Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 01, 2014, 04:28:24 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
RPGFan Community Quiz!
Subject: Persona 3: FES
Prize: $20 eShop, PSN or Steam code
Date: 3rd October 2014 Time: 16:00 EST
332865 Posts in 13639 Topics by 2191 Members
Latest Member: Zaltys
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  RPGFan Message Boards
|-+  Media
| |-+  Single-Player RPGs
| | |-+  Are turn-based console RPGs officially dead?
« previous next »
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 Print
Author Topic: Are turn-based console RPGs officially dead?  (Read 5811 times)
Hathen
Posts: 1948


FORUM IDIOT

Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #45 on: December 21, 2013, 03:11:01 PM »

Final Fantasy 5 is one my favorites. Unbalanced as all hell on a per-job basis but if you just kunckleheaded your way through the game with a team of warriors and white mages or something you'd be in for a lot of pain.
Logged
Annubis
Posts: 3581


Something something like a tiger

Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #46 on: December 21, 2013, 03:13:02 PM »

Quote
and honestly enjoy games where the competition is out of time, so we can plan our moves.

How many turn-based RPGs prior to like 2003 actually required planning and strategy?

A valid question.

I can think of the Phantasy Star games (mostly because of combination moves)
Logged
Dincrest
Cleanup Crew
RPGFan Editor
Posts: 11817


Smile... they'll think you're up to something.

Member
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #47 on: December 21, 2013, 03:16:41 PM »

I'd argue that the Persona games for Playstation required planning and strategy.  I remember when Eternal Punishment came out on Playstation, a lot of people were saying that RPGs were too easy and too-samey, I'd recommend EP, and when I'd ask about it they'd say "it's too hard" or "it's too weird" because it required you to think differently beyond the habitual "hack and heal" reflex.  Buffs, debuffs, and defending were actually useful and made a tangible difference in battle. 
Logged

Next bike-a-thon: PD500 Rock 'n Roll ride (to benefit Parkinson's Disease) October 5, 2014
Mickeymac92
Posts: 1789


Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #48 on: December 21, 2013, 03:18:22 PM »

personally, I don't know how many games require planning and strategy, but I can think of a lot of games where doing so would yield some kind of benefit. It usually makes the game more fun, too, so I don't see why I wouldn't use planning and stratgey when possible. :|
« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 03:20:06 PM by Mickeymac92 » Logged

http://myanimelist.net/profile/mickeymac92

“MY NAME IS POKEY THE PENGUIN I LOVE CHESS!! IT IS LIKE BALLET ONLY WITH MORE EXPLOSIONS!”
Kevadu
Posts: 3721


Some guy

Member
*


View Profile Email

Ignore
« Reply #49 on: December 21, 2013, 04:21:42 PM »

How many turn-based RPGs prior to like 2003 actually required planning and strategy?

I would argue that the planning and strategy in most tradition RPGs was never about individual battles but rather the larger picture of managing your resources.  Do you have enough supplies to make it through the dungeon, do you want to waste your MP on a big spell here or save or for later, etc.  Even questions like what to spend your limited money on.  There are certainly many old games that required planning on that level, particularly ones in which what you could carry was limited (if you have 99 ether potions on you then that kind of eliminates a lot of the challenge...).

I think it's modern games with their HP-and-MP automatically recover mechanics and of-course-you'll-have-enough-money-to-buy-everything-not-nailed-down game balance that have ruined a lot of this...
Logged

MeshGearFox
Posts: 8543


HERE ON RUM ISLAND WE DO NOT BELIEVE IN RUM!

Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #50 on: December 21, 2013, 09:18:01 PM »

How many turn-based RPGs prior to like 2003 actually required planning and strategy?

I would argue that the planning and strategy in most tradition RPGs was never about individual battles but rather the larger picture of managing your resources.  Do you have enough supplies to make it through the dungeon, do you want to waste your MP on a big spell here or save or for later, etc.  Even questions like what to spend your limited money on.  There are certainly many old games that required planning on that level, particularly ones in which what you could carry was limited (if you have 99 ether potions on you then that kind of eliminates a lot of the challenge...).

