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351637 Posts in 14323 Topics by 2253 Members
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5536  Media / Single-Player RPGs / RPG battle engines topic: companion character AI on: October 13, 2007, 08:01:00 PM
If you look at a lot of recent (and even not so recent) console RPGs featuring hero parties, there seems to be a trend towards battle systems where you manually control your avatar and the AI controls the rest of your party members.  This has obviously been done in RPGs with real-time battle engines like the Tales of... and Star Ocean series but has also been done in some turn-based RPGs like Persona 3.  

Am I alone in not really liking this trend?  

I've heaped mountains of praise unto Persona 3 (best RPG for 2007 in my book), but the one thing I didn't like about the game was that AI controlled the rest of my party during battles.  The characters often never did what I wanted them to do.  Even when I would set AI commands, the characters STILL wouldn't do what I wanted them to do.  I was always burning my SP to set up All-Out attacks when if I had complete control of my party's actions in battle, I could have them set things up.  If I had complete control, I could've won battles at a smoother and quicker rate.  I can understand needing AI in real-time battles when you can't stop the action to think, but in a turn-based battle engine such as Persona 3's?    

I like Soul Nomad, but whenever my squad encounters another squad, the battles just play out.  I wished I could tell my squad members which enemies to target because they almost never did what I wanted them to do.  Bahamut Lagoon did this right.  

Maybe it's because I cut my teeth on more traditional turn-based RPGs that I prefer battle engines where I have complete control over each party member's actions.  

I ask once again, am I alone in not really liking this trend?  How about everyone else?  Do you think the whole you control "you" and the AI controls everyone else is a good thing?  Praise is often heaped on battle engines like Star Ocean's or FF12's that follow the "AI controls your party members" paradigm, but it's not really for me.  Maybe I just prefer control over action?  I'll take good ol' fashioned turn-based battling over some of this newfangled hoosefudge any day.  But that's just me.
5537  Media / Single-Player RPGs / How FFXII Could've Been Better on: October 13, 2007, 07:38:41 PM
Quote from: "Prime Mover"

As for the license board, I don't think it was any more tedious than the sphere grid, and probably a little less contrived. I think if the license board had been much smaller, with multipul skills and attribute changes on every card, so that you really worked hard toward every card, that would have been great. But like the sphere grid, ever 5 minutes you found yourself there again, flipping over a few more cards.

That's a complaint I've had about some recent FF games.  It seems like each new installment tries to trump the previous one with an even more nonsensical, twiddly, wacky, needlessly complicated, cluttery, gimmicky, etc. character growth module.  FF8's interface comes to mind as one that was really cluttery, and drawing spells was a chore (why couldn't you draw 15-25 spells at a time?)  

Don't get me wrong, I can dig an interface with some complexity (I'm a Shin Megami Tensei fan after all and I like Soul Nomad, an NIS SRPG) so long as they make sense within the context of the game's world, there's a rhyme and reason for them, they don't feel tacked on or gimmicky, and aren't just there as "innovation" simply for the sake of "innovation."  

Granted, Gameshark could solve all these issues (i.e. give yourself max spheres, max license points, etc.) once I get tired of doing it the way the game wants me to, but if I have to use a Gameshark to enjoy the latter half of a game because the interface is a pain in the ass that tries my patience, perhaps there's something wrong with the interface.  

The all-but-forgotten throwback FF9 did it right.  The character growth system was straightforward, intuitive, made sense, and added no gimmicks that the game didn't need.
5538  The Rest / General Discussions / wRPGs = Film / jRPGs = Theatre on: October 13, 2007, 04:17:02 PM
Even in terms of writing, would one say that RPGs are written more as film screenplays or as stage dramas?
5539  The Rest / General Discussions / CHOOSE YOUR DESTINY on: October 13, 2007, 09:19:54 AM
Dave: fair enough.  However, you did ask for thoughts on the quiz and I gave a gut level, honest response.  I think the quiz itself is pretty narrow, but then again I'm a jerk taking a psychometrics course.  

That second one you linked to was much better.  

Both quizzes pretty much lined me up with Bill Richardson, and I do like his views on education among most other things from looking at his site.  

