Poll: Who here actually wants RPGs to get easier?

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I don't like games that are so difficult they stop being fun (demons souls), but there are people that love them. Most games give you the option to choose the difficulty, so the occasional Demons Souls is fine by me, I'll just stay away.

I laugh at your silly easy games.
*goes back to playing NetHack*

Who here actually wants RPGs to get easier?

Oh hey! A potentially interesting discussion dealing with the current trends in RPGs that focus more on streamlining their games, and the sacrifice of some of the most dearly-held DnD roots that helped bring an entire genre to video games, and what actually makes a game "hard" versus "takes longer to get through".

Poll: Is dumbing down good?

Oh. Alright then. Nevermind.

More on topic:

I'm not really a fan of nearly every current RPG. Maybe I was just too naive with my hopes in the early days of the NES. Even games like Dark Souls tend to make things too easy unless you use a very restrictive set of rules (i.e. no sorcery, no soul farming, pure roleplaying builds like my gentlemanly fencer), and even then, the amount of stuff you can actually do in games has felt, well, lackluster. Again, I may have been over-optimistic, but I always pictured games during this generation making players really, well, learn the game to do well in it. Something like Street Fighter-esque button combos to pull of skilled sword attacks, or higher level magic attacks, and enemies that were diverse enough that it would be impossible to tackle the game with 3-4 high dps skills to spam. It just doesn't feel like we've moved on from "higher difficulty = enemies have more health and do more damage", and I just feel like there was a missed chance to make using those shiny spells and awesome diving sword thrusts to take down a boss with a diverse ability set incredibly satisfying.

Mandal0re:

For example anyone who complained about the removal of attributes in Skyrim? You're an idiot.

Really? Even acrobatics? There are some things in a game which may not add actual challenge, but i'll admit right now that there wasn't a SINGLE time in the entirety of Oblivion where the first thing I didn't do when I walked into a town was hop around every single goddamn rooftop for a solid 10-15 minutes. Replace acrobatics with air-walking and you have why I was slightly disappointed with Oblivion.

Draech:

And yet people whine the game has been dumbed down. I can argue how that Skyrim wasn't dumbed down compared to oblivion. Yes I am aware there is no spell designer, but what about combat? In oblivion you are flailing like a madman while in skyrim you have to time, block, shieldbash small blow, heavy blow, ect. The dual wielding is evidence of this more than anything.

We must have played different games. The Skyrim that I played wasn't more complex than either A: attacking with you're highest damage spell while pouring magicka potions down your throat, or B: attacking with your best weapon while pouring health potions down your throat.

wooty:
This is why I still prefer games like Zelda or Final Fantasy. They dont have difficulty settings, if your not good enough to beat the enemies/bosses then piss off, practice and earn it.

Wait, you were supposed to be "good" to beat them? That is news to me.

Callate:
It depends. There's harder as in "more challenging, requiring greater thought and planning to overcome numerous fair and intriguing challenges" and then there's harder as in "This monster has a 33% chance of killing everyone in your party in any given battle" and there's harder as in "unless you spend twenty hours grinding mooks in the early areas you'll end up in a position where you cannot possibly win and fifty hours of your life will be wasted between the time you spend getting to this position and the time it takes you to recognize you're screwed."

The first one? Sure, why not. The latter two? Keep your sick fetish out of my gaming.

This guy has nailed it.

DRTJR:
I miss AD&D style of RPGs...

Yep, me too. I think the terminology used by D&D exemplifies the process we've undergone. Complexity used to be seen as a good thing so 2nd edition became "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons". Now they've reverted back to just "Dungeons & Dragons" because apparently we don't like complexity and baffling rules - we need to appeal to people of all brain capacities. You see the same thing in literature, movies, TV.

Draech:
Having to learn DnD rules is a negative thing. Not a positive. You can have complex deep gameplay without a needlessly complicated system.

How? If you want the player to think about how he/she is going to approach the battle, you need clearly defined and laid out consequences of each action. The D&D rules did that in the simplest way I can think of - any further simplification will make the tactics less tactical, so you end up with something like Final Fantasy where you have maybe 2 or 3 options for each character, which do not even interact with your other characters options.