I think it's modern games with their HP-and-MP automatically recover mechanics and of-course-you'll-have-enough-money-to-buy-everything-not-nailed-down game balance that have ruined a lot of this...

Ehhh I can't think of any RPGs where comestibles were both really necessary and expensive enough compared to the money you get so that you'd have to budget.

And even then, it's less a case of the player needing to budget and more a case of the player needing to grind.

It's like in Odin Sphere, where you had the dark levels/levels that did constant damage. You'd need a certain number of counter-potions to get through those and it wasn't a case of planning or carefully budgeting your item usage. There was a hard minimum quantity you'd need to progress, you'd need to grind vegetables till you got them, and the whole thing just served as a really time wastey lock on progression.
Logged

o/` I do not feel joy o/`
o/` I do not dream o/`
o/` I only stare at the door and smoke o/`

Aeolus
This is the Monado's Powerbomb!
Posts: 6374


Little did he know, the fall damage would KO him.

Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #51 on: December 21, 2013, 10:49:19 PM »

How many turn-based RPGs prior to like 2003 actually required planning and strategy?

I would argue that the planning and strategy in most tradition RPGs was never about individual battles but rather the larger picture of managing your resources.  Do you have enough supplies to make it through the dungeon, do you want to waste your MP on a big spell here or save or for later, etc.  Even questions like what to spend your limited money on.  There are certainly many old games that required planning on that level, particularly ones in which what you could carry was limited (if you have 99 ether potions on you then that kind of eliminates a lot of the challenge...).

I think it's modern games with their HP-and-MP automatically recover mechanics and of-course-you'll-have-enough-money-to-buy-everything-not-nailed-down game balance that have ruined a lot of this...

Ehhh I can't think of any RPGs where comestibles were both really necessary and expensive enough compared to the money you get so that you'd have to budget.

And even then, it's less a case of the player needing to budget and more a case of the player needing to grind.

It's like in Odin Sphere, where you had the dark levels/levels that did constant damage. You'd need a certain number of counter-potions to get through those and it wasn't a case of planning or carefully budgeting your item usage. There was a hard minimum quantity you'd need to progress, you'd need to grind vegetables till you got them, and the whole thing just served as a really time wastey lock on progression.

Actually, FFs 2-5 were like this to a certain extent since Phoenix Downs were expensive as heck early on (like 30k instead of 300 apiece) which led to some of the early game challenge since you couldn't just toss revives around like candy. And even when the Life spells started rolling around, having a couple of Phoenix Downs on hand was still useful in case your Staff Bot went down. Also FFs 2-4 had really limited inventory space due to a really small inventory screen and the fact that key items would usually clog up that screen (and in FF2, items didn't stack, making space a true premium in that game). Of course, once you got regular access to the Fat Chocobo, inventory management became almost entirely about busy work of having to either schlep it all the way back to the FC to off load your loot or sell them for some quick but meager cash.

Of course by FF6, all of this was all out the window since you never had to worry about anything resource wise (except for maybe Holy Water of all things since there wasn't anything spell or command wise that could replicate its effects). Your Bag of Holding inventory was truly infinite, aforementioned items were cheap and easy to come by (Tinctures were the only thing resembling expensive when you first see them at 1500 a pop, but they're useless for almost the entirety of the game), and MP wasn't an issue at all due to personal skills not taking any up and Shiva and Osmose showing up shortly after you unlock magic for everybody.
Logged

In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.
Klyde Chroma
Lvl. 7 Fruity Ninja and Dincrest groupie
Posts: 1540


If Hitler was an introvert, he'd be me.

Member
*


View Profile Email

Ignore
« Reply #52 on: December 22, 2013, 04:46:23 PM »

I've always viewed the grinding for levels in RPGs the great equalizer. That is, it allows one to move forward even if they cannot progress with clever strategy alone. I call it an "equalizer" because it enables a less adept gamer to still progress. So yes, most old turn-based RPG's can be played through with a spam of the attack button and few spells without much thought. Additionally you can easily break the difficulty by exploiting items and various mechanics.

