't a good combatant, since now the fight is harder, but the reward for doing it is to make the next fight easier.

    Finally, having a steal system pretty much guarantees that one of your party members will be a thief at all times, which limits your ability to use other characters. I loved Chrono Trigger, but my biggest complaint about that game is Ayla, for all the reasons posted above. As soon as she joined the party my lineup was Chrono (mandatory main character) Ayla (steal ability) and only one slot left with five characters to choose from. And while Ayla had a heal ability it wasn't that great, so if you also want a dedicated healer...

    While Chrono Trigger was the worst offender I've seen, I can't say my experiences with thief characters in other games were much better.
     
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  13. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    Uh... you do know that Ayla was one of the highest DPS characters in the game with the best Dual Tech in the game (Falcon Hit with Chrono, one of the highest damage skills in the game, and since enemies almost always sit in a straight line, it results in lots of instant kills of entire squads of mobs), right? You could then run with Frog who was the third best DPS in the game, who also had a pretty good healing skill. I tended to use Marle though, because she had some of the highest magic attack in the game and her dual tech "Aura Whirl" is the best healing skill in the whole game. So, I'd run with "Best Damaging attack in the game" along with, "best healing skill in the game".

    Not that I don't get your point, there are lots of games that do what you're talking about. It's just... Chrono Trigger isn't one of them. Especially since there's absolutely NOTHING worth stealing in the game until you get to the Black Omen, when you steal Megalixirs and Stat Tabs. Everything else is basic healing items or worthless crap, except an odd boss here or there you can steal a Stat Tab from. My personal experience with the game was that I didn't even realize it had a Steal command until my third playthrough, and was then really annoyed with it, because nobody had anything worth stealing until the last 2 hours of the game.

    If you do want a really big offender of the "Must Steal everything always, or you miss things", look no further than Final Fantasy 9... where you can miss out on a LOT of good early game equipment unless you steal both items from every single boss... including the tutorial boss. "Steal" is absolutely gamebreaking in that one.

    Though, to be honest, I'm also one of the people who like the Steal Command and use it often. I like occasionally getting surprised with a piece of good equipment... especially if it's a second copy of something I already have (like a second Atma Weapon in Final Fantasy 6).
     
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  14. Beamlight

    Beamlight Degibeta Team Veteran

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    The one mechanic in RPGs that I think RPGs would definately be better without (or at least should be used to a much lesser extent) is, ironically because of the title: Elements.

    One of the hallmarks of RPGs is a rock-paper-scissor styles effectiveness of elements. While this could be an interesting mechanic for some fights, it is my chief complaint within the Persona series. Having to guess which element is effective is a much more random element than even accuracy in my book; at least with accuracy you can mathematically equate how much damage you do over time, although the random chance to whiff multiple times in a row is just plain not fun and encourages use of a strategy guide/metagaming.

    There is a solution to the accuracy argument, effectively argued here: http://archive.gamedev.net/archive/reference/design/features/randomness/

    It is why I think mechanically the Trails series are superior to the Persona series, although storywise Persona wins out.
     
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  15. Basileus

    Basileus Veteran Veteran

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    I'm pretty sure the reason that accuracy in RPGs has always existed is to reinforce the fact that the character is NOT the player but instead their own entity. This makes more sense in tabletop games like D&D and JRPGs where the emphasis is on keeping in character - i.e. the guy that made Dexterity his dump stat should miss a lot. JRPGs usually have pre-made characters that the player is supposed to be played as and many tabletop games can have the DM create characters for the players to use that fit the module they design. The point of stats and skills wasn't to enable unlimited customization, it was to determine what characters would be able to do in the game. A character with a 4 in Strength is not going to lift that boulder no matter how many times you roll the dice and a character with an 18 in Charisma is going to pass that Bluff check even if his player is an introvert with no poker face.

