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Author Topic: Small things that make RPGs more enjoyable  (Read 2196 times)
Sagacious-T
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« on: April 16, 2010, 01:03:52 AM »

Time for a positive topic!

What are some extra things that make RPGs more enjoyable for you? I would have to say:

- Leveling up all characters equally. Power grinding other characters up is just a time sink. It also sucks when your party splits in an RPG and half the guys are under-leveled.

- Interactive turn based systems. I love traditional turn based games, but god damn do they drag. Little quirks can turn a slow game into a playable one.

- Enemies on screen when not in combat. Dear lord do random encounters get frustrating after a 80 hour game. I used to be passionate about random encounters for game pacing, but after gaming for years it has taken it's toll on me.

- Full Voice Acting. Final Fantasy XIII, Mass Effect, etc. I love old school CRPGs so I don't mind reading, but for more cinematic experiences the voice acting is lovely.

- Multiple "Main Protagonists". I suppose Final Fantasy 6 could be considered one of the pioneers of this kind of character set up. Character development just feels so much more effective when they're spread out to make everyone's story have more dimensions.
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Starmongoose
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2010, 07:19:13 AM »

[quote author=Thoren link=topic=7396.msg131205#msg131205 date=1271394232

- Interactive turn based systems. I love traditional turn based games, but god damn do they drag. Little quirks can turn a slow game into a playable one.

[/quote]

This.

Also,

- Some form of side game. I know a lot of people are torn about that, but I enjoy a good side game in my RPGs if I want to take a break from the main story and still be doing something productive, like getting rare items. FF8's card game and FF9's Chocobo hot and cold are good examples.

- Characters who aren't complete hyper-active,saccharine, happy go lucky freaks. If it was me and my friends against an almighty evil that is hell bent in destroying the world and will do anything to accomplish that, I would despair sometimes. Maybe come into a realisation of what is important in life. I hate the whole "We can do it! And after words we are going for ice cream! yaaaaaaaay!" attitude. Of course, if not done well, those "deeper" characters can just end up as annoying pricks who are counter-productive to advancing the plot.
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Sagacious-T
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2010, 09:15:49 AM »

The side game thing is so true. Card battles in FF8 were amazing. The Golden Saucer was also so much fun. Blitzball was cool too.
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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2010, 09:26:38 AM »

I loved how Suikoden did levelling up.  If you took a level 10 guy out with a bunch of level 49 guys, the 10 would hit level 50 around the same time as the 49ers. It's very inconvenient when some characters' levels stay the same and you have to power grind them.  I loathe grinding.  Grinding's only fun if it involves a girl with a big ass at a nightclub.  

I'll also +1 multiple protagonists and "let's split up, gang" moments because it makes the worldbuilding seem more vast and epic.  That and perhaps personality traits can be brought out of some characters if others are not around.  

In a game where players are allowed to save anywhere, some sort of indicator signalling that a boss is nearby is very helpful.  It doesn't have to be a visible marker like a save point, it could be something like Persona 2 where the screen flashes because Tatsuya's or Maya's "spidey sense" is tingling at the presence of a boss.  

This was introduced to me in Blossomsoft's Eternal Eden game and it's slowly becoming a standard.  Enemies that do not respawn after you kill them.  It makes exploring dungeons (especially when doing them again for sidequests) so much smoother.  That is probably the biggest reason why I rated Eternal Eden so highly, because that feature made playing the game a complete pleasure.  

Upon defeating a boss, I love it when RPGs do not make me have to hoof it back to the beginning of the dungeon.  

Private Actions in Star Ocean and the dinnertime dialogues in Grandia were nice.  Fleshed out the characters and made them seem more like real people and not just hero archetypes.  The dinner table dialogue in Grandia II about favorite foods was my favorite moment in that game.  The S-links in P3 and P4 did that well also.  

+1 on Golden Saucer.  My favorite RPG arcade.  Mini-games can be fun and break the monotony if properly implemented.  
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2010, 09:34:48 AM »

People talk about mini-games like the genre is filled with great examples. I wish it were.  I can appreciate a good mini-game but I'd rather have nothing than have crap, specially when you're forced to play it to make progress like that fucking blitzball game.
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Gen Eric Gui
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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2010, 09:40:36 AM »

Quote
People talk about mini-games like the genre is filled with great examples. I wish it were.  I can appreciate a good mini-game but I'd rather have nothing than have crap, specially when you're forced to play it to make progress like that fucking blitzball game.

This.  Although, I liked Blitzball, so.

-No voice acting at ALL.  Jesus, having to wait for characters to speak their lines takes FOREVER, especially in a 80+ hour game.  Just shut them the hell up and let me get on with it, thanks.

-Visible enemies that can actually be avoided.  The concept of dodgeable enemies is brilliant and needs to be implemented in every RPG ever, but they need to actually be dodgeable or what's the point?  Chrono Trigger I am looking at you.

And I'll agree that Suikoden's level up mechanic was amazing.  It let you actually get use out of every character, which is impressive for a game with 108.  When my allies don't auto-level or aren't easy to level, I tend to just use the same party all the time and I end up missing out on a good half of the cast.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2010, 11:56:08 AM »

These two might count as big things. I will break them down further.