The pay-off in not breaking games?... Well, in my mind it has always been the pace. If you can effectively utilize "strategy" to allocate resources and battle effectively you can generally move the story and plot along MUCH faster. So ultimately (for me personally) the whole experience is more enjoyable.

What I am getting at, is this. The turn based RPG's of yesteryear were unique and cool in the sense that you got enjoyment from them proportional to your cognitive efforts. Think your way through a tough game and move through a sweeping narrative swiftly and you feel like you've been engaged in a 20-30 hour chess match and WON! Conversely you can sit back and be lazy, spam a command and spend hours maxing stats and feel as though your moving along at a snails pace doing little more then reading a story book r...e....a...l.....l....y.....s.....l.....o.....w....

Now, of course some games have suffered design flaws or lazy mechanics that cause you to rely on cheap trickery to survive. Plenty of games can be referenced to that end of things... But games like the sega CD versions of Lunar 1 and 2, Breath of Fire, some of the earlier Final Fantasies (to an extent), prove reasonably demanding in terms of focus and decision-making to survive if you don't rely on grinding.

The point here. As I said, the cool part about the RPG's from times now since past is the fact that the experience can be vastly more enjoyable and different depending on your efforts in terms of gameplay. RPG's now require what...? Time sinks to aquire trophies, DLC for the extras, and a FAQ to stand any chance of getting a "real ending".

EDIT: Could you imagine a new home console current gen Suikoden? Imagine how they could milk the DLC for that if they chose... 1.99 a star... .99 cents for castle accessories and whatnot... who knows maybe even 108 .50 cent alternate outfits.... the best ending could end up costing you as much as a console!-LoL
« Last Edit: December 22, 2013, 06:06:30 PM by Klyde Chroma » Logged

Klyde Chroma / XBox Live Network
Triscal-Goddess / PSN
 Remember, DON'T do drugs... an owl will tear your face off.
MeshGearFox
Posts: 8543


HERE ON RUM ISLAND WE DO NOT BELIEVE IN RUM!

Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #53 on: December 22, 2013, 08:41:39 PM »

But games like the sega CD versions of Lunar 1 and 2, Breath of Fire, some of the earlier Final Fantasies (to an extent), prove reasonably demanding in terms of focus and decision-making to survive if you don't rely on grinding.

No, BoF requires grinding. The game is hard-coded so that most of the interesting support magics fail against bosses -- you can't successfully use status attacks on them, ever. You literally have no other options besides getting your stats high enough there.

That's the thing -- a lot of oldschool RPGs pull that, so it's not just a case that you don't NEED strategy to get through them but rather they're actively adverse to strategic play. Creative solutions are punished and strategizing is punished and anything besides brute force approaches don't work.

Or you get puzzles bosses, which are sort of better, but can still get fairly uninteresting. Chrono Trigger had a problem with this -- Magus is hard until you figure out his attack pattern, at which point there's a fairly small sequence of techs you just keep repeating until he goes down. Once you know the pattern there's no challenge there, it's just repetition.

It's sort of like Zelda/Mario bosses, only in those cases you usually only have to ht the boss like three times once you know the pattern and they get faster after each hit to make it a little more interesting. With Magus, you have to hit them like 20 times after you figure out the pattern and the process never changes.

In general RPGs only require you to play them adequately -- there's no incentive to play them /well/ and in a lot of cases there isn't even any way to play them more than adequately, even if you wanted to. This is even more pronounced in turn-based, menu driven games, where there aren't even any demands placed on your execution.
Logged

o/` I do not feel joy o/`
o/` I do not dream o/`
o/` I only stare at the door and smoke o/`

Hathen
Posts: 1948


FORUM IDIOT

Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #54 on: December 22, 2013, 09:22:13 PM »

Have you thought of something that's better than your described "puzzle boss", because honestly that's the best I can see RPGs doing (although you can do those poorly by giving them instant death moves etc, the best puzzles at least give you a chance to figure them out instead of making you reset the game 6 times). I can apply that to pretty much every game ever. "Contra's not hard if I memorize all the bullet patterns" etc. Granted action games have that added pressure of input like you mentioned, but for a purely turn-based game that's probably not going to be there.