Just playing Oblivion today made me realise how dumbed down RPGs are getting. I was actually wondering how I ever managed to play the thing now that my head is full of Skyrim.

In Oblivion I actually have to play to my strengths, only really able to get by if I use my maxed out archery and stealth skills. In Skyrim I can pretty much pick up a sword with no prior combat experience and off I go!

And I'm not even a die hard RPG player.

if some of them got any easier they would just be animated movies.

Kahunaburger:

Twilight_guy:
Good game design dictates trying to tailor your game to the average player and adding difficulty modes.

Do you mean the average player for that game, or the average player in general? So, if I'm making a hypothetical Angband variant, do you think it would be good design on my part to design the game for people who have played Angband, people who play roguelikes, or the average gamer in general?

Twilight_guy:
bad game design principles, such as not explaining rules or hiding information from the player.

This I agree with (mostly). One thing I like about RPGs is that they generally give you all the rules and stats up front. So you don't have to go digging around on the internet to find out what your weapons do, and you can generally get a pretty accurate picture of what abilities and items work with which build.

You design the game assuming that players are familiar with similar games but assume that they have no knowledge of your game. So they might know some general rules of rougelikes, skulking, assassination and such, but you don't assume they immediately know the rules specific to your game, "press X while hiding behind a plant to throw a poison dart." You can assume they will figure out 'you need to be sneaky' quickly though since they will learn after a few tries that head long fails. Mostly the explaining in good games is done though level design, scripting, etc. and trying to avoid text, (its boring). This also depends on the type of game begin designed as some games tend to be designed for gamers and some are designed for the average joe. I wish I could explain this better but my knowledge of design tends to be unstructured and very situationally depend unfortunately (working on it).

"I agree with (mostly)", name me one situation where not explaining the rules or purposely hiding something about the game from the player is ever a good idea. I honestly can't think of any situation like this.

I actually find that many (not all, don't kill me) RPGs tend to fail by either trying to front-load everything (here's some text about how weapon types work and are affected by other weapons, here's what stats do, and magic and this and that, and here's some stuff about doing this other thing, etc. etc.) since players need to actually see something happen before they can associate a particular rules with a practical situation, or the stats tend to be arcane like with situations where the player knows that strength, precision, and accuracy all make your attack go up but when he must choice between them he has no idea which one to choose since the only way to figure it out is to run a math equation.

Blood Brain Barrier:

Draech:
Having to learn DnD rules is a negative thing. Not a positive. You can have complex deep gameplay without a needlessly complicated system.

How? If you want the player to think about how he/she is going to approach the battle, you need clearly defined and laid out consequences of each action. The D&D rules did that in the simplest way I can think of - any further simplification will make the tactics less tactical, so you end up with something like Final Fantasy where you have maybe 2 or 3 options for each character, which do not even interact with your other characters options.

How about a super simple example. Chess.

Rules tare fairly easy. When you know how each unit can move then you can go. But tactically deep.

How about computer game related.

MOBA games. 4 skills to use. Use them the best way possible. Each skill does what you more or less expect it to do.

How about guild wars?

How about fighting games? An up kick, kicks up but if you start going into the strategy of the game play its deeper that.

DnD rules are needlessly complicating things that can be visually obvious. The reason combat isn't a carrying element in a game with it. Because it sucks. It makes a chore out of what can be achieved better.

Vegosiux:

wooty:
This is why I still prefer games like Zelda or Final Fantasy. They dont have difficulty settings, if your not good enough to beat the enemies/bosses then piss off, practice and earn it.

Wait, you were supposed to be "good" to beat them? That is news to me.

Badly worded but you know what I mean. You often have to think with them, there are no way points, no guiding arrows, no pop up directions. If you get into a difficult fight, you cant just open the menu, drop the difficulty and then breeze through the game.

Not saying that "LoL, onli da tru hardcor gamerzs play deez gamez!!ololol", but you cant make them easier without putting the time and thought in.

