On RPG Elements

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On RPG Elements

Some games are decent enough without all the extra RPG tropes.

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Some RPG elements in shooters fit. Like in Ratchet and Clank

RPG elements in shooters can cater for individual playing styles within the parameters of the game. If implemented correctly, anyway.
But I still prefer the old Halo method of leaving various guns lying around you and letting you improvise.

I agree, it seems ever since Deus Ex all shooters need to have a super soldier who can't hold a pistol straight without someone to pat them on the back for their creative knifing skills. I like how they did it in Arkham Asylum, reminded me of Spiderman 2 without the need to run around for ages going 'whurr spider store?'.

Good times.

Considering a roleplaying game consists of taking on the role of another character, I'd have to say JRPGS are no less of an RPG than the next.

samaritan.squirrel:
RPG elements in shooters can cater for individual playing styles within the parameters of the game. If implemented correctly, anyway.
But I still prefer the old Halo method of leaving various guns lying around you and letting you improvise.

I'd hardly consider that the "Old Halo Method", since that weapon concept has been around long before Halo.

Interesting article, as always.

I really like certain RPGs (mostly the BioWare titles, and also Morrowind). But I absolutely can't stand needless points and haphazard leveling in other games. It's one of the things that bugged me about Prototype, for instance. Why couldn't they have gone the Assassin's Creed route and just let you unlock certain moves as you progress through the game? Eventually you gain most of the moves anyway. It's not like you really have to pick and choose. It just didn't feel like it belonged in that game. And it's not like you could customize the character in other ways. Alex Mercer was Alex Mercer, whatever moves you happened to take.

i have to agree with his point in shooters where you can upgrade guns, what ever happened to killing someone with a better gun and taking that instead of upgrading your crap gun

I can see one way that RPG elements could work in a shooter. Instead of starting off with shitty weapons, you start off with pretty good weapons. And all of the upgrades you add to it do a variety of different things at the detriment of other things. For instance, you put a silencer on your pistol. This reduces the sound and flashbang of the pistol, but it also reduces the damage and stopping-power that your pistol has. Alternatively, let's say you start putting incendiary rounds in your ak-47. Does more damage and sets your enemies on fire, but the weapon is less accurate. That sort of thing.

As for the internet ban... Actually, I think the US is already trying something similar.

Atheist.:
Considering a roleplaying game consists of taking on the role of another character, I'd have to say JRPGS are no less of an RPG than the next.

I hope I don't double-post. I got Ninja'd, and I just want to respond to this.

In every game you play a role. But Western RPGs--the kind many of us gained familiarity with first--are touted on playing any role you want. You know that whole freedom of choice thing that most games tout now? That's been a hallmark of the Western RPG genre for a lot longer. But in JRPGs (at least the handful I'm familiar with, such as the FF series) provide you with a character and backstory already. You play the role they've created for you, instead of inventing your own character. And that's what bugs me about them. If I want to play an RPG, then I want to have a say in my character. I want to pick his origin, his class, and I want to create my own back story. You can't do that in a lot of JRPGs, which I think is the point Yahtzee is trying to make.

If there's anything to take away from this article besides the massive man boobs Batman is sporting in that picture, it's that Net Neutrality needs to be implemented worldwide before crazy governments like current Australian high foreheads plug Big Brother in. We already have one China and China 2.0 [see Future Australia] would only entice people into the pleasing shackles of Surf, Sand and Censorship. No one, especially the awesome folk from Australia, deserve to be thought policed by the state.

PS: Comcast can shove it. /rage

A country made up mostly from the decendants of criminals, and now their government is attempting to remove anything even remotely immoral(to them) for what? To make up for past crimes?

Embrace your heritage people! My country was founded by religious prudes who repressed sex and thought dancing was the devil. I don't have any excuse to be immoral, but you do.

I understand why the Communist government in China wants to maintain a deathgrip on their section of the Internet, but Australia? Which bandwagon are they jogging 50 feet behind this time? Maybe they want to be ahead of the curve this time and a medium told them China will dictate most issues in 2109...

