On RPG Elements

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I dont entirely agree, although I can see the logic. I felt that Darkest of Days did well enough, I mean the upgrade system always felt like it was more in the background and (besides the fact that I never used a pistol) they didnt just shoot up firepower or anything so I felt it just spiced things up a bit and didnt create much of a problem.

Yay it finally came out... waited all weekend for this.

that's just how cool I am

Yeah the internet ban thing scares me considering the level of pigheaded-ness in America. For a country that screams freedom sure has a lot of un-free laws like no cursing in certain states (it's enforced and you can can get sued heavly for it), you have to pay sales tax in NY even if the item you bought was purchased in ANOTHER STATE all together, etc etc. It scares me because frankly who's business is it that I view what I want and who's to stop them from banning games/buying games this way too?

It's not anyone's choice but mine, and should never be (as in what I personally purchase) questioned unless it's hazardous to someone elses health. Even then why is it okay to monitor these searches? Sometimes things are searched for the hell of it as in jokes or can be taken out of context, like if you were searching how to make a bomb IN A GAME.

Dough Stanhope on child pornography, starts at about the 3 minute mark; not that the preceding isn't hilarious.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8APlx9btTn8

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.

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.

Yeah, that concept has been around since Contra at least.

Yeah, I know there's a bear behind me. His name's Charlie.

Jenx:

Axeli:
Mary Sue

You keep using this word and I don't think it means what you think it means.

And I've been saying this for years now - jRPGs are NOT RPGs. They are too complex adventure games. That's IT. And ya know what? That's not bad! Hell one of my favorite western RPGs - Planescape: Torment is really just a complicated adventure game and not an RPG either. Ironic how that works, huh?

There isn't strict definition for it. Hell, go to TVTropes and check how many sub-tropes it has.

But basically, these games usually make you (or at least try to) insert yourself into the story. Only you do not play the character as "me" but rather as the "fantasy, perfect me", the world of the game more or less revolving around your character... Not only that but the backstory the character tends to make him/her a very special individual, and the rest of the cast really exists only to support the main character, who is always the one making the decisions and getting the story driving, badass action.

Hits pretty close to the usual definitions.

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

That has barely any RPG elements nowadays, due to the fact that it doesn't need them.

I noticed that no one mentioned recent racing games with RPG mechanics. Games like Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport have been doing this for years too. Think about it: You gain "XP" (money) and use it to level up your "stats" (buy car parts or new cars) and thus confront greater challenges (race in harder races). Like most good games with *well-executed* RPG elements, this system is quite fun. It encourages players to continue to play the game, get more powerful cars, compete in more advanced races and earn even more money. And then the cycle continues.

When RPG elements are well done in a game, they encourage a vicious cycle of playing to get more powerful. It is also very addictive, a trait most good RPGs traffic in heavily.

Cortheya:
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.

Umm... We are here (on this site that is), so are we already lost? I don't think so.

Frankly what makes me going over a good game is the customizations. If this means i have to earn money or experience or off-bitten toenails to purchase a nightvision ACOG thingy for my new baby; m4a1 with extended barrel and suppressor then no problem ^^.

Wolfenstein made the mistake of having to few upgrades and what i mean by this is that when i was finished upgrading the kar 98, mp43 and flamethrower i had all the weapons i desired and thus not needing anything else. And since my guns couldn't get any better there wasn't really any meaning in progressing.

Point being i rather have billion small parts that virtually does nothing on changing the stats on my guns than just a silencer, extended mag, scope, thingy-that-makes-the-bullet-go-faster-thus-making-the-gun-do-more-damage.

p.s. Stoked for bordelands ^^

God, I hope Kathleen from The Escapist News doesn't read that last paragraph. (She's afraid of bears)

Megacherv:

That has barely any RPG elements nowadays, due to the fact that it doesn't need them.

All it ever really had was Upgradeable weapons, but considering that that's almost 90% of Yahtzee's gripe, I think the point is more than valid

OH MY GOD A BEAR!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

...