I guess turn based does get you to weigh your options a lot more if you introduce things like a good AI...or a human opponent- just look at Pokemon's metagame.
Logged
Kevadu
Posts: 3721


Some guy

Member
*


View Profile Email

Ignore
« Reply #55 on: December 22, 2013, 10:18:45 PM »

Have you thought of something that's better than your described "puzzle boss", because honestly that's the best I can see RPGs doing (although you can do those poorly by giving them instant death moves etc, the best puzzles at least give you a chance to figure them out instead of making you reset the game 6 times).

Yes, it's called being a strategy game.

The main difference I see between real strategy games and RPG "puzzle boss" type encounters is that a real strategy game requires you to think more than one move ahead.  You don't need to only consider the immediate situation but also how you're going to be setting yourself up in the future.  "Puzzle bosses" don't really demand that.  You just need to know that when the boss does X you need to do Y and that's it.

So how do you do that in an RPG?  For one thing you could have meaningful buffs/debuffs/status ailments.  You could also experiment with variable cool down times for different moves so for example a big attack might leave you vulnerable for a length of time so you actually have to think about when to use it.  And for the love of god make healing actually take some effort.  Make it take time instead of being able to restore the entire party from 1 HP to full health with a single spell.  A corollary to this is that bosses shouldn't have attacks that take the entire party from full health to one 1HP in one unavoidable hit unless you just want the game to become an exercise in frustration.  And in general resources should be limited so you have to be careful about when to use them.  The biggest problem I see with most RPGs is when there are little to no consequences for just spamming your best attack all of the time.  If there are no consequences for that then there's no reason to do anything else and of course there's no strategy.  The end result is just a contest of numbers.

But moving away from RPGs for a second, if you're claiming that turn-based games in general can't do better than "puzzle boss" type challenges then as a fan of turn-based strategy games in addition to RPGs I think you're friggin crazy.  The real question that we should be asking is why are so many RPGs lacking the elements needed to offer strategic challenges.  Why do they need to resort to petty "puzzle boss" type tricks in the first place?
Logged

MeshGearFox
Posts: 8543


HERE ON RUM ISLAND WE DO NOT BELIEVE IN RUM!

Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #56 on: December 22, 2013, 10:56:00 PM »

I can apply that to pretty much every game ever. "Contra's not hard if I memorize all the bullet patterns" etc. Granted action games have that added pressure of input like you mentioned, but for a purely turn-based game that's probably not going to be there.metagame.

The problem with that statement is that Contra is still hard even once you know the bullet patterns.

The main difference I see between real strategy games and RPG "puzzle boss" type encounters is that a real strategy game requires you to think more than one move ahead.

Applying this back to action games, just since I'm on a shmup kick lately, I think there's also an element of having to keep multiple /things/ in mind at the same time -- although this might just be another way of saying "thinking more than one move ahead."

Mars Matrix is really cool about this. You have some enemies that fire off fixed patterns of bullets, and some that fire aimed attacks -- I think most are aimed -- so this leads to bullet patterns interacting in a less predictable way based on where YOU are when the attacks go off.

Second, enemies drop cubes when they die, and you can pick them up for points and experience, which results in weapon upgrades. And if you want to maximize your bonuses you need to pick up additional cubes before the chain meter runs down, forcing you to take risks if you want to maximize gains.

Finally, you have two main attacks at your disposal, as well as a shield/smart bomb. The shield has a recharge time based on how long you used it previously, and it sets off a smart bomb if you deplete it fully, so you have to balance all this stuff out.

What it results in is a game where you have to pay a lot of attention to what you're doing and plan ahead if you want to control what the enemy bullets are doing.

Going back to the strict idea of thinking more than one move ahead, though, well design fighting games are /heavily/ based around this. I saw an article about Virtua Fighter 4 that was talking about this, and I wish I could find it, but basically it was talking about how many levels of attacks you need to think ahead to be able to effectively counter your opponent and trick them into giving you an opening.