Draech:

Blood Brain Barrier:

Draech:
Having to learn DnD rules is a negative thing. Not a positive. You can have complex deep gameplay without a needlessly complicated system.

How? If you want the player to think about how he/she is going to approach the battle, you need clearly defined and laid out consequences of each action. The D&D rules did that in the simplest way I can think of - any further simplification will make the tactics less tactical, so you end up with something like Final Fantasy where you have maybe 2 or 3 options for each character, which do not even interact with your other characters options.

How about a super simple example. Chess.

Rules tare fairly easy. When you know how each unit can move then you can go. But tactically deep.

How about computer game related.

MOBA games. 4 skills to use. Use them the best way possible. Each skill does what you more or less expect it to do.

How about guild wars?

How about fighting games? An up kick, kicks up but if you start going into the strategy of the game play its deeper that.

DnD rules are needlessly complicating things that can be visually obvious. The reason combat isn't a carrying element in a game with it. Because it sucks. It makes a chore out of what can be achieved better.

Who gets to say it sucks? The AD&D Gold Box games featured the best, deepest and most tactical gameplay bar none. That's my experience. I don't find it too complex. I find it fun. The question is for me why people find it so hard to consider their options in terms of these combat rules.

And why visually obvious? It's not obvious when you punch me how much damage it will do, but yet if you want a good simulation of an adversarial battle which is fair, you need rules which predict that. Will I do more damage with option A or B?

Chess many people find too complicated - most of my friends are like this. Don't ask me why. Each piece has different rules of movement. But chess isn't good in an RPG - there's no character development. If every RPG battle was chess there would be no reason to improve your character.

Blood Brain Barrier:

Draech:

Blood Brain Barrier:

How? If you want the player to think about how he/she is going to approach the battle, you need clearly defined and laid out consequences of each action. The D&D rules did that in the simplest way I can think of - any further simplification will make the tactics less tactical, so you end up with something like Final Fantasy where you have maybe 2 or 3 options for each character, which do not even interact with your other characters options.

How about a super simple example. Chess.

Rules tare fairly easy. When you know how each unit can move then you can go. But tactically deep.

How about computer game related.

MOBA games. 4 skills to use. Use them the best way possible. Each skill does what you more or less expect it to do.

How about guild wars?

How about fighting games? An up kick, kicks up but if you start going into the strategy of the game play its deeper that.

DnD rules are needlessly complicating things that can be visually obvious. The reason combat isn't a carrying element in a game with it. Because it sucks. It makes a chore out of what can be achieved better.

Who gets to say it sucks? The AD&D Gold Box games featured the best, deepest and most tactical gameplay bar none. That's my experience. I don't find it too complex. I find it fun. The question is for me why people find it so hard to consider their options in terms of these combat rules.

And why visually obvious? It's not obvious when you punch me how much damage it will do, but yet if you want a good simulation of an adversarial battle which is fair, you need rules which predict that. Will I do more damage with option A or B?

Chess many people find too complicated - most of my friends are like this. Don't ask me why. Each piece has different rules of movement. But chess isn't good in an RPG - there's no character development. If every RPG battle was chess there would be no reason to improve your character.

You just dont get it.

Complexity does not = Depth. That is a fact. Minecraft has a deep, but simple mechanic. You can do the same in every other game.

LoL got rid of the int/agi/str system and made combat deeper as a result.

If you like a game for being needlessly complex then good for you, but having to understand 10 hours of rules to enjoy will still be a negative.
You can have simple and deep rules.
You have people who find chess complicated?
What do you think they think of rules that fill out books by volumes?
Chess has the tactical depth to last through the ages, yet so simple i can write it on a piece of A4

10 hours of rules. LOL. More over exaggerating again.

I was 14 years old and played Pool of Radiance in 88' when it came out.
We went through the manual while we played it and figured shit out.
What's the fucking problem here ?

Ha, here's the thing. Everybody will say they want a 'challenging' game but very few actually pursue or really desire a challenge. If you feel confident in a game's genre you should never play the game on 'normal' difficulty or less.
Normal mode for most modern games is really just a failsafe tutorial.

