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Author Topic: Stupid RPG conventions/cliches you can't get past.  (Read 22061 times)
MeshGearFox
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« on: July 07, 2008, 08:16:59 PM »

Thing that annoys me most about RPGs would be tiny cities. From a gameplay standpoint, REALLY tiny cities bug me because there's not a whole lot to do there.

Biggest issue, though, is from an immersion standpoint. I have a pretty decent suspension of disbelief thing, I guess, but when a game asks me to be cool with the entire world only have 9 cities and a population of about 200,  I can't help but quirk my eyebrows (and glance askes at the cities I'm given, seeing if there's anywhere ELSE people could be hiding).

This is why I like how in Star Ocean 2, you get to see huge expanses of city you can never actually go to. Gameplay area stays the same, sure, but it does make seems thing a little more... cohesive, I guess.

Also thought that FFVII and IX did a fairly good job with it, in some regards. At least with the big cities. Showing that the cities are bigger than what you're actively exploring, I mean.

I can eve put up with Morrowind's small cities, as they're really not that small, and I'm not sure you'd expect a place like Vvardenfell to have a decent population anyway (and why I think Oblivion's cities and even Daggerfall's cities are FAR less believable is an entirely different topic).

Big offenders, to me, though?

Ultima 6. I find this game awesome in every other regard (except for that one broken quest in Skara Brae and the way nobody in Trinsic is interesting at all. Also bugs.) but the cities are really, really tiny. I guess this could apply to 4 and 5 too, although those games aren't really requring the same sort of... I don't know. In 4 and 5, you have a world map. Ultima 6 is done without a world map. It's a bit jarring, I guess. I let it slide FOR THE MOST part because the characters and stories in the cities are really fleshed out and make them seem complete in other regards, although city design IS really damn odd (especially compared to 7).

Another big one, though, would be the tales series. As a whole, I guess, although specifically Eternia and Symphonia since I played those the most, and more specifically Symphonia since I played that more recently. Some of these places aren't too bad, but things like Meltokio? That's supposed to be the largest city in the world, and it's really not that bigger than the starting town. It just has bigger buildings. Gah. I also remember the university cities in both Eternia and Symphonia seeming really pathetic.

So, what prompted this? The Chrono games. Especially Cross, which is actually pretty good about scale. Except Termina seems way, way too small. And Zeal from CT, but more from the gameplay side of Zeal being so awesome that you're so limitted in your time there that it's almost criminal. These two games aren't big offenders. They just sort of irk me.

Oddly enough, DQ7 and 8 have tiny cities, but they don't bug me. I'm not really sure why. I think it's the same principle behind why Ultima 6, despite being a huge offender about this, doesn't bug me -- the cities feel complete because they're fleshed out story-wise. Maybe this is why CT's cities sort of bug me. You never really get any impression of Porre-an culture, or what's going on there, or anything. I just never got the impression that, other than in a few instances, you were really DOING much in the cities, or that anything was going on there. Like you're just passing through for the most part. Does that make sense? I kind of hope I'm wrong about this and just misremembering or something.

Anyway, I guess it's not so much about being realistically large, but giving the player the impression that cities are complete and that there's more to the world than what they're necessarily being shown.

* Also, potentially Phantasy Star 2, in the sense that all of the dungeons are supposed to be laboratories and office buildings and things. I can maybe pretend they're all automated (Well, they are, yeah) and that they're so stupid looking because nanomachines built them but who knows.

** FFL2 had tiny cities that couldn't really support populations at all, although I enver got the impression that FFL2's cities (Except for like, Apollo-ville and Shogun-land) were supposed to represent cities so much as they were supposed to be little... outposts.
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Eusis
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2008, 08:33:26 PM »

I have the opposite problem actually, sorta. I want to be able to fully explore a place and when I'm restricted to some really tiny part of a largeass city it bugs the hell out of me. I think it's that ultimately I just want a moderately sized, well designed playground I can fully run around in rather than one that's expansive... but I only have access to a slide, a few swings, and a jungle gym, the rest is just untouchable scenery. With that said it's generally more of a problem to me when it seems like it'd be a really neat place to explore but I only get the essentials and am shoved along to my quest, PSO's the single biggest offender of this.
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daschrier
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2008, 08:56:20 PM »

I hate huge towns, as they're mostly filled with NPCs that just spout jibberish and waste my time when I need to find something useful.
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Akira
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2008, 09:18:32 PM »

You know what always bugged me? The fact that there were always random treasure chests around and the fact that you could just waltz into people's homes and rifle through their things.

In real life, such a wanton attitude toward other people's property would put you in the business end of 12 gauge. I always thought you should at least knock first, or maybe fight the people inside the house, or something cool like that. Star Ocean 3 is weird like that; there are treasure chests full of berries everywhere.
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Losfer
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2008, 09:27:42 PM »

Status abnormalities.

Seriously, you have about twenty of them in every game and you need something different to heal them all.  BUT at the same time, they sell Remedies as well and they are only a little more expensive.

PLUS, these abnormalities are often just kind of annoying.  Poison will cause ten damage over five hours, sleep sticks around until someone hits you.  They're not really a hindrance to your party, they just annoy the player.  :P

Either get rid of them, or make them actually...  An OH SHIT moment.  Like when you get poisoned in Dungeons & Dragons.  You know it's going to be fucking ugly.  :P
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Eusis
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2008, 09:29:59 PM »

Quote from: "Losfer"
Either get rid of them, or make them actually...  An OH SHIT moment.  Like when you get poisoned in Dungeons & Dragons.  You know it's going to be fucking ugly.  :P

Or make it practical for YOU to use them against the enemy! Which does seem to be getting slowly remedied actually since the FFIV remake reportedly screws you over if you don't fully exploit, even going so far as allowing you to
Code:
cast Slow on Zeromus to make him beatable.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2008, 09:43:04 PM »

Quote
PSO's the single biggest offender of this.


