You tried to escape...And failed! (Repeat 5 times and die). Or...How fair should running away be?

Amuseum

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while maximizing player satisfaction is a noble goal, otoh too much coddling and always giving players an free pass is not necessarily a good thing. some of best moments in gaming are not just the stories of success, but the most epic stories may be the close failures.
 

whitesphere

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Personally, the way I avoid this is I grant players a zero cost Escape spell which teleports them out of the dungeon, usually at a fairly low level.  I also offer Escape Ropes for sale which do the same thing.

It does not impact the Escape rate, but if players wander into a vastly overpowered dungeon, it grants a "Get me the heck out of here" option.  I do like the idea of Escape not forcing players to forfeit their turn if the Escape fails though.  I think I'll add that.

And if there is a Super Buster Sword of Doom, I put it in a treasure chest at least midway into the dungeon.  So players have to be able to survive that far to earn the sword.  Or I have it be a boss loot drop (they got it because they ate/killed the last party who had it).  Any early treasure chests might have heal or revive items, or other small items which are useful but not the really Big treasures.

But I do wonder how players can just wander into overpowered dungeons.  Normally, the encounters on the world map or close by are at least of a similar level.  It's not like the encounters go from "Baby Slime" to "Ancient Dragon" in one step, after all.  If the party can't beat the encounters in the World Map in the area, do NOT venture into the dungeon, but I assume that is a standard JRPG tool.
 

arcthemonkey

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while maximizing player satisfaction is a noble goal, otoh too much coddling and always giving players an free pass is not necessarily a good thing. some of best moments in gaming are not just the stories of success, but the most epic stories may be the close failures.
I agree wth this in general, but I dont buy that any story that boils down to, "I was losing the battle against that battle toad, and I had to roll a 7 to flee, and I rolled that dice 7 times in a row and finally rolled a 7!!! It was so epic!" Even exists. I'm not talking about hand holding or babying the player - I appreciate real challenge in a game. I just don't think that RNG based escape systems are a tangible element to that.

I thought of a compromise last night that I think I want to use in my game, though: the player has a 100% chance of running away, but doing so has them "running away"... To the entrance of the dungeon.

Boom - can't be cheesed, player loses any progress they made in the dungeon (but get to keep the loot and experience), it makes sense and feels fair.
 

M.I.A.

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I agree wth this in general, but I dont buy that any story that boils down to, "I was losing the battle against that battle toad, and I had to roll a 7 to flee, and I rolled that dice 7 times in a row and finally rolled a 7!!! It was so epic!" Even exists. I'm not talking about hand holding or babying the player - I appreciate real challenge in a game. I just don't think that RNG based escape systems are a tangible element to that.

I thought of a compromise last night that I think I want to use in my game, though: the player has a 100% chance of running away, but doing so has them "running away"... To the entrance of the dungeon.

Boom - can't be cheesed, player loses any progress they made in the dungeon (but get to keep the loot and experience), it makes sense and feels fair.
I do like this idea as well!! As I said previously, I usually disable any type of escaping from battle.. since battles aren't the primary proponent of story telling in my games.. but I like the "Escape" being only a skill and returning you to the entrance of the current dungeon. Or, in case of my projects that tend to have smaller maps and a central town, an escape skill that TP's to the town would be cool.

Again, lose the progress, but keep the XP and loot. I would, however, modify it so that it is only a select class/actor that has this skill.. and set the skill to always act last in battle.. and maybe even randomize the success a little. say a 1 in 3 chance of success in battle (100% outside of battle). Or maybe even a 50% chance of success and tack on a 1 turn cool down.

Thanks for the ideas!!
 

jonthefox

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I agree wth this in general, but I dont buy that any story that boils down to, "I was losing the battle against that battle toad, and I had to roll a 7 to flee, and I rolled that dice 7 times in a row and finally rolled a 7!!! It was so epic!" Even exists. I'm not talking about hand holding or babying the player - I appreciate real challenge in a game. I just don't think that RNG based escape systems are a tangible element to that.

I thought of a compromise last night that I think I want to use in my game, though: the player has a 100% chance of running away, but doing so has them "running away"... To the entrance of the dungeon.

Boom - can't be cheesed, player loses any progress they made in the dungeon (but get to keep the loot and experience), it makes sense and feels fair.
Whoaaa this is a really neat idea.   Simple and practical.   The only problem I see with it is: what if you WANTED a dungeon to be dangerous?  
 

arcthemonkey

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Whoaaa this is a really neat idea.   Simple and practical.   The only problem I see with it is: what if you WANTED a dungeon to be dangerous?  
If the player can't possibly finish the dungeon without running away, then the dungeon is either too hard (my fault), or the player hasn't adequately prepared themselves (their fault). Whether or not the player can run away shouldn't even be a factor in the difficulty of a game. Running away should never be a tool the player can use to progress in the game (I mean, I guess, unless you scripted that in to some encounter or whatever). Running away itself should be a form of failure. A last minute chance to avoid game over and regroup/rethink their approach, or reconsider their gear, or reconsider bringing the mage to a dungeon where everything is immune to magic. Whatever. I also don't like letting the player be able to reliably have the opportunity to run away before the enemies can attack.

