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7081  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Megami Tensei Topic on: September 23, 2009, 01:26:05 AM
SMT:N's story is a lot more apparent if you actually talk to the NPCs (which a lot of people don't acknowledge as NPCs because they're either monsters or floating spheres). I remember that from my gamefaqs days.

Sigh. Highschool. Memories~~

I need to cure that. ALCOHOL TIME.
7082  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Square Enix on: September 23, 2009, 01:24:38 AM
OMF 2097 invented the fighter RPG and did it better than all subsequent ones >:C
7083  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Square Enix on: September 22, 2009, 10:47:30 PM
Guy makes some good points, actually, although the gaming industry is probably more resilient than he's making it out to be and if it DOES fall apart someone else will swoop in and start doing stuff. The indie game movement is large. And in charge. Brotha.

I really do like the mindset of "games are toys and there's nothing wrong with that." Because, well, they are in a sense, you know? And what IS wrong with that? What IS wrong with having fun? (Then again maybe I'm just trying to justify the stack of plush toys I have sitting in my dorm. Next to the thirty goddamn plants).

(Wait did I say that out loud? fuck).

(Also seriously part of the reason I like unlimited saga so much is because it's very toy like, down to physically emulating a game board. part of the reason I like metal saga so much is similar. the little tanks you collect literally look like toys. I like games that let me play with them instead of just playing them*).

* I like this kind of game too, though.
7084  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Game Journal XX - Sharpened Pencil Midnight Bathouse on: September 22, 2009, 10:42:50 PM
Oh well, next up is Falrod which also tends to be irritating and then it's nothing but smooth sailing till Dharma (which also sucks but for different reasons).

Yyyyyyyyyeah at least the payoff for that's the class system.

I should get back to DQ7*. I'd JUST gotten melvin.

anyway I seriously haven't played videogames in like a week or two. Nothing but reading up on XNA, doing Russian homework, and, uh... watching Fresh Prince and Phineas & Ferb on disney. This is my life now. :(
7085  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Square Enix on: September 22, 2009, 05:58:51 PM
Babies are not more interesting than video games. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.

Then why is the Sims su OH HOLY SHIT HUGE BUG ON MY WINDOW WHAT THE FUCK ch a big seller? Or tomagotchis? Or uh... http://www.baber.com/baber/gifs/software/babyz_scnsht3.jpg ?

Anyway, Square's problem with doing original stuff is that, as I said, I don't think they're really a design-oriented company so they tend to screw it up. And I've said it before that I don't think Square has any idea what proper balance is, whether they're trying to be original or not. And the simple fact remains that you can't patch console games.

The mana games, for instance.

Legend of Mana doesn't have any sort of balance at all, most of the produce doesn't work as described (and worst still -- don't actually work at all), and pet raising is arguably broken as a result of it. Then there's the fact that tempering not actually explained anywhere.

SD3 has some broken stats (luck is one, apparently) and some skills that aren't really useful at all, and then there's the big problem of certain character combinations are just *really f'ing boring*. Like, any party without any magic user. And Duran's just... slow.

And with SoM, there's the problem with magic being sort of not worth it to level up unless you grind because you don't really have the MP to ever use spells consistently or the item slots to store enough Fairy Walnuts to restore MP much. And two of your characters are primarily magic oriented (with Popoi never being much good at attacks), and you also have that issue like with Cyan where waiting for the attack charge bar to fully charge is *really boring* and most of the special attacks aren't worth it anyway, especially considering how wonky the hit detection is. Also a lot of the spells just aren't that useful.

Chrono games!

Chrono Cross fares somewhat interestingly in terms of balance because every spell is arguably useful and there's nothing that won't work by default. i THINK this is the only Square game where buffs and debuffs have a near 100% chance of working.  Except you run into problems with all of the non-boss fights being fairly meaningless (like... most... well, not Square RPGs but like most RPGs in general. Why is there even combat with regular enemies if it's not significant, ever?) and the, uh, think with having 45 characters that aren't really that different from eachother...

Chrono Trigger has sort of similar issues with non-boss encounters mostly just being there to run up the clock on an already really short game. Sure, the boss fights are interesting -- especially if the game is in Active mode instead of Wait mode -- but... Also, a lot of the combo attacks have questionable MP costs in comparison to the amount of damage they do (and some really do seem like they just do the same amount of damage as doing the two attacks separately would've done). I do appreciate the idea of everyone having magic capabilities though. (The balance issues are more apparent taking a fan patch I played into consideration, which is actually really well balanced and interesting).

I think with the FF games, Square's biggest problem is that they add features without thinking how they really affect each other/the game as a whole.

Also, there's no concept of strengths and weaknesses. Everything is progressively stronger -- it just takes an extra degree of effort to get the stronger stuff.

Hey, that bug on my window finally went away.


Nevermind it's back.


It's actually gone now. Here's a list of things I consider essential to balance. The first 11 or 12 are the most important ones.

1.Every action that the player may take must, at some point, be useful.

2.Every action that the player may take must be useful in multiple contexts, within reason.

3.No action that the player may take can be equally useful in every context.

4.Contexts must be varied enough that the situation described in 3 does not occur by default.

5.Contexts may be varied with the express intent of preventing a single, dominant pattern.

6.There should be no situation where a single, limited “correct” set of actions is necessary.

7.A situation as describe as above may not be used to justify an action as useful.

8.The merit of a given action or set of actions (i.e. a strategy) must not be based wholly on predicting non-user events.