Schaaka:
Normal mode for most modern games is really just a failsafe tutorial.

True, unfortunately. Its the difficulty above that for me, normal has become the new easy...

Twilight_guy:

"I agree with (mostly)", name me one situation where not explaining the rules or purposely hiding something about the game from the player is ever a good idea. I honestly can't think of any situation like this.

There are a number of games where spoilers are part of the fun - if you a friend are playing Zelda: Link's Awakening, and he/she tells you "hey, if you fire an arrow and drop a bomb at the same time, the bomb sticks to the arrow!" it's a much cooler discovery than the game telling you how to fire bomb-arrows.

Twilight_guy:

I actually find that many (not all, don't kill me) RPGs tend to fail by either trying to front-load everything (here's some text about how weapon types work and are affected by other weapons, here's what stats do, and magic and this and that, and here's some stuff about doing this other thing, etc. etc.) since players need to actually see something happen before they can associate a particular rules with a practical situation, or the stats tend to be arcane like with situations where the player knows that strength, precision, and accuracy all make your attack go up but when he must choice between them he has no idea which one to choose since the only way to figure it out is to run a math equation.

I think that some games are better-off giving you all the mechanics at once rather than gradually introducing you to them. If Portal is the ideal "introduce the player to the game gently and gradually" tutorial, Oblivion (but with a 3-hour tutorial instead of a 1-hour tutorial) is what it would look like if they tried that with an RPG. I don't know about you, but I'm not a fan of an RPG tutorial that drags on like that, particularly because the RPG is a genre that is incredibly rewarding of experimentation. Don't know if this build is effective? Roll one up and find out! (If anything, I think that the best way to introduce new players to RPG mechanics without punishing them for experimentation is just to give them some way to re-spec a character that doesn't work.)

You need games that have both complex and "dumb" games; games for the veterans and people who spend hours in these games and need to be challenged, and games for people with only a few hours or even minutes each week to pick up a game, and who are completely new at the genre. If I am playing an RPG on the bus to work each morning, then I am not going to want to sit through a massive tutorial and spend 30 minutes in each battle planning my strategy; I don't have time for that, my bus takes 20 minutes to arrive at work. So I reach for the simple RPG that doesn't take a lot of thought; I can grind away the time and hey! My favourite character reached level 12 today!

When I need to burn an idle evening away and need something to keep my brain churning over so it doesn't shut down from boredom, I'll pick up some really complicated RPG where I have to spend hours tweaking my stats and equipment for maximum effectiveness and actually spend time pondering the screen before hitting attack.

Draech:

Chess has the tactical depth to last through the ages, yet so simple i can write it on a piece of A4

Chess is a great game, and arguably the best game. It's also a highly abstract game. Not every game has to be chess, particularly when game design features simulationist and narrativist goals alongside gamist goals.

I actually like games that are easy.
I was a hardcore gamer, then apocalypse happened and my life was remade.
So now it's between training/teaching/therapy and Uni, whatever time left is for gaming.

Which isn't much....but I want to actually do something in the game without having to get frustrated or invest much time into it.
So easy rpg's work well. Just go round, do stuff, make someone look cool and wig out. Go do something else.

BlakBladz:

I was a hardcore gamer, then apocalypse happened and my life was remade.
So easy rpg's work well. Just go round, do stuff, make someone look cool and wig out. Go do something else.

Im.. Sorry. Sounds like a part of your life was torn away. Im not gona ask what happened but you have my condolences.

Kahunaburger:

Draech:

Chess has the tactical depth to last through the ages, yet so simple i can write it on a piece of A4

Chess is a great game, and arguably the best game. It's also a highly abstract game. Not every game has to be chess, particularly when game design features simulationist and narrativist goals alongside gamist goals.

It was really just to prove the point that you dcan have depth without the needless complexity.

It is one of my major bugbears that people keep wanting the DnD rulesets implemented in games as an excuse for depth. We can make a