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Author Topic: RPG Annoyances/Pet Peeves  (Read 28615 times)
magusgs
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« on: March 18, 2009, 05:08:07 PM »

Everyone has their own taste in games, and each one of us probably has a list of issues that bug us to no end, perhaps more than they really ought to.  Feel free to post yours here, and add more as they come to mind.

My list:

Cliched story elements
Trite theme #1: To save the world you just need to believe in yourself and your friends.
The cookie cutter world: The world revolves around you, your friends, and the "villains."  Everyone else is just a bunch of extras there to populate a city or fill a small forgettable role in the plot.  They're of course stupid and incompetent, which is why you're needed.
Trite hero #1: Helps everyone he meets that's in need, no matter how trivial the request or how urgent his other tasks.
Trite villain #1: Out to conquer the world.  Evil in every way, a complete lunatic, or both.
Trite villain #2: Upon defeat magically realizes the error of his ways, suggesting he never really gave his plan or goals any actual thought until a sword was put through his chest.
The idealistic adventurer:  Battles are no big deal, and are even fun.  I don't mind killing or the possibility that each darkened hole I venture into could be my last.  I'm quite normal, by the way, just your average teenager.  Really, I'm not a psychopath.  Check out this new move I learned!

Gameplay mechanics
"Secrets" that require a game guide to uncover, with random happenstance being your primary alternative.
Side quests for the sake of having side quests--also known as "busy work."
Ridiculously open-ended character customization for characters other than the PC.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 05:16:42 PM by magusgs » Logged

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Dincrest
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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2009, 05:21:29 PM »

I've posted in a lot of RPG annoyances/pet peeves threads, only to discover that some elements I dislike (i.e. random encounters, lack of save points, cheesecake female characters who wear bikinis instead of armor, chained fetch quests, lack of adult protagonists) are ones I could probably overlook if the game as a whole is good. 

However, a few come to mind that no matter what, I just cannot overlook. 

1) if a game requires excessive grinding.  Grinding tries my patience and kills the pacing for me. 

2) Loose or slippery control and/or uncooperative cameras during platforming sequences.  Floaty jump mechanics are the worst. 

and my biggest RPG pet peeve:

3) If there are battle encounters in puzzle rooms.  It frustrates me to no end and completely kills my concentration when I'm walking around trying to work out a puzzle only to be thrust into a battle.  No RPG should EVER have battles in puzzle rooms. 

« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 05:28:50 PM by Dincrest » Logged

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Eusis
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2009, 05:35:57 PM »

3) If there are battle encounters in puzzle rooms.  It frustrates me to no end and completely kills my concentration when I'm walking around trying to work out a puzzle only to be thrust into a battle.  No RPG should EVER have battles in puzzle rooms.

I've actually seen a justified version of this in DQV! To get a bonus item you need to go through a short dungeon where you need to push blocks to seal away monsters. Logically if the whole point of the puzzles are to remove encounters then they kind have to have them, as irritating as that can be. Nevertheless that hasn't been repeated since as far as I can tell, and I'd rather developers avoid it. It's a big problem even without random encounters, as I'd hate to have assholes pounding on me in an action RPG, though at least a game like Chrono Trigger would let me clear out a room before working on the puzzle.

Anyways! Fixed camera perspectives can be a minor one, I've mentioned countless times that one of the things I like most about RPGs is exploring a world, and when they put the cinematic angles over immersion I get annoyed. Similarly I prefer being able to fully explore a town, even if some of it is blocked off initially. This connects to a bigger pet peeve though: forced linearity. Both Tales of the Abyss and Vesperia, at least in the early game, will make your party go 'nope, don't need to be here!' when you go someplace the developers didn't want you to go. I hear Abyss opens up m ore later on though, so I guess this becomes a non issue before too long.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 05:56:26 PM by Eusis » Logged
Dizzy
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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2009, 05:40:49 PM »

Random battles. I will say this again and again. FUUUUUCK random battles. I can get over 'cliche' story elements, 'cause seriously, I stopped giving a shit about that like, years ago. But a battle for every two steps I take? Hell no. Get that bullshit outta here. Exceptions to that though are if battles are fun, or if the encounter / rewards ratio is reasonable. Then I can stand them.

And as Dincrest mentioned, battles during puzzles (in my case, only if they are random, of course).

That's my only real peeve though, but that is because I am a very forgiving person and rarely ever nitpick. :P
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magusgs
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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2009, 05:52:40 PM »

Random encounters (or infinite encounters) in puzzle rooms can get frustrating real quick.

Forced linearity can be a problem from a gameplay perspective, but it may often be a result of a design choice valuing story coherence over player freedom.  Sometimes it doesn't make sense to allow the player to go waltzing around a forest while the castle up ahead is burning.  But that's just one facet of the whole linear vs open-ended game design debate.  Whereever you fall, there's usually a sacrifice to be made; it's just a question of what ends up being most important to you.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 06:18:27 PM by magusgs » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2009, 05:55:04 PM »

Mandatory minigames. Interrupting the story to make the player do asinine shit like playing Blitzball is just dumb.
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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2009, 05:58:25 PM »

Exceptions to that though are if battles are fun, or if the encounter / rewards ratio is reasonable. Then I can stand them.

Battle speed's important too. Random encounters are much less annoying when they can be completed in half a minute rather than five. An indicator helps too, Atlus has actually been pretty great about that by including them in Nocturne, Digital Devil Story, and Etrian Odyssey.
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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2009, 06:09:13 PM »

Missable items or things that would NEVER be figured out without reading the official guide book.

Game systems that are barely explained leaving it up to the player to decide what does what.
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Gen Eric Gui
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« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2009, 06:11:02 PM »

Quote
"Secrets" that require a game guide to uncover, with random happenstance being your primary alternative.
Side quests for the sake of having side quests--also known as "busy work."
Ridiculously open-ended character customization for characters other than the PC.
Quote
1) if a game requires excessive grinding.  Grinding tries my patience and kills the pacing for me.

2) Loose or slippery control and/or uncooperative cameras during platforming sequences.  Floaty jump mechanics are the worst. 

These.  Oh lawd, these.
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Eusis
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« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2009, 06:12:27 PM »

Missable items depend. I think it's most annoying when there's no good reason for them to be missable or are easily missed. FFXII's Zodiac Spear is THE example for this, as it makes no sense to effectively miss out just for following old habits, and there's no warning for it. Missing, say, the Ifrit materia in FFVII requires you to be very absentminded though, and while it sucks to potentially miss out on the Strength bobblehead in Fallout 3 it's kind of to be expected if you blow up the town it's in.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2009, 06:17:36 PM »

Wait, didn't I make a post about this years ago?

ANYHOO

Quote
1) if a game requires excessive grinding.  Grinding tries my patience and kills the pacing for me. 

I think a bigger problem is excessive stop-and-go grinding. Which is most grinding in JRPGS. The only one that comes to mind that isn't is PSI, which is a grindfest up to a certain point (Until you leave Palma?) and then the grinding starts tapering off a lot.

Anyway my biggest videogame pet peeve is excessive bugginess. My biggest RPG peeve is feature creep leading to the game completely falling apart. Daggerfall syndrome, basically.

(The opposite, of course, being ToadyOne syndrome, which happens when you have a lot of feature creep but also an infinite amount of time and resources. The end results of that are usually Dwarf Fortress, though, because nobody else is ToadyOne).

The other component of Daggerfall syndrome, though, is non-linearity... not for the sake of non-linearity but for the sake of letting the player do "whatever they want" or something equally vague and floppy.

Also, huge empty worlds. Again, Daggerfall syndrome -- let's make everything to scale and the like. It happens with traditional overworlds and to-scale overworlds and it's annoying. I mean, just putting more little hidden locations on the overworld... not even sidequests necessarily, but just little side areas to explore, like those tiny caves in Twilight Princess, you know?
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« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2009, 06:18:15 PM »

Logically if the whole point of the puzzles are to remove encounters then they kind have to have them, as irritating as that can be. Nevertheless that hasn't been repeated since as far as I can tell, and I'd rather developers avoid it.

How about this... though this could become even more annoying: Puzzle rooms are locked, which means you can't get out, and monsters can't get in (ie: no random encounters), however, the longer you take, or more steps you take, the more monsters "pile up" outside the room once you complete the puzzle. That way, you have an insentive to hurry up and finish the puzzle quickly, but aren't constantly interupted by encounters in the process.
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« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2009, 06:20:20 PM »

That'd be missing the point with DQV's I think and also rob the relief of going monster-free that you have from solving the puzzle, and I'd kinda get angry at anyone deciding that kind of pressure was necessary.
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Dizzy
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« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2009, 06:21:10 PM »

Exceptions to that though are if battles are fun, or if the encounter / rewards ratio is reasonable. Then I can stand them.

Battle speed's important too. Random encounters are much less annoying when they can be completed in half a minute rather than five. An indicator helps too, Atlus has actually been pretty great about that by including them in Nocturne, Digital Devil Story, and Etrian Odyssey.

Ah yes, speed and indication are factors I usually forget to consider, because I'm too busy raging about the RPGs that had a battle per step. :P I think I can actually forgive them too if they have an indicator. I guess it really isn't the random encounters themselves that bother me, but the problem lies more with how certain developers handle them.

I'm actually a big fan of how Gust started handling them, with that bar. Heh, sometimes I try to empty it before I move on, for the hell of it.
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« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2009, 06:22:08 PM »

Villains whose only goal is to take over the world.

OF COURSE!!!

I also don't like Final Fantasy follow the leader.
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