About those RPG elements, yeah, they are thrown around a little too easy in many games.
They're called *RPG* elements for a reason, game devs!
Weapon mods are hardly an RPG element anyway, as in RPG's you generally acquire tons of weapons and occassionally find an awesome one to wet your pants over and you drop the one you had in favour of it. Not twink around with the 'auto-aim 2.0' on your +20 agility Sword of Eternia...

Yeah, but it's just too furry to hurt anyone!

Oh, and Yahtzee, you're fucked. Australia will soon turn into Teh Evul COuntry of Intenret Nazis.
Run.

The system in Spartan Total Warrior always made me think 'what the fuck'.

No matter how you did in the level you always got the same amount of points to spend, and in the end it made no diffrence.
You may as wel of just 'Leveled up' after so many missions.

Wow. The Australian Goverment is really anti-fun aren't they.

Awesome article (wish it was longer).
this point: "Horrible weapons becoming more effective over time is kind of the exact reverse of a difficulty curve."
really hit me in the face. Has anyone EVER made a game where it gets harder to control the weapons over time? Where you basically level down?

Imagine a game where the n00bs are the ones with perfectly aiming weapons (and speed and huge health), and the grisled veterans get to complain about how damned hard it is getting to kill them. (I kinda dig theDoctor455's note above about tradeoffs - but i think it'd be fascinating to just run with it).

So you really would HAVE to get better. A new sort of challenge. Plus it would always be approachable to new recruits, and those who don't have time to keep up with ritalin kids. hmm.

Makes me think of old firefly game ideas that were tossed around when the MMO was rumored (one idea was to have you start off with a shiny new ship and perfect reputation - but the enjoyment would come from your sense of pride in how you've managed to hold on while your people die, your ship falls apart, and people start treating you like a filthy pirate. - that is an role i'd like to play).

hmm.

That thing with the Australian government really frightens me. The internet, while filled with a lot of crap, Is as I have often said the greatest tool of free speech ever invented. If it is censored or controlled, then we are truly lost. Say I'm dramatic all you want but I can't imagine a worst dystopia. This is only the beginning.

It's interesting how his, arguably, more insightful collumn has far less comments than the video series. Then again some people just love the penis jokes.

As the man himself has pointed out about comments going down across the board...I believe it's the Australian Government banning The Escapist from their internets to be honest.

Horrible weapons becoming more effective over time is kind of the exact reverse of a difficulty curve.

This so much. I generally don't mind RPG elements in games that aren't RPGs if they're executed right. But if there's one thing that annoys me to no end it's endgame overpowering. Whether it's Mass Effect or Fallout 3 or Bioshock or maybe, just maybe STALKER; Whenever you reach the level cap or maxed skill level, be it early on or at the end, the challenge just stops. If you put at least one minute of thought in your skill point investment rather than just clicking auto-assign every time, you probably played your cards well enough to be damn invincible later on. Same goes for upgradable guns. And if there are no skill points or upgrades involved, then at least the trading system will give you carte blanche. There comes a point in every game with an RPG-style trading system where the amount of money you can spend cannot exceed the amount of money you receive. From some point on in Bioshock, I had to throw away money with every five corpses I looted. To fix this, the traders often screw you over by giving you about ten percent of your items' value when the game starts, which is exactly that inverted difficulty curve again. STALKER is a prime example of this.

Excuse the rant, it's something I needed to get off my chest. To give a beacon of shining hope for RPG elements: Deus Ex did it perfectly. Learn from it.

ssgt splatter:
Wow. The Australian Goverment is really anti-fun aren't they.

They probably think that with all the kangaroos and koala bears running around, the Australian public has more than enough fun.

I'm sure that VPN tunnels will pick up out in Australia when they start the crackdown. For those of you who are uniformed VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and the tunnels are basically a neutral computer from some point outside of the local internet servers which allows one to connect to any web site, by connecting from the second computer. The only problem with a VPN is that they are generally watching you, and looking for weaknesses in your computer, or if you order things with a credit card, your information for the card.

As for the RPG elements in a non RPG, I can go as far back as River City Ransom for the NES. I'm not really as sure about shooters, although most of the ones I play nowadays do have at least some RPG elements. I spend most of my time playing Fallout 3, which is a first person RPG with some shooter elements.

