Would it turn you off if a game changed battle systems midway through?

TheGentlemanLoser

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I don't really have much to add to the topic title in terms of the question. If you were playing an RPG and it transitioned into an ABS or a TBS or whatever midway through, and you kept your characters and all your gear and skills and whatnot (at least for your existing characters, the break might for instance introduce a squad of new characters) would be retained and carried over, would that turn you off of the game?

Assume that the starting system and the system changed to are both of medium complexity, neither one overly complex or particularly simple. Oh, and if it would matter if one system was more complex than another,

Like, if you were playing FF6 and sometime around the moogle battle the game decided to switch to FFT mechanics. What if it just grafted on one major change, say adding movement, which is probably what separates a Tactics game from a "pure" J-ish RPG.
 

TheoAllen

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I will be questioning what is game I'm exactly playing. Except that was the entire point of the game.
 

TheGentlemanLoser

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oh yeah that brought up a variable I didn't think of:

is the player aware in advance of the shift?
 

ScorchedGround

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The most important thing here is that you advertise to potential players that there will be different combat systems throughout the game. Edit: As you just said.

If I buy a Turn-Based JRPG, expecting - obviously - to have a Turn-Based Combat system, and suddenly the game becomes a Hack and Slash game a la Diablo (obviously an exaggerated example),
then it would surely leave an extremely sour taste in my mouth.

I personally would not like a switch in combat systems entirely. But that's just me.
Why would you want to have 2 different combat systems anyway?

Isn't it better to just have a single combat system and add new mechanics over time throughout the game?
 

BK-tdm

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What if zelda switched from an action game to a turn based rpg from the 3rd temple onwards?
What if pokemon switched from a turn based rpg to an action game after the 4th gym?
What if mario switched to a rythm game after half of the worlds?

I think you get it, you cannot invite your players for a UNO night and switch monopoly after a few rounds, its jarring, dissonant, confusing and not what people signed for.

You can however have certain battles be played in one style and other battles be done in another engine type, you can have great scale battles be done in tactical system and sections where individual troops battle it out in a side view system.
Combinations from the start can result in good pace changers, sudden switches will probably result in mood killers.
 

ramza

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The Suikoden series, or at least, the early ones that I've actually played had several different battle systems in them. There was the regular turned-based battle system that it used for normal encounters, and boss battles. Then there was the one-on-one duel system it used for special story fights, which worked basically like a rock paper scissors thing, so it was pretty simple. Then it also had a tactical battle system for huge scale fights. Although, now that I think of it, the war battle might've been more of a shell over top of the default battle system.

Either way, I enjoyed the change of pace. It was clear coming into a battle which kind it was going to be, and the three systems were all similar enough that they still fit together in the same game.

I can't say for sure without having had it happen to me, but if I was playing a game that suddenly changed genres entirely, I probably wouldn't mind it too much, but that depends entirely on how much I was enjoying the game prior to the switch. If it wasn't a fun experience to begin with, suddenly changing the mechanics after I've probably just gotten used to them would be annoying.
 

Weremole

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Depends on if it's changing the entire thing or if it makes sense. Wild Arms 3 had five battle systems. Normal. Normal on horseback. Tank. and giant robot dragon airship.

Trails Of Cold Steel has its normal battle system and its Panzer Soldat battles. The common denominator between these games is that regardless of battle system they are based on the same core mechanics.

Wild Arms being turn based and features affected by a characters Force Point levels. Trails Of Cold Steel having its CTB gauge and Brave Point system where a critical hit in mech battles leads up to finishing moves and in normal battle towards team attacks and passive skills.
 

Mr. Detective

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I would feel cheated, scammed, and frustrated at the false marketing. OK. Maybe a little exaggerated, but some people might really feel that way, lol. Imagine playing Tekken for 9 stages, then when you get to the last boss, the game switches to SF mechanics all of a sudden. Unless this was made clear before I play the game. Changing the whole battle system is a big change and that can't sit well with most people. It's like how RE6 has a bunch of different segments with car chase and plane control thrown in, and it caught a lot of people off guard.

The only way for this to work is if you change the battle system back and forth right from the start so that the players will be aware of when the change is coming. But even so, not many people will tolerate this, I fear.
 

Celestrium

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There are many games with different combat systems. I ask why you want to transistion to a different combat system. Trails of cold steel the mech battles are different, but it makes sense that the system there would be different. Tales of Arcadia had the ship battles. If it makes sense and there is good reason, go for it. Make sure it makes sense.
 

Nenen

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There is one RM game that sorta did this.
But --and this is important-- it both made sense to the story context, while fitting in with previous mechanics (Still remained Turn-Based, similar to the traveling system, etc)
The game's name is 'Reconstruction Zero: I Miss the Sunrise'

Sadly though, the newer system didn't get much of a spotlight, and essentially was more a weak mini-game in the end...
(EDIT: it was essentially a late-game/later chapter addition, You didn't 'see' it coming, but it wasn't jarring and the old battle system was still used for the rest of the game.)
 