If you throw a high punch, they can get a low kick in -- both you and your opponent know this. So obviously you want to use the high punch as a feint and cancel into something that'll interrupt their low kick -- but you could either block or do some downward attack on them, and that you'll do one of them is obvious, but not necessarily which, so they're going to try to do something to deal with BOTH of those, and it just keeps going on and more branches keep piling up, and it's not sufficient to think of just one move ahead because you're easier to predict that way, but it's impossible to think of ALL the outcomes, and some of it gets kind of circular, and so on.

In RPGs it really is pretty much sufficient just to think at most one move ahead. Even in Atlus' games, you can play a very reactionary game without much forethought.

I think the problem is that there's just not a lot of stuff to /set up/ before hand -- you don't really have the tools to come up with a farther reaching strategy because you don't have a lot of variables to deal with.
Logged

o/` I do not feel joy o/`
o/` I do not dream o/`
o/` I only stare at the door and smoke o/`

blackthirteen
Posts: 296

Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #57 on: December 23, 2013, 04:29:22 AM »

For me turn-based battles will always have a special place in my heart because my first RPGs were Final Fantasy 4, Final Fantasy 6 and Chrono Trigger. But turn-based battles started to turn me off when loading memory became an issue on the 32-bit generation and above. For example I absolutely liked FF7, FF8 and FF9 but the replay value of the battle system was very low for me due to loading time (especially FF9). I hope Square-Enix will improve this issue for future ports of their games. Mm, now that I'm mentioning it, FF7 and FF8 were recently released on Steam, can someone tell me if they fixed loading time for battles? Are those versions recommended?

« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 04:33:28 AM by blackthirteen » Logged
Aeolus
This is the Monado's Powerbomb!
Posts: 6374


Little did he know, the fall damage would KO him.

Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #58 on: December 23, 2013, 05:05:26 AM »

No. They still have their 40 seconds of dramatic camera panning battle intros. At least FFVII wasn't really too bad about it (not as bad as VIII and IX were).


Have you thought of something that's better than your described "puzzle boss", because honestly that's the best I can see RPGs doing (although you can do those poorly by giving them instant death moves etc, the best puzzles at least give you a chance to figure them out instead of making you reset the game 6 times).

Yes, it's called being a strategy game.

The main difference I see between real strategy games and RPG "puzzle boss" type encounters is that a real strategy game requires you to think more than one move ahead.  You don't need to only consider the immediate situation but also how you're going to be setting yourself up in the future.  "Puzzle bosses" don't really demand that.  You just need to know that when the boss does X you need to do Y and that's it.

So how do you do that in an RPG?  For one thing you could have meaningful buffs/debuffs/status ailments.  You could also experiment with variable cool down times for different moves so for example a big attack might leave you vulnerable for a length of time so you actually have to think about when to use it.  And for the love of god make healing actually take some effort.  Make it take time instead of being able to restore the entire party from 1 HP to full health with a single spell.  A corollary to this is that bosses shouldn't have attacks that take the entire party from full health to one 1HP in one unavoidable hit unless you just want the game to become an exercise in frustration.  And in general resources should be limited so you have to be careful about when to use them.  The biggest problem I see with most RPGs is when there are little to no consequences for just spamming your best attack all of the time.  If there are no consequences for that then there's no reason to do anything else and of course there's no strategy.  The end result is just a contest of numbers.

But moving away from RPGs for a second, if you're claiming that turn-based games in general can't do better than "puzzle boss" type challenges then as a fan of turn-based strategy games in addition to RPGs I think you're friggin crazy.  The real question that we should be asking is why are so many RPGs lacking the elements needed to offer strategic challenges.  Why do they need to resort to petty "puzzle boss" type tricks in the first place?

I agree with the notion of doing something to fix status effect spells. Namely, by getting rid of those "high-tier" status effects like Death, Break, Stop, and Frog/Pig/Mini, making stuff like Poison, Sleep, Blind, Berserk, and Silence more effective, putting short time limits on how long status effects last for before wearing off naturally, and reducing the methods of healing them.