About the internet filter: The European Union had a proposal like that too. But instead of just restricting access to some websites they don't want you to see, they want to block off the internet altogether, and have internet providers offer you specific websites in packages at a cost, as if you were paying for cable tv. I don't need to tell you how bad that would be. Fortunately, the motion never passed, although I did hear something internet-filtering related happening in France...

Kenjitsuka:
I understand why the Communist government in China wants to maintain a deathgrip on their section of the Internet, but Australia? Which bandwagon are they jogging 50 feet behind this time? Maybe they want to be ahead of the curve this time and a medium told them China will dictate most issues in 2109...

Our Prime Minister speaks Chinese too. And now he's trying to do this, after promising the opposite in his election campaign. This piece of shit country voted in a goddamn communist.

I think Fallout 3 pulled it off well. If you want the absolute bottom of the barrel for jammed in RPG elements it has to be our favorite game evaar, Gods And Generals. Not content with just being one of the worst shooters ever made, they jammed in superficial Roleplayingemup elements that didn't do anything except let you carry more than one RIFLE AT A TIME. Yes, instead of reloading, you just through your rifle away.

warrenEBB:
Awesome article (wish it was longer).
this point: "Horrible weapons becoming more effective over time is kind of the exact reverse of a difficulty curve."
really hit me in the face. Has anyone EVER made a game where it gets harder to control the weapons over time? Where you basically level down?

I don't know about leveling down, but weapons getting less effective over time sounds like in Fallout 3 or Far Cry 2 where your weapons degraded over time and did less damage/jammed more frequently/etc. Of course, this was rendered useless by the fact that in both games it took you maybe 10 minutes to find a shiny new replacement.

I really hope you DO write about why HD is a fad, and why it's possibly ruining the games industry with cancerous overheads and one-upsmanship.

Parasite eve was the first important game i played, it had lots of RPG elements and it's one of my favorite game to the day. health points, magic points/magic boosts, active time, enemies with the previous, weapon upgrading, etc. RE4 please, your far away from it yahtzee.

NeuroShock: true. Though there were times in Fallout3 where i ran out of ammo, or just got bogged down with crap and it really didn't feel fun. I hope the idea just needs more finesse. (more characters surrounding you, patting you on the back, reinforcing the fact that you aren't MEANT to be a super hero?)

but maybe the idea is just not a good one.
I was just discussing with a friend who plays far more RPGs than me, and he said:

"I think the main purpose of leveling up is to give you tiny rewards for everything you do. The actual customization/upgrade is secondary to the feeling of "I'm doing good things".

Also, leveling up weapons & stats is mostly a way for a player to FEEL like they are better at the game when they ARE NOT actually better at it. (Especially with RPGS, because you can't really "get better" at menu selecting)."

which kind of made me despair. hmm. HMMM. I feel like you should still be able to find rare/cool weapons, you should just have shrapnel in your shoulder that makes it harder to aim. as an example. hmm. Maybe I was thinking more of a proper FPS difficulty curve than proper rpg integration? hmm.

Now I'm afraid that australia may do something stupid. Like, say, kill an archduke.

ThePeiceOfEden:
Some RPG elements in shooters fit. Like in Ratchet and Clank

Insomniac (the company that brought us the achievement system) gets sidelined again. The upgrade system in Ratchet and Clank is awesome! When my hot lava gun kills enough robot chickens and suddenly starts spewing flaming hot meteors (with Poison!) We've got a Painkiller situation on our hands.

(and yes, R&C has a gun which shoots shuriken and lightning)

I like RPGs but since mainstream shooter games've taken some of that then there aren't so many good ones coming out right now :( by mixing games we don't always make happy both genre fans - sometimes not even one side is pleased...

If there was a bear then I'd rather kill it Chuck Norris style XD

Where's money in banning games? Unless there is, my country won't ban them XD

What if they censor/Ban EVERYTHING! violent flash games. porn, sides where people can express there honest opinion.EVERYTHING! The mere thought creeps me out to no end.