GolvaeGames

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Yes I probably would, almost certainly if it was not as advertised. There was a game called evoland that did this but that was part of the games hook.

I think introducing new mechanics into the established system would be much better received.
 

Milennin

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If it makes sense for it to to change, it would be OK. If it's like an arbitrary change just because the developer felt like it, then, no.
 

Aesica

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Depends heavily on how it's done, as in if the switch is done to facilitate a completely different type of battle.

For example, in a future project I intend to make, the setting will be a sci-fi, in-a-big-ass-spaceship that travels to other planets. The characters themselves will be the typical side-view, wait-based ATB system I've taken a liking to, but I intend for ship battles to switch to font view.

At some point, I'd also like to make a card-based battle system (not like any of the ones that currently exist for RM) that emphasizes summoning creatures that advance upon and and attack opponents' units. This of course will also be a completely different battle system than the rest of the game.

So yeah, it's fine to switch as long as the switch makes sense.
 

GolvaeGames

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Depends heavily on how it's done, as in if the switch is done to facilitate a completely different type of battle.

For example, in a future project I intend to make, the setting will be a sci-fi, in-a-big-ass-spaceship that travels to other planets. The characters themselves will be the typical side-view, wait-based ATB system I've taken a liking to, but I intend for ship battles to switch to font view.

At some point, I'd also like to make a card-based battle system (not like any of the ones that currently exist for RM) that emphasizes summoning creatures that advance upon and and attack opponents' units. This of course will also be a completely different battle system than the rest of the game.

So yeah, it's fine to switch as long as the switch makes sense.

Like a tower defense kind of system? I don't mind things like that being added as a side thing. I liked gwent/triple triad stuff like that, I even liked the skirmishes in ni no kuni 2 and a few of them were mandatory. Although those systems were all pretty easy.

Really my biggest gripe about this is when things feel shoehorned it, like a lot of games have stealth sequences when the rest of the game is not in that genre, those are usually disliked. I don't really like platformer elements being added in the middle of a turn based rpg. Then there's bullet hell that sometimes pops up when it doesn't really need to. Things like this can make the player frustrated (it irritates me at least, anyway)

I was just thinking about buying a game called Märchen Forest, which is kinda like what op is talking about. It goes from a crafting game to a battle focused rpg after the first part. But it is advertised as such you know what your getting into.
 

Wavelength

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I would personally not hate this at all.

HOWEVER. Let me make the case for why this might not be ideal:
  • Both battle systems have to be good. If the first-half system sucks, very few players will hang around until the second half. If the second-half system sucks, players will really really hate that you took away the one they liked.
  • Your audience has to be interested in both systems. Even if your battle systems are both good, if you turn off part of your audience then they will still feel what I described above.
  • It takes a lot more work to create two systems than one and you have to "divide" your effort and resources between them.
  • Even if your battle systems are both great and you have perfectly tailored them to the type of audience that will be interested in your game, dividing them up into "first half" and "second half" will probably not be as fun as having two different battle systems that the player will see all game long. This is because having some variety ("differences in kind") keeps the action fresh and keeps the player engaged.
    • So, for example, maybe you have something like Skies of Arcadia where random encounters are done in a semi-free-movement turn-based RPG system and ship vs. ship encounters are done in a strategic worker-placement system. Or maybe you have two different characters/parties that fight in completely different styles, and you frequently shift the point of view between them so that every hour or two the battle system alternates back and forth between types. That would likely be more engaging than first half of the game, second half of the game.
 

Aesica

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Like a tower defense kind of system?
I was thinking more along the lines of MtG or Hearthstone, but with a spacial element. The things you summon have to advance toward their targets, and vise versa.
 

Mythmaker19

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Personally, I would find it annoyingly jarring and off-putting, especially if I was really enjoying the initial battle system (which I probably would be if I stuck with it long enough to want to keep playing the game). I would try to make one really solid battle system instead of trying to make two work where one might be considerably weaker or less engaging than the other.
 
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I kinda love this idea, but it has to be pulled off correctly.

Personally, my favourite part of JRPGs has always been that moment in the story where the scope suddenly and massively expands. Think of leaving Midgar for the first time in FF7, or realizing there's another world in Tales of Symponia. Switching battle systems would be a similar level of huge twist, but mechanical rather than narrative.

Maybe for the best impact you could try combining these two twists? Like imagine if after you enter the world of ruin in FF6 the battle system changed to reflect the apocalyptic environment. That might make it easier for the player to accept.
 

Azurose

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I'm a weirdo that likes Final Fantasy Type-0 and that game gives you whiplash with the amount of times it goes from an action game to a faux-RTS game.

It's most likely going to be controversial at the very least, and it is rather unconventional, but it wouldn't turn me off. It would grab me more than anything.

The complexity doesn't have to be better per se, but it still needs to be engaging and enjoyable.
 

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