-For Poison, make it do more damage but wear off naturally after a couple of turns so you can't just stick it and forget it and let the DoT melt through the HP of brick shithouses and HP marshmallows.
-For Sleep, let it last for like one or two turns at most and serve as an interrupt rather than just Sleep then nuke with Magic (I mean, I'm pretty sure getting hit with a Fireball to the face will wake anybody up just as effectively as a Sword to the face would).
-Blind should drop accuracy by a shit ton, maybe make skills or equipment allow you to mitigate the loss of accuracy from Blind but don't block it so it can always remain an option.
-Berserk should change an enemy's skill set or your own when afflicted by it but not limit you to only attacking and maybe merge its effects with Confuse so the afflicted's attacks can either go toward their opponents and/or their allies (maybe even force them to burn up strong attacks with friendly fire off or something; there's a lot you can do with Berserk to make it far more meaningful than what Final Fantasy ever did with it).
-And Silence should shut down spells as usual and maybe turn on friendly fire from Blind allies.

Meanwhile you don't need to completely throw away stuff like Death and Petrify since you could make those more story based. A certain boss fight might end with a sudden Petrification spell that would knock out a character or two at the end of the fight, and now suddenly this event has suddenly necessitated a sidequest to fetch the means of undoing such an effect, and maybe if you fight that particular fight well enough you can avoid the need for that sidequest. And perhaps make Death both harder to deal with, but also make it harder to be afflicted by it (although I'm not exactly married to this idea). Either way, just by fixing status effects, RPGs in general could really benefit from it.
Logged

In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.
Kevadu
Posts: 3721


Some guy

Member
*


View Profile Email

Ignore
« Reply #59 on: December 23, 2013, 12:03:39 PM »

Aeolus, I don't feel that any of the changes you suggested are really addressing the core problem, namely the lack of depth and complexity.  Maybe the changes you suggest make more logical sense, but I don't see them fundamentally changing the way the game is played.

Let me give an example of the sort of thing I was thinking of.  Status effects don't necessarily have to be big things.  Let's imagine introducing a 'stunned' status.  Certain big attacks could have a chance of leaving an enemy stunned for a short period of time and as a result they could be more vulnerable to a follow-up attack.  But this is still being done with an attack so you don't feel like it's a complete waste even if the status doesn't take.  Anyway, a stunned enemy should take more damage from another attack and probably lose the chance to dodge it.  This introduces the opportunity to make types of attacks that are particularly effective against stunned enemies, for instance another character could have an attack that does a lot of damage but has a low hit chance normally.  It might not be a good attack to use against an able-bodied enemy but if you get the chance to use it against somebody who has already been stunned then suddenly it seems like a great thing to do.

Now let's add another wrinkle.  I said it should take a 'big attack' to cause stun.  Well, let's make that actually mean something in the game.  A big attack should leave the attacker vulnerable for a short period of time.  Not as bad as being stunned, but let's say there's a short 'guard down' period because they just make a giant swing with their big hammer or whatever and can't readily defend themselves.  You might want to have yet another character cover them during this period to reduce the chance of being counterattacked.  So instead of just whacking the enemies with each character's best attack every turn you have to coordinate the actions of three different characters to maximize their abilities.  But the end result should be (if it's balanced right, anyway) more effective than each character acting individually.  Now introduce a stamina mechanic or something similar to limit how often these special abilities can be used and you really have to start thinking about when to use them.

And let's talk about magic for a second.  Anyone in the process of casting a spell should have a similar 'guard down' status at the very least.  Furthermore let's take a page for D&D rules and say that there should be a possibility of interrupting spell casting if the caster takes sufficient damage during the casting period.  There's another area where a cover type ability would be genuinely useful, to make sure your casters can actually cast.

None of this really demands dramatic changes in the mechanics of play, but having these abilities that interact with and complement each other dramatically increases the complexity of play.  That's what the goal ought to be.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 12:05:27 PM by Kevadu » Logged

Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!