For starters, it's selling the game short. In today's age adult gamers have busy professional lives and child gamers are all hopped up on Ritalin and sugary breakfast cereals, so first impressions are important. And the first impression will be a game full of poorly-balanced guns made from glue and sand, with aim waver like there are hummingbirds worrying at your fingers. Horrible weapons becoming more effective over time is kind of the exact reverse of a difficulty curve.

Agreed. Except it doesn't have to be this way. A multiplayer FPS can have "classes", so you start at each spawn with your newly selected bod, who not only happens to have a sniper rifle, but the skills to use it - and a nice frondy costume to boot:

image

You can pick up weapons from dead bods, but a sniper shouldn't expect to do all that well with a pair of sub-machine guns. No John Woo. Yet, if he were to stick with them, the more positive kills he got (that is, enemy kills that are entirely his and not helped by an assist which he then survives for 5 seconds for the "kudos" to register) the more his hidden RPG stats would auto-allocate. Also, if he came to prefer the sub-machine gun over the sniper rifle he would be slightly less acquainted with that weapon were he to go back to it. So, a bod would be best sticking with the weapon from their own class that they had been "trained in" and they would not be instantaneously expert with an unfamiliar weapon or vehicle.

Yes, they would get better with their spawn weapon the longer they used it, but only provided that they used it well. Miss enough times and their skill would nudge back down, eventually slightly below where it was when they came in "green". The original Halo gave your Marines a kind of RPG stat so that the longer you kept them in combat, alive, the better at sniping they got, etc. The game would just have to throw more enemies at you to re-balance this, so in getting more skilled you are asking the game for a more unnerving challenge. Difficulty then needn't be selected at the outset of a game - just give it to them on Normal, drop quietly down to Easy if they die at a particular checkpoint or between completed objectives 10 times in a row, just so they don't quit the game in frustration forever and never buy the sequel; also, ramp the difficulty up to Heroic as they demonstrate their in-game skill, by hardly dying once (leave Legendary for a second playthrough unlock once all levels of the game have been beaten on Heroic - don't do the damned irritating thing of making you reattempt from the beginning of the level/game to adjust the difficulty when you have no idea how hard the developer has pitched it).

For main course, it forces you to invest in weapons that may become obsolete. Resident Evil 4 pulled a very mean dick move - after spending the first chapter blowing sackfuls of zombie farmers' stolen pocket money on upgrades for the shotgun, rifle and pistol, suddenly the merchant remembers he has some better models you can trade in for, which have to be upgraded from scratch. So you either write off the upgrades as a loss or stick stubbornly to the inferior models, and then who's the Luddite?

Surely, this Merchant could redeem the value of these upgrades? It is unfair to criticise a game mechanic based upon a poor implementation.

And for pudding, different weapons are used at different times. Upgrading RPG-style only makes sense if you've got several methods for dealing with the same problem - that's when you choose what sort of character you are. That's role playing. But in a shooter, if you're faced with snipers and have been plugging all your points into shotguns and pistols, then you get to eat shit on toast.

This can be easily solved with some lateral thinking. The problem with a Campaign-based FPS having RPG elements would be as you described, yet I am starting to feel a bit lonely playing these one-man army games and would like to have some NPCs to fight alongside me and maybe order out to flank the enemy, take stupid risks, etc. Now, it occurred to me that games could have you Hot-Swap between each line-of-sight member of your team (as in Battlefield: Modern Combat), which were each specialist classes with their own independently tracked RPG stats and character customisation - one of the best things about Oblivion was the character creator, I don't understand why the FPS genre doesn't support this.

So, playing a Campaign with just 3 NPC allies would be a bit like a mix of Full Spectrum Warrior and Halo 3 Co-op with your mates controlled by AI that knew how to take cover, make sensible pathfinding courses under-fire (not necessarily straight from A to B), suppress targets as you moved and only move when you did the same for them (unless next to a truck about to explode). None of them would be as good as you so in any given situation you would determine which of them you needed to be and Swap into their head to use their skills and equipment at the position they happened to then be in. Some form of target-identification would be required from you to mark a finite set of locations to cover, but this would be as fast as looking at them and giving a heads-up to your team with click of the thumbstick to keep it arcade-y.

By effectively being 4 different classes on one mission, you escape the trap of a single RPG stat-evolved role.

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