Oh come one! You know someone had to say it. And probably already ahs in the 3 pages I haven't bothered to read yet because this is just about all I really awnted to type up.

OT: I agree with just about all of that. A level up for weapons in FPS games should eitehr be for skills, maneuvers, or specialty parts that aren't required to beat the game.

Your character should have competency with all the weapons that make sense. (i.e. your a sharpshooter, but your sniper skill has no points in it. wtf?) At least make lvl 1 on a skill a reasonable handicap instead of a reticule the size of half the screen for a pistol.

zagzag:

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

I really have to agree with you here. However Ratchet isn't your typical shooter.

But there's no reason that the weapon dynamic it uses couldn't be used elsewere. Why no modable guns, with mods that you purchase? It's an RPG element that turns you plasma cannon into a plasma cannon with poison.

Or, more effectivley, it's a mod wich allows you to either see through walls, or see in the dark, but you can only equip one.

nomzod:

Megacherv:

That has barely any RPG elements nowadays, due to the fact that it doesn't need them.

All it ever really had was Upgradeable weapons, but considering that that's almost 90% of Yahtzee's gripe, I think the point is more than valid

He's more on about pay-to-upgrade weapons. Sure there are those aswell, but they didn't do much at a point than the gradual upgrades.

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

Ratchet and Clank is more of a shooter and a platformer, not just a plain shooter.

You know, that was really annoying in RE4.

I like customization. If it comes out badly, methinks that's because it was so shit everywhere else and they tried RPG elements to cover it up.

Oh and you don't have to tell me twice.

*runs away*

Good article, this sparked a fierce debate between me and a friend about the quality of this element in games, his argument being that it should be in every shooter, to add customization, and mine was that he was well, full of it.

I won't get into the details, but I felt like my argument was proven true, and I felt vindicated, but then I thought about it for a second, and realized we both lost. :/

Meh, I was never a fan of the upgrade system in any game myself. And Yahtzee, there is no bare behind me, it's just a bear wall.

RPG elements work wonderfully where they fit and terribly where they don't fit. Bottom line, should-be-obvious fact of life that developers and businessmen often ignore out of sheer superficiality and stupidity. Key rule: don't start people off TERRIBLE and then slowly build them up to the point where playing the game is actually comfortable. Case in point: Sonic and the Secret Rings, where you have wait until halfway through the friggin' game to upgrade to the point where the controls are actually responsive.

Worst. Upgrade. Ever.

Leveling up transportation systems is so stupid in my opinion. I don't care if I can warp faster I wanna enjoy the ride. Gees kids these days don't know a good trip around the map.

customization is nice in almost any game, RPG elements, however, not so much.
there is a world of diffence between the two.

I belong to an extremist philosophy that believes that the level up system should be kept out of video games period.

Experience points and stats are something that came out of Pen and Paper RPGs. Since everything was imaginary there was no other way to give elements of danger and variables that happen with those games.

But in the video game, we can simulate everything, regardless of the level up system. We increase our stats as the player gets adjusted to the game through the real experience of playing it! After carefully aiming a shaky sniper rifle to strike a target in the head, why would the bleeding target fly backwards bleed and show a zero over his head to denote a miss? It doesn't make a shred of sense.

I understand the game designer desire to reward the player and not overpower the player character from the beginning. Under powering Batman in Arkham Asylum definitely made the game more challenging. It still doesn't make sense. Although it is one of my favorite games of the year, the developers couldn't seem to make up their minds on how the game worked. In some parts of the game items are unlocked through picking them up in sections of the story. In others you simply unlock them through experience points.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas came up with an innovative method of handling player character progression. Every single action would eventually add up to their physical look and power. Run around, swim, and ride a bike a lot and Carl Johnson becomes slimmer and faster. Drive everywhere, eat a lot of fast food and sitting alot makes him grow fatter. Exercising makes hand to hand combat easier, and fighting regularly in general makes it better. Instead of assigning a stat through experience as a whole, the game took into account every individual action and assigned it to the appropriate place.

