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Author Topic: What makes one "good" at RPGs?  (Read 5198 times)
Rindu
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« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2006, 01:25:33 PM »

Just to be clear, Cauton, I'm just playing devil's advocate and don't agree with the argument I'm advancing.  It's my belief that debating about things can increase our knowledge and understanding, and since no one is arguing for skill in RPGs, I'm doing it.  

That said, allow me to try to rebut your case here.  It's going to be difficult, because not only do I agree with you, but you made the exact argument I would have made, mentioning the goals of playing.  But at any rate:

We can't simply compare the player who beats the final boss without completing any sidequests and someone who does complete those sidequests.  You have to compare players who completed roughly the same amount of the game.  Let's take FF7 as an example.  Say you have two players, each of whom collect every materia, even Knights of the Round, and who level every materia up to master level, and complete every sidequest in the game.  Now, one of them beats Sephiroth in 50 hours and the other in 70 hours.  The one who beats Sephiroth in 50 hours is the better player.  

Now, for the theory that beating the final boss at the lowest level possible is an indicator of skill.  This is not really any different from the "time" theory of skill.  Think about it.  Fighting battles to level up takes time.  If I try to beat the final boss in as little time as possible, then I will fight fewer battles.  I might even intentionally flee from every battle, just in order to get through the game faster.  (In fact, playing a No Sphere Grid game of FFX necessitates that one flees from every battle possible.)  Now, if I do this, then I will of course be at a very low level.  So, beating a game as fast as possible is tantamount to beating the boss at the lowest level possible.  The two ideas coincide.  So, if you agree with the "level" theory, you essentially agree with the "time" theory, because they are the same theory stated in two different ways.
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Cauton
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« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2006, 01:44:45 PM »

I understand what you're doing, as I do the same thing myself frome time to time. :)

I still don't think that the reasoning you put forth is holds true. It all depends on what you spend your game time on. Low completion time doesn't always have to mean lower level than a person with higer completion time, because someone with high time might've just been running around in cities talking to all available npcs - something that doesn't give you xp, in most cases - while the player with lower time perhaps only talked the NPCs required by the story before moving on.

But see, herein lies the problem of the whole question - to be able to measure skill it has to be done under a strict ruleset. All players must play the game in the exact same manner; complete the same quests, fight the same number of battles and so on. Only then can you look at the completion time, or perhaps number of deaths, and see who has better "skill". As this never happens you can't just use only completion time as a criteria for skill.

That said, I don't think beating the game at a low level is a very good indicator of skill, either.
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Shooichi
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« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2006, 03:14:40 PM »

One also has to consider why someone might complete a task in 50 hours. Did he simply not die very often? If so, he might be skilled. But what if 20 hours were saved because he used a walkthrough? Wouldn't that indicate that he had a crutch?
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Eusis
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« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2006, 03:32:29 PM »

I'd say only the extremes of low playtime count for being good - beating a game in 40 hours that everyone else managed in 50 isn't anything to write home about. Beating said game in 15 or 20 hours is though. Like noted though, there's NPC dialogue and the like - level's still the best indicator, because someone who's vastly underleveled may choose to talk to NPCs/go away from the game so often that the time could even exceed that of someone who fought more battles and beat the game in the same amount of time, but at higher levels.

Faq use also depends - More often then not, yeah, it's a crutch. But some things have no hints whatsoever, so if you manage to get past said point without a faq it may just show that you're really lucky and/or clever. There's also whether you used it to get past a puzzle or a battle. Though to master a game, you likely need to play it and replay it anyway.
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alchahest
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« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2006, 03:59:19 PM »

hey, all of your moms suck at RPGs. except Dios'.
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GrimReality
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« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2006, 01:33:35 PM »

If time is the indicator of how good you are at rpgs, then I must be the WORST rpg player ever. My game times are always higher than most everyone elses, and this is without doing ANYthing extra. I just dilly dally a lot.
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Marona
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« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2006, 06:01:27 PM »

Quote from: "GrimReality"
If time is the indicator of how good you are at rpgs, then I must be the WORST rpg player ever. My game times are always higher than most everyone elses, and this is without doing ANYthing extra. I just dilly dally a lot.