Again, letting the player run around doesn't make the game less challenging or a dungeon less dangerous. It just makes the game more fair, in my eyes. If I really wanted to make it a thing, I could just throw in enemies that can stop them from running away, or make it less likely maybe. I don't know. I'm liking the idea of it making them bail from the whole dungeon more and more.
 

jonthefox

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While it may not necessarily make the dungeon less difficult (if you escape to the beginning you still would have to repeat all the progress you'd made), it does make it less dangerous.   There's virtually a zero chance of dying if you can always escape when you want to.  
 

arcthemonkey

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While it may not necessarily make the dungeon less difficult (if you escape to the beginning you still would have to repeat all the progress you'd made), it does make it less dangerous.   There's virtually a zero chance of dying if you can always escape when you want to.  
That's why you make sure the player doesn't always get to go first ;) The only reason you should kill the player is if they make a mistake on their own (although that mistake could be going into the dungeon in the first place). Not trying to run away might be that mistake.
 

bgillisp

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@Arcthemonkey: That's a pretty nice system, and one can easily implement it if they use touch encounters. Just check the can escape flag, and set the retreat location to start of dungeon. Nice.
 

Jexxes

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How about just allowing the player to escape back to town? Not allowing them to run through dungeons, but still, if you got problems, you come back to the safety of your home? 

EDIT: Noticed now that some similiar options had already been discussed! 
 
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Luxanna

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Your topic title is exactly the most frustrating thing one could experience in a game. At least I feel that way.

I agree with 100% Chance to escape or not being able to escape at all.
 

Redeye

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In my game, the escape rate is 100%. It also uses an ATB system. In order to escape you have to wait til every battle party members' ATB gauge reaches to full before you actually escape battle, which allows enemies to get free hits on you if you have slow party members in your battle team.
 

Kes

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@Redeye

So, I need to escape because, for whatever reason, I know that my party won't survive a battle with these enemies, I hit escape, and then watch while the enemy troop beats hell out of my party until I can escape - which rather defeats the whole purpose of why I wanted to escape in the first place. I have played games where this mechanic is used, and frankly, it was no fun to get the Game Over you used escape to try and avoid.
 

arcthemonkey

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@Redeye

So, I need to escape because, for whatever reason, I know that my party won't survive a battle with these enemies, I hit escape, and then watch while the enemy troop beats hell out of my party until I can escape - which rather defeats the whole purpose of why I wanted to escape in the first place. I have played games where this mechanic is used, and frankly, it was no fun to get the Game Over you used escape to try and avoid.
I think that's a true perspective, but it also feels better being killed by RNG.

I'm using a similar system (ATB, normal escape command takes a little while to pull off but never fails), but I also provide items (which I want to go instantly in all cases) and an escape skill (that will hopefully be the same, I haven't tinkered with that bit yet)  - and I am also working on having the escape command take you to the entrance of the dungeon.
 

jonthefox

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I actually like Redeye's idea.  If I'm able to escape without penalty whenever I want, it robs me of the sense of danger and excitement that I want to feel when I enter dungeons.  

The only thing I'd potentially be annoyed by is if the enemies are really weak in comparison to me and I don't want to fight, and it just feels like a waste of time to sit there waiting for my gauge to fill up.  If one is able to avoid enemy encounters though, then this wouldn't be an issue.  
 

Redeye

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@Redeye

So, I need to escape because, for whatever reason, I know that my party won't survive a battle with these enemies, I hit escape, and then watch while the enemy troop beats hell out of my party until I can escape - which rather defeats the whole purpose of why I wanted to escape in the first place. I have played games where this mechanic is used, and frankly, it was no fun to get the Game Over you used escape to try and avoid.
Your ATB speed is affected by Agility. So you'd have to be a bit smart about it.
 

Wavelength

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Yeah, I'm on board with Redeye's way as well.  Not being able to win a battle is a lot different than dying to a round or two of attacks before your ATB gauge can fill.  If enemies are going to wipe you before you can escape in such a system, you're either in entirely the wrong dungeon, or you've lost the attrition game, which is a legitimate (if annoying) way to lose.
 

Chrispy

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So...What if somehow in your dungeon, you made the enemies under-powered, and that's boring the hell out of me? I am escaping to avoid these annoying, boring, drawn out, random wastes of my time! Adding annoying escape mechanics meant to punish an under-powered party when I am actually over-powered are an even bigger waste of my time.

- On one of the discussed mechanics, are you seriously telling me that I have to fight every random battle I come across, or I start at the entrance or are removed from the dungeon entirely?

- On others, I have to sit there and wait for the enemies to get their shots in if they are faster (but still weaker) before I can escape, wasting my time? (actually the best choice for adding onto the escape mechanic if one absolutely must exist, but still)

- On others, you're going to leave it entirely to chance? So if I am trying to get through an area, you give me RNG (random battles) on top of RNG (escape chances)?

On all of these, what if your battle system is boring, or I have to fight an excessive number of battles which is going to make most battle systems boring anyways? I'm going to be hitting that escape button whether I'm over-powered or not, just to keep the story moving. In which case, my constant escaping is entirely your fault as a developer and you adding annoying escape mechanics as a way to make me keep fighting in your boring battle system is only making things worse. Its a waste of my time, and makes me seriously consider spending my time playing a different game. 

I'm not always going to be escaping because I'm an under-leveled player that found myself in a dungeon with super powerful enemies and I'm trying to cheese my way to the treasure at the end. When you're discussing escape mechanics, you need to take that into consideration.
 
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jonthefox

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@ Chrispy -  I'm not sure why you view it as "wasting your time" or why you just assume the battle system is going to be boring.  it sounds like your criticisms are less about good or bad design choices, and more about your personal distaste for the traditional jrpg combat system.   
 

Kes

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I think there is a serious point here. I've just been playing a game where late game I have to backtrack through an earlier dungeon to complete a side quesf. I escaped every encounter I could so as not to waste time slaughtering the poor things. I was massively overpowered now. You could say that perhaps the dev should have incorporated a switch or something so that the low level enemies either vanished or were replaced by something more my late game level. But in the absence of that, escaping was the sensi le thing to do.
 
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