Great article. You're right.

RPG style upgrades and customizations work in games where you can approach a situation and handle it different ways.
i.e, you could snipe those guys off, or you could go in guns ablazing, or you could lay land-mines, or some other method. but it seems like in games like Call of Duty you don't choose to do those things. Instead, you have "the stealth section" or "that one part where you have to be a sniper"

Despite not having really any leveling elements, one of the best shooters with RPG elements is Team Fortress 2, precisely because you can play it exactly how you want.

I don't know, the RPG element worked quite well in CoD4's online multipl- Oh wait, you didn't bother with that did you? Tsk Tsk

hey guys, In class about to give a presentation on censorship in Australian media.

Also Yahtzee, one day me and you are going to sit down and i'm going to force you to play every JRPG/SRPG I come across

Either you end up finding one you like or you die an I post the video on Youtube.

MR T3D:
customization is nice in almost any game, RPG elements, however, not so much.
there is a world of diffence between the two.

not really a big differens. unlocking parts for a gun is customization. earning money to unlock parts for a gun is rpg element. i think thats what he meant with the re4 part.

"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?"

This dick move has been around for quite some time. My favorite old school example is Rock and Roll Racing for the SNES. At first you can only afford the Pickup Truck you save a bunch of money and buy the car. that holds you for like two planets until you hit the swamp planet that has a Tyco Fast-Traxx thing that has Rockets and Land Mines that will cover most of the track. That is the best vehical in the game until you hit the snow and inferno levels where there is a God-Damn hovercraft that can turn on a dime, has Best acceleration, And to top it off the primary weapon is a HEAT-SEEKING ORB BEAM!!!!!!!!!

I have infinite numbers of 1984 and Animal Farm references boiling up. Help me stop them before I explode.

Axeli:

high_castle:

Atheist.:
snip

snip

The problem with the WRPG method of character creation is that you either end up not caring about the main character because he/she has no inherent personality (and even if you pay great attention to make his/her choices in the game reflect the personality you want him/het to have, the game fails to note the details finer that saint/evil bastard, making the whole effort seem really pointless) or then the experience becomes completely based on Mary Sueism.
Granted, it's more your Sue that the author's, and when done right it can be extremely entertaining to have your avatar be the centre of the game's world, but it still is a Mary Sue story.

Disagree with you there. I've played plenty of western RPGs (The Baldur's Gate series, NWN, Jade Empire, Morrowind, KOTOR series, Mass Effect, Fallout series, etc.) where the main character is NOT a Mary Sue. Let's look at the recent Mass Effect, for example. Now this game was done differently, having you select a back story and psych profile for your character. While this may seem like giving you a pre-defined story, they left plenty of room for individual interpretation. And their choices were more nuanced than kitten-eating or butterfly-saving. I was not the only gamer who stared at my television for a good ten minutes trying to figure out what to do at a few key points.

Also look at Fallout 3. That game was unique in letting you experience and impact your character's childhood. Look at Morrowind, which told you your character was a prisoner born under a certain sign, but nothing else. You were free to create your own history, imagine your own story as you saw fit. And I would never call that story a Mary Sue. Period. Leaving things ambiguous about your main character does not a Mary Sue make. That term applies to self-inset fanfics.

I also come from the tabletop D&D world. I like my RPGs to reflect customization. That's in large part why I don't like JRPGs. They're basically action games with turn-based combat. Where's the fun in that?

i find Australia's efforts to be scary and facinating...since a democracy is duplicating the efforts of Communist China. It almost seems like there si a global push to roll back efforts to increase general public liberty.

this is why im dissapointed in Bordelands now, there is only an RPG element for the guns and nothing else.

as for bears, they are easily killed with lamps

OH MY GOD it's a bear, get in the van!

OT: I like RPG elements even in non-RPG games. But in some cases (IE: Weapon managing in Mass Effect), It's just dumb.

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