I *just* finished Dragon Quest VIII and clocking in at a grand total of 130 hours, and I havnt even started the optional dungeon. Im very persnickety when it comes to checking every nook and cranny and making sure I talk to all of the townsfolk and such. A lot of times I will also leave the game running while im chatting on the phone, cooking a meal or working online - sometimes I just like to sit back and take in a certain song. All in all I dont know if that makes me bad at the games I play or excel at them, as im sure there are people that would tell me both. But I do know I just like to have fun with what I have.
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Merkava
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« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2006, 08:15:55 PM »

Damn, the most time I've spent on an RPG is 79 hours, and that was Dragon Quest VIII. :P
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Takabo
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« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2006, 08:04:41 AM »

I think being good at RPGs has more to do with being able to quickly and easily adapt to the gameplay systems in each one.  Especially now that they're throwing in more and more convoluted ideas to set each game apart, it's indicative of a person's skill and experience with RPGs as to how quickly they're able to come to terms with it.  I know in discussions about Valkyrie Profile or Xenosaga or Shadow Hearts there's always a few people who mention that they just can't get the gameplay.  That's not to say they're bad at RPGs, just that they have a harder time adapting to less conventional mechanics than others.

I would say there's a difference between being good at a genre and being good at an individual game.  A person could easily jump into any FPS and have no difficulty finishing them, but still lose consistently to someone in, say, Half Life.  That's not to say the other person is better at FPS games, they've just focused on the one.  Similarly, I've gone through the Suikoden games so many times that I can blaze through them with all the extras, but I'm terrible at, say, Golden Sun.

Of course, MMOs excluded the RPG genre is so individual and non-confrontational that measuring skill against others is usually unwieldy and unnecessary.  As long as you're enjoying it I'd say you're doing fine.
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Esper_Crusader
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« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2006, 08:21:36 AM »

I can flatten most bosses in FFVI almost immediatley..i'm so good at that game!

*cough*Vanish/X-zone*cough*

Seriously though, the only thing i think would make anyone "good" at an RPG is understanding it, i.e.  the materia system or the junction system from the FF games.

But when I think about it, the first time I played through FFVII I had no idea how to properly pair my materia so....whatever.
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« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2006, 01:13:33 PM »

Quote from: "Merkava"
Damn, the most time I've spent on an RPG is 79 hours, and that was Dragon Quest VIII. :P


79 hours that's it?! On my copy of FFT the clock reset to 90 hours like....4 times...meaning I spent at least 140 hours on that game.
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« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2006, 07:10:23 PM »

This question seems like the complete opposite of what RPGs are supposed to be about. I always interpreted a (good) RPG as a game that centered around storytelling and complex characters, not stats, completion times or the such. There are games that have elements that people can be bad at, like SO3 and item creation, but it only applies to a select amount of games.
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« Reply #27 on: March 22, 2006, 07:43:39 PM »

I think "patience" make someone good at RPG. Most of the time someone who takes a lot of time to build up his levels will meet no difficulty, the same thing concerning the side quests.

For my part, I'm starting to meet difficulties with RPGs due to my busy schedule, which mean that I don't have as much time as I had when I was 16 years to crazily leveling up all my characters or doing time consuming side quests.

Back then when I was around 16-20 years old I put a lot of times into RPGs. In FFIV and FFVI all my characters were to level 99, and I had every existing item in the game. Also I was always challenging myself such never equipping characters, or only Terra and Celes (FF6) could use magic, etc. Or with FF6 I was crazy enough to never save my game except at the very first save point and I tried to be level99 at the very beginning of the game (since we kept experience when dying).

But now I donít have anymore time to do that kind of stuff.

With next gen consoles Iím not very patient either due to loading time, and random encounter annoy me more than during the SNES era.
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Hidoshi
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« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2006, 11:15:20 PM »

Nevermind me. Eusis explained it well enough. :P
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