I'm still waiting to see what develops with the Libertarian and Green parties as well.
5540  The Rest / General Discussions / CHOOSE YOUR DESTINY on: October 12, 2007, 11:57:43 PM
Hmmm... nothing on education in that questionnaire.  That's the issue of most importance and relevance to me.
5541  Media / Single-Player RPGs / How FFXII Could've Been Better on: October 12, 2007, 06:34:49 PM
License board sucked donkey dick.  There was no need for such a twiddly character growth system.  It felt completely tacked on, made no sense within the context of the game's world, and felt like it was there just for the sake of having a complicated character growth system in the next big FF game.  A simpler, more streamlined, traditional weapon, armor, and accessory system would have been just fine in the game and it would have been fun.  

And some of the open expanses of land could have been smaller.  The story and characters were good... but there was much tedium and monotony to get to the good story bits.  

I found combat unengaging.  Maybe it's me, but I'm generally not a fan of RPGs where AI controls my party members.  Granted, the Gambits allow me to customize the AI more extensively than in other RPGs, but I'd take the more turn-based systems of prior FF games any day... and I'm not a fan of the ATB system.  I think FFX did it right with its battle system.  

Other than that, the game was pretty solid, but those things made me not want to play the game any more.  I even liked the music.  The music is pretty boring outside of the game, but whilst playing the game, it sets the scene without being in the way.

EDIT: LOVED Rabanastre.  One of the awesomest RPG towns ever.  Almost as cool as Esthar.
5542  The Rest / General Discussions / Game Journal #9999 on: October 12, 2007, 06:19:37 PM
I'm 11 or so hours into Soul Nomad.  After 10 hours of smooth sailing, I got my ass handed to me by a ridiculously superpowered enemy.  'Twas the first 'real' world-eater fight against Thuris.  Thuris' English voice actor was excellent, though, so I'll forgive him for being cheap.
5543  The Rest / General Discussions / J.K. Rowling is a fucking bitch on: October 12, 2007, 06:13:01 PM
Ahh, but that Manchester cathedral is "public domain."  Hogwarts is an intellectual property.  There's no copyright on places that actually exist on Earth, but Hogwarts exists in an author's imagination.  

I knew someone would bring up the Resistance article about that cathedral, but it's a completely different case. An imaginary place like Hogwarts =/= a cathedral in Manchester.

This is a case where permission should have been asked before creating an unauthorized replication of an intellectual property.  And it was rather dumb of the people involved to replicate such a popular IP such as Hogwarts since that's just begging for legal action.  

Rowling may be a "bitch" or a "jerk" but the Indian party who supported this replication are phenomenally stupid unless they knew full well that trouble would ensue and quietly paid off whomever needed to be paid off.  

Either way, no one's truly "innocent" here.
5544  The Rest / General Discussions / J.K. Rowling is a fucking bitch on: October 12, 2007, 11:45:05 AM
Quote from: "Leyviur"
But you are approaching this with the bias against India. I'd assume that even if it happened in, say, America, or Canada, it would garner the same effect.

My issue lies more with the fact that this is almost extortion level practice. On the other hand, I have a personal distaste for Rowling, as she's pretty much made herself out to be better than Charles Dickens and generally acting like a stuck up whore, so... yeah.

Heh, and you just admitted that you have a bias against Rowling, which can most definitely influence your opinion.  :P

I don't think I'm stating a bias against India.  You are right that if it happened anywhere in the world (US, Canada, Europe, wherever) I would still side for the writer/artist/musician/party fighting to protect their intellectual properties.  

I have pride for my heritage, but there's a lot going on in that country that I don't like.  I just think that a lot of people will look at this article with that Robin Hood mentality and go "aww, poor India" but I think differently.  My dad's working on an engineering project in Kolkata so he sees firsthand the broken "system" in India.  If you want to talk about greed, extortion, corruption, etc., then India is teeming with far worse offenders than some British author with a popular book series.  

In terms of money, that $50,000 is pocket change for various corporate heads, politicians, bureaucrats, and the upper crust of India.  India is a pretty wealthy country; it's just that 95% of the wealth belongs to the 5% upper crust of the population.  Plus, $50,000 is mere pocket change for Rowling given her wealth, so it's not like she stands to gain much financially.  