9.Enough feedback must be provided to sufficiently judge the merit of a given action in order to prevent a situation as described in 7.

10.The outcomes of both user and non-user actions must be consistent and somewhat predictable within a given context.

11.Within a given context, the most appropriate or “best” action should vary based on dynamic parameters that change either as the result of user actions, non-user action, or the result of some sub-context.

12.All actions must have appropriate advantages and disadvantages.

13.All actions must be varied enough to prevent a simplistic (i.e. rock-paper-scissors) approach or a situation where all actions are essentially identical.

14.All advantages and disadvantages associated with actions must be sufficiently varied to prevent a situation such as described in 13.

15.The advantages and disadvantages associated with an action should appropriately offset each other.

16.Any cost associated with the action must be of an appropriate value to either: A) Prevent an otherwise heavily advantaged action from becoming dominant. B) NOT prevent an otherwise valid action from becoming invalid because of high costs.

17.If new actions are presented over time (or are otherwise differed from being usable immediately) these actions must not be presented in a strictly linear manner of constantly increasing merit. In other words, new actions must follow the same standards for balance as old actions.

18.Similarly, while some degree of action obsolescence is probably inevitable, it should be avoided at all costs.

19.Similarly, no early action should overshadow a later action. In other words, old action must also follow the same standards of balance as later actions.
7086  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Do you hate your life? on: September 22, 2009, 01:06:36 PM
I don't know why but this seems relevant here.

As day length shortens (technically, it's the increasing dark period) it stimulates blooming in Coleus, so fall plants are much more determined to bloom than they were in summer. There is no practical way for the hobbyist to prevent the plant from maturing sexually, but pinching the blooms will go a long way toward keeping the plant growing with the vigor of the intermediate (teenager) stage.

Imagine if humans worked like that.
7087  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Square Enix on: September 22, 2009, 12:56:54 PM
Hey what happens when the current gaming generation grows up and becomes more interested in salaries and babies than their vidyagames, and simultaneously the gaming systems get too expensive for the younger generation? We gonna see another videogame crash?

(Or are people going to do the smart thing and decide against every growing up, because that leads to being fat, depressed, and uninteresting?)
7088  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Square Enix on: September 21, 2009, 08:11:53 PM
I'm not convinced rising development costs are necessary and not the result of just poor planning/resource management, you know? It's like, there's nothing FORCING companies to rein it in, so why would they?

It's like what Square's doing with remaking whatever they're deeming a cash cow, or that whole "We'll ship a game for 50 bucks but you'll need to spend 20 more on DLC to get all the features." Or Sega's endless spiral into being really, really awful. Gamers, by and large, are either willing to put up with a lot of shit or just, I don't know, too stupid NOT to. The gaming press, for the most part, isn't really helpful either.

There's nothing external demanding exceptionalism from the game industry, and there's nothing internally demanding it either.
7089  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Square Enix on: September 21, 2009, 05:16:31 PM
CT is also short as hell and very easy. Don't get me wrong. I think a lot of RPGs are way too long*, but 40 dollars for an essentially rather linear 20 hour game that doesn't really offer a lot of new ideas** by today's standards is a bit much.

Also I really wouldn't call Square-Enix a design-first company in the same way that, like, Paradox or pre-ionstorm-clusterfuck-id used to be**.

* Sort of. It's actually sort of a bell curve. Anything in the 40-70 hour range tends to be too long. Anything in the 20-35 or 75-100 hour range tends to be an appropriate length. There's various reasons why I think this. I will not be explaining them. FRAMT.

** I don't really think good design principles are bound by genre. Additionally I could've said pre-EA Maxis, except SC4 was post-EA and I love that, and also, thinking about pre-EA Maxis is depressing. EA raped my childhood more than furries ever could :(
7090  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Aldorlea's Battle of the Millennium on: September 21, 2009, 05:02:04 PM
Marine enters a crazy journey that could change the world of Myst forever.

Oh shit she unleashes Sirrus and Achenar.
7091  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Direct 2 Drive 5 year anniversary sale: RPG/MMO week on: September 21, 2009, 04:59:30 PM
Wasn't GTA:VC pretty heavy on RPG elements or was that just SA onwards?
7092  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Square Enix on: September 21, 2009, 10:54:11 AM
Wada has stated multiple times in public forums that he's willing to gouge the consumer for every cent they'll cough up, and that he believes his companies' place is in remaking games and forcing people to pay for them over and over again.

If gamers are completely willing to keep buying them, can you really blame him?
7093  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Do you hate your life? on: September 21, 2009, 01:59:12 AM
So, nobody at the hospital told me these steroids, which I needed to stay alive, would utterly destroy any sense of sexual stimulation in anyway at all.

Funny you should mention that. I've got about a million ways to respond to this except I don't think I really will because that would run way to close to puncturing the boundary between me and my internet alter-ego.
7094  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Looking for action RPGs on: September 21, 2009, 12:29:33 AM
Nocturne's sewers weren't that horrible? Well, as far as sewer dungeons go.

If you think I mean the sewers in SMT:N (which uh, are tiny, and just another city) I mean Norturne's sewers in XG. I have no idea why I hate them. I just do.
7095  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Looking for action RPGs on: September 20, 2009, 05:30:17 PM
Wait, babel's camera wasn't rotable?

That IS a problem.

(Honestly Babel has nothing on Noturne Sewers as far as like, me hating it though. Or the last couple of dungeons that were just random mazes of octagons and colors).
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