Oh, christ yes. I want to explore that city ship. I want to explore the dungeons. They look pretty and interesting but they're... just... more or less linear paths to the boss.

Quote
I hate huge towns, as they're mostly filled with NPCs that just spout jibberish and waste my time when I need to find something useful.


Okay, big towns without any meaningful content is annoying, yes.

Status attacks are pretty brutal in like, EO and the SMT games.
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Ryos
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2008, 09:53:39 PM »

Quote from: "Akira"
You know what always bugged me? The fact that there were always random treasure chests around and the fact that you could just waltz into people's homes and rifle through their things.

In real life, such a wanton attitude toward other people's property would put you in the business end of 12 gauge. I always thought you should at least knock first, or maybe fight the people inside the house, or something cool like that.


Astonishia Story had an, erm, odd way to deal with that.

Code:
While you can loot crap stored in people's houses, without warning said invariably worthless loot might prevent you from getting more worthwhile quest rewards by having a little patience.  For example, in the second town you can loot a piece of bread from some sick girl.  After saving her, if you looted that bread first, her "reward" for the quest is excusing you for stealing her bread.   Harsh. :P


While I'd like larger towns, on the other hand they tend to be full of stupid generic conversations that mean little to nothing.  Hearing the same crappy thing from the 100th person in Morrowind got old, for example.
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dalucifer0
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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2008, 10:13:18 PM »

I hate it when shit costs too much and you recieve so little from enemies. Dragon Quest VIII and Final Fantasy XII are major offenders to it. Most of my gametime with both was/is just plain grinding to buy shit. Granted, I like the battle systems of both, and they're the only thing keeping me grinding.
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Hidoshi
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« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2008, 10:55:44 PM »

Money probs in FFXII? Really? o_O

Anyhow...

I'm largely fine with clichés. Even stupid status effects and whatnot. Endbosses that don't make sense. What does bother me more and more however, is the lack of routines for NPCs. I'm one of those people who believes that when you make a gameworld with large cities and NPCs, you have to make me believe I am actually in a crowd, talking to people who have daily lives outside of my interactions with them.

Some games like Zelda: OOT and Shen Mue handled this quite well (though... pop up in Shen Mue was annoying), others like Lost Odyssey need a kick in the ass. I love LO, don't get me wrong, but the lack of NPC scheduling seemed weird given the high level of detail otherwise exacted.

Static NPC's are so 1998.
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dalucifer0
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« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2008, 11:02:15 PM »

Yeah, shit is expensive in FF XII. I don't know if it's because I didn't do the Hunts, but I probably spent 5-10 hours leveling up my guys before the final bosses just to buy the best equipment and buy the essential magicks (Hastega, Protectga, Curaja, etc.)
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Eusis
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« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2008, 11:04:03 PM »

Can't speak on FFXII (though you probably just gave the reason you had a lot of trouble), but for DQVIII it was actually refreshing to just go to a town, get a few pieces of equipment that I really needed, then ignore the rest and keep on playing. You can probably go without that +5 from what you had before unless you're really stuck.
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dalucifer0
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« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2008, 11:09:25 PM »

Yeah, I flew through quite a huge part of the game in a few hours, and it's coming to bite me in the ass. Now I need to really upgrade to more expensive armor, and possible upgrade weapons, though staying alive is always more important than trying to kill off the enemy quicker. But, damn, when shit costs 10K+ gold and you only get 100-200 gold a fight (100-300 around Empycchu) then that's a problem.

Tales of the Abyss has the same problem, but I destroyed that game[not literally], so it didn't matter as much.
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ChevalierEagle
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« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2008, 11:09:38 PM »

Some complaints:

-When a game forces you either to buy certain items or other stuff in order to progress. Of course, i'm not talking about common sense upgrading, i mean stuff that costs too much, might not be even usefull at all, but the designers felt it was a cool thing to make it a default thing in the game in order to continue.

-Excessive random battles, common in many old school rpg's, and heck, i can endure many of those, but some games truly went over themselves with that. I remember a part in Xenogears were you get attacked by some frog warriors in a cave, and you get like a dozen of those encounters, the funny thing is you could pass that section both by foot or in your gear if you wanted. And if you were in your gear, the damn frogs will still continue to attack. So you have to endure battle after battle and turn after turn of frogs hitting you for "1" of dmg. It was funny at first, then it became tedious as hell.

-An item or weapon that you start with and that you might need while you progress in order to get a better weapon, or pass some section. If you're going to do that either make the damn thing a key item that can't be sold, or make some NPC tell you that you might want to keep it with you.
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Der Jermeister
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« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2008, 11:18:16 PM »

Unpredictable/inconsistent turn order in most old-school turn-based RPGs, which is annoying especially if your characters are low on HP, and they kill a character before your healing executes, and your healing goes to waste. It's annoying when turn order varies, as well, since theoretically, characters and enemies take their turns from fastest to slowest, so without speed modifiers, their turn order should remain the same, right? Nope, sometimes, enemies go first, sometimes, your characters go first. The only RPG I really saw semi-resolved this problem was the original Breath of Fire, where healing magic got the first priority each round.
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