Either way, I still stand by my opinion and support Rowling fighting to protect her intellectual property.  If I were in her shoes, I'd probably do the same thing.  We can agree to disagree and I can drop out of the thread.
5545  The Rest / General Discussions / The video game difficulty discussion on: October 12, 2007, 11:17:25 AM
In a game like Tetris, I want to start at level one and have the challenge gradually ramp up.  The challenge is part of the fun of puzzle games.  

But in a game like an RPG, I prefer them skewed more to the easy side since I'm more about experiencing the story than getting my ass kicked.  

Of course, there are some challenges I prefer over others.  In visual novels, I like challenging choices in the story.  Phantom of Inferno comes to mind here.  But in an action games, I'm not a fan of difficult boss battles because I don't have the kind of dexterity required to excel at them.  

But if I had to forego the classic "it depends" response and choose one or the other with a gun to my head, I'd generally take an easier game so that way I can beat it, feel a sense of accomplishment, and gladly play it to completion again.
5546  The Rest / General Discussions / J.K. Rowling is a fucking bitch on: October 12, 2007, 11:02:49 AM
Again, this is India.  India is a hotbed for greed, corruption, piracy, etc; moreso than Rowling.  Even if this festival is "non-profit" somebody (read some Indian politician or bureaucrat) *will* be making money off of it.  

Even Religion and the promise of "Eastern Mysticism" is such a commodity over in India that anyone will try and make a buck on it. But that's a whole 'nother topic.  

Even if nobody's hands are clean in this case, I still support Rowling's defending her intellectual property.
5547  The Rest / General Discussions / Game Journal #9999 on: October 12, 2007, 09:37:15 AM
I'm about 10 hours into Soul Nomad.  Not the most revolutionary game, but holy hell it's fun.  I'm normally not an SRPG fan, and I love it.  The only thing I wish was that it operated like Bahamut Lagoon in that once two squads collide, you get to issue commands akin to a turn-based RPG rather than just watch battles play out.  This way I can always target who I want to.  

Gig still rules.
5548  The Rest / General Discussions / J.K. Rowling is a fucking bitch on: October 12, 2007, 08:55:52 AM
This is India.  Corruption, piracy, everything is the exception rather than the rule and Indians will never feel guilty about it.  I'm Indian and everything, but I support Rowling in wanting to protect her intellectual property.  If I were in her shoes, I'd do the same thing since Hogwarts is someone's IP and not public domain.  If you look at the amount of money Rowling's seeking, it's pocket change compared to her net worth.  This is a matter of principle more than money.  

And this is something of an embarassment.  I mean, Hinduism is full of some of the most amazing storytelling and mythology in the world and they're doing a "religious festival" around Harry Potter?  I like Harry Potter myself, but the storytelling is paper thin compared to something like Ramayana or Mahabharata.  Must be this modernization thing.  

I'm starting to sound like Lisa Silverman's dad in Persona 2: Innocent Sin.  He was disappointed that the school dance was like your regular old school dance and not a celebration of traditional Japanese dance like nichibu.  Then Yukino says that sometimes foreigners appreciate Japan's traditions more than the natives.
5549  Media / The Soundroom / Song of the Moment Part 7,894,673,589.3 on: October 11, 2007, 05:57:02 PM
Song of the moment is "Cashout" by Fugazi.  I've been on a bit of a Fugazi kick lately and this song off "The Argument" is really interesting.  I think that entire album is somewhat underrated.  I love Joe Lally's bassline in "The Kill."  It's not a complicated bassline, but it's so well crafted.  It just gives the song that extra mojo.  

It never ceases to amaze me not only how much the band has evolved musically but how much talent each of the musicians in that band possesses.  Not just musically, but in other areas too.
5550  The Rest / General Discussions / Game Journal #9999 on: October 11, 2007, 10:58:06 AM
I got caught in the hot spring.  All that happens is that the girls yell at the guys, Mitsuru verbally punishes them, Aigis says "you are unscrupulous," and the guys get the silent treatment for the rest of the trip.  Upon return to the dorm, the guys are really embarrassed by the whole thing and want to forget about the trip.  Junpei's often pretty sheepish, but tough guy Akihiko was easily the most embarrassed of them all.  Akihiko's reaction upon finding out that Ryoji hit on Mitsuru was priceless.

In other words, it seems you got the more amusing sketch.

As for me, still in the early goings of Soul Nomad.  About 5-6 hours in and not much has really happened yet aside from getting exposition from Endorph and Juno.
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