    The class system is much the same way as the limits of each class represent the choices and training a character of that class would have received. Someone who spent their whole life training with melee weapons and working as a mercenary will be a lot better at hacking up monsters than a wizard that spent his whole life reading books, but the wizard will be far better at magic than the warrior could ever dream of being. Having a class is an easy system to group characters that have similar life experience and training to determine what they are capable of. This can best be seen in D&D where player characters gain levels in a specific class and their character level is the sum of their class levels. So a character that grew up as a mercenary could be a Lv. 5 Warrior, where each class level reflects certain bonuses the character gets as a result of their training in that profession. Said character can then train under a master Wizard and gain 2 levels in Wizard himself, making him a Lv. 5 Warrior and Lv. 2 Wizard (and a Lv. 7 character for things that check total experience) so his magical abilities are the same as a Lv. 2 character that only has those 2 levels in Wizard, but he has his physical abilities to fall back on and is still much more powerful.

    The entire point of a level up was supposed to be changing what abilities your character had, and they were more infrequent moments. But a lot of video games made leveling up a common thing that only gives out a handful of base stats and/or a couple skill points so they only really matter after gaining several levels. This makes levels completely uninteresting and borderline pointless since they've separated the character's actual in-game capabilities from their level and put them into other systems...or just gave them to all characters by default. Levels can stick around if they matter but otherwise games should just stick to their replacement system instead.


    For my pick I'm going to have to second "Elements". I'm almost finished with Persona 4 and, as fun as it is, that game made me realize how toxic damage typing can be. It can be a huge chore to take out tough enemies with neutral damage since you are meant to be using effective damage. And having to juggle keeping all types of damage on hand is annoying and is part of what makes most of the Persona feel awful and pointless to use. Especially when Atlus decided tons of common enemies need to be immune to everything but the one type they are weak to. And since enemies often reflect certain elements back at you it's crucial to match your Persona's attack types to ones they Resist or Nullify so you don't accidentally kill yourself, especially with the knock-down effect on hitting weaknesses which can get your whole team killed. This wouldn't be quite so bad but there is no rhyme or reason to weaknesses so it always comes down to just testing them all out and then only using the one thing they are weak to after I discover it. Then you get huge bosses and minibosses that have big health pools are no weaknesses to hit at all...
     
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  16. mauvebutterfly

    mauvebutterfly Veteran Veteran

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    My issue with Ayla isn't that she wasn't effective, it's that I felt forced to use her because she was the only character with steal. Sure, a lot of trash mobs had nothing worth stealing, but I remember a few bosses having some good armour.

    Also, if I'm playing the game blind (which I was) I'm not going to know which bosses have good items to steal from, so unless I use a guide I feel forced to keep the thief on hand just in case.

    Maybe Chrono Trigger stands out for me with regards to poor party choices since my favourite character was Lucca, but I rarely found the space for her in my party. If Chrono, Ayla, or a healer (Marle/Frog) was my favourite, it would have stood out less to me as a flaw within an otherwise good game.

    **********

    With regards to the rest of the thread, I definitely agree that elements aren't used well in a lot of games, and the Persona games showcase how not to use elements. Many games would be improved by removing or de-emphasizing elements.

    Also bosses with large HP pools, no elemental weakness (if the game is going to use them), and immunity to all status effects are just incredibly dull to fight against. Bosses like this are one of the main reasons I don't play RPGs on high difficulties any more. It's not that the high difficulty is really any harder in a lot of cases, it's just a lot more tedious.
     
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  17. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    That's been my issue with ALL atlus games to date. All the random enemies have a weakness that they want you to exploit because if you don't your dead (except for a couple monsters in Persona 5 that Whomever decided those belonged in a dungeon flunked game design 101. You DONT make the most powerful monster in the dungeon that isn't a boss also have no weakness). But, the minute you got to the boss, no weakness (usually. I think the first boss of Persona 3 and 4 had one weakness, same with Shin Megami 4). No way to get bonus turns, which the entire system is built around. Of course, the boss could still get them, especially because it was impossible in most Atlas Games to make a party that was not weak to at least one of their attacks (one of my big grips about Persona 5 actually. You could get Evade to the element for your NPC's very late in the game, but that's not the same as it is now RNG dependent).

    For me, one thing I think that needs to go away from RPG's is bosses that cheat the system. If you are going to design this heavily tactical battle engine where you say choices and planning matter, do NOT make the boss cheat. The minute you do that, my choices and planning no longer matter either, as without a guide I have no way to know how they are going to cheat.
     
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  18. XIIIthHarbinger

    XIIIthHarbinger Part Time Super Villain Veteran

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    I can't say I've ever really had an issue with "elemental damage" mechanics myself. Though I haven't played any of the Persona series which seems to be everyone's primary offender.

    To me things like an elemental creature being immune to damage from that element seems rather obvious, & would seem rather bizarre if it wasn't in effect. The same with monsters/animals common to certain environments being less vulnerable to elements related to those environments. I.e. scorpions being less vulnerable to fire, polar bears being less vulnerable to the frost, etcetera.

    Most of the RPGs I've played used a system like that, when it came to the usual fire, frost, shock, etcetera elemental damage types. & games that used less common elemental damage types like KOTOR or Fallout also worked rather well in my opinion.

    I would concur though with the idea that the whole absurd number of hit points endurance match boss battles are rather bad mechanics. I honestly can't think of a single time I've played an RPG where I encountered such a battle & thought it was well done. I think such things should be reserved largely for MMOs , where extensive raiding parties arraying against a final boss as a protracted tactical engagement, are one of the reason people play MMOs.

    I think anything more than ten rotations through the full roster of characters active during the battle, has a very high probability of becoming boring. It's far better to have shorter in duration yet more volatile battles for single player RPGs in my opinion. Not to mention it tends to put the player more "on the edge of their seat".
     
    #18
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  19. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Right. I've been trying to with my game make it so that most boss battles are 6 - 8 turns if you are not underleveled or something. A lot of them hit HARD though, so it comes down to can you handle the heavy damage they put out, while taking them out.

    In fact, I think I'll add to the list of things that need to go away in RPG's
    -HP sponge bosses. Bosses with 10000000000000 HP need to go the way of the dodo and fast.
    -Bosses that take you longer to beat than it takes to watch a full length movie. I don't know why that is such a popular thing, but if it takes longer to defeat your boss than it takes to watch the entire movie Titanic, time to rethink your boss.
    -Bosses with many forms (specifically final bosses). Why? Is there some unwritten rule that a final boss must have 4 forms or it is not epic enough? I grew up on old games that the final boss had..get this...ONE form. That's it. You beat it, the game is over. None of this 4 different forms that is popular in FF games.
     
    #19
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  20. XIIIthHarbinger

    XIIIthHarbinger Part Time Super Villain Veteran

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    I don't think the whole multiple form bosses are necessarily a bad mechanic, I think they are a bad mechanic for most RPGs, especially the turn based variety.

    I can think of several games that had multiple stage bosses that I've enjoyed playing, for example many of the games in the Contra series. However, those battles are very quick & very intense, & each of the forms tends to behave very differently. It also seems to work rather well in most "bullet hell" type of games.

    I think to work in an RPG, the RPG needs to be a Diablo or Dark Souls style RPG. I.e. free moving & rather quick in action. & it works against turn based RPGs, because it often causes you to overshoot the ten turns mark by a rather significant margins. Usually because multistage bosses tend to be HP sponges as well.

    I suppose it could work effectively, if instead of having various stages in which the boss assumes different forms; the boss had something akin to "stances" that changed the skills they use, & perhaps some of their attributes, & the boss could rotate between those stances on a whim. For example having various skills that served as "stance transitions", rather like Lei Wulong in the Tekken series had various attacks that would transition the character into new stances that changed his attacks.

    Then you could still maintain the fast paced volatility of a ten turns or less battle pace, but integrate elements of uncertainty into the battle, because the boss can change their arsenal on the fly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
    #20

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