- Battles that require strategy.
-- Creative and varied item use.
-- Weapons that don't get better on a strictly linear scale.
-- Elemental strenghts/weaknesses that matter.
-- Buffs/debuffs/STATUS AFFECT ATTACKS THAT ACTUALLY WORK.
-- In general I think regular battles should matter more. They should be faster, and enemies should be harder hitting. You should run the risk of, if not losing the game, having your shit seriously fucked up if you're not careful.

- World interactivity.
-- Towns that have sidequests or minigames or SOMETHING to draw you back to them. Just since I've been playing Strange Journey lately, I like how older dungeon sections often have new content open up later in the game. In terms of more traditional RPGs. The PSX FF games had minigames in towns. The 3D Zeldas did as well. Chrono Cross had incentives to visit the the islands in both dimensions. Etc.
-- Chests/barrels/etc with stuff in them. The Dragon Quest games do this.
-- Something like Pokemon's berry growing.
-- Something where the world state changes over time. Immigrant towns, something like whatever TotA did (only do it in a less obtuse and weird manner), in line with the first point stuff that opens up later on.
-- Item creation, as long as it's not stupid.
-- Puzzles in dungeons, as long as they're not stupid.

Other Little things:

- Battle animations need to be shorter.
- Attack miss rate shouldn't be too high (Wizardry 8 sucks because attacks miss too much. It's lame in other older RPGs, but fuck Wizardry 8 was the worst. Also sort of a problem in Morrowind but Morrowins is realtime so not neeeeearly as much so).
- Just because you can perform some action in an RPG doesn't mean you need a skill associated with it.

Quote
-Visible enemies that can actually be avoided.  The concept of dodgeable enemies is brilliant and needs to be implemented in every RPG ever, but they need to actually be dodgeable or what's the point?  Chrono Trigger I am looking at you.

Half of CT's non random battles weren't visible and just like WAH MONSTER JUMPS OUT OF NOWHERE. Shit is so un-cash dawg.
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2010, 11:58:02 AM »

- Interactive turn based systems. I love traditional turn based games, but god damn do they drag. Little quirks can turn a slow game into a playable one.
This for sure. It's why I love Grandia's battles systems so much. Stuff like cancelling and countering added a little strategy to a basic turn-based combat system, plus gauging ig your characters will make it in time to cancel or counter the enemy was neat too.

- Multiple "Main Protagonists". I suppose Final Fantasy 6 could be considered one of the pioneers of this kind of character set up. Character development just feels so much more effective when they're spread out to make everyone's story have more dimensions.
I never thought about that, but that could explain why I loved FF6 so much. The world of balance stuff was fun, because it showed various parts of the world your multiple parties would be in. As well as finding your characters again in almost hopeless situations in world of ruin was exciting too, while essentially traversing the same world, but rearranged.

- Also, +1 again on the Suikoden level up system.

- Dates in Thousand Arms; Private Actions in Star Ocean; Skits in Tales of games; Dinner scenes in Grandia; Cosmospheres in Ar Tonelico; Social Links in Persona 3+4; and other stuff like that, where your characters can interact, have humorous discussions and all that nice stuff.
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KGB13
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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2010, 12:59:17 PM »

Time for a positive topic!

What are some extra things that make RPGs more enjoyable for you? I would have to say:

- Leveling up all characters equally. Power grinding other characters up is just a time sink. It also sucks when your party splits in an RPG and half the guys are under-leveled.

- Interactive turn based systems. I love traditional turn based games, but god damn do they drag. Little quirks can turn a slow game into a playable one.

- Enemies on screen when not in combat. Dear lord do random encounters get frustrating after a 80 hour game. I used to be passionate about random encounters for game pacing, but after gaming for years it has taken it's toll on me.

- Full Voice Acting. Final Fantasy XIII, Mass Effect, etc. I love old school CRPGs so I don't mind reading, but for more cinematic experiences the voice acting is lovely.

- Multiple "Main Protagonists". I suppose Final Fantasy 6 could be considered one of the pioneers of this kind of character set up. Character development just feels so much more effective when they're spread out to make everyone's story have more dimensions.

These would pretty much be my answers.
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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2010, 02:44:28 PM »

I love it when skills/spells/items are explained in game (most importantly battle) as opposed to having to memorize them from the status window or the manual.
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Lazlowe1984
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2010, 03:45:44 PM »

Decent story and Loot.That is all I need for an RPG I can play.
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Raziel
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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2010, 03:47:51 PM »

Interesting world. It doesn't have to be non-linear, it doesn't have to be full of things to do and see, but goddamn, let it be fascinating in some way or another.


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« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2010, 03:50:06 PM »

I like it when the main protagonist has a personality.
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Cyril
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« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2010, 03:51:18 PM »

Something really insignificant, but I really like being able to customize the color of the Menu/Chat/Battle windows.  Not just selecting from a bunch of pre-colored interfaces.

I like it when enemies actually collapse and die (think FFX) before disappearing rather than simply disappearing when their HP reaches 0.

I like occasional platforming elements.  Xenogears does this well, Kingdom Hearts 1 even better.

Since we're mentioning Suikoden, if there's a "Headquarters" or "base" in the game, for the love of God give us some way to Fast Travel there.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2010, 11:48:01 PM »

Quote
I like occasional platforming elements.  Xenogears does this well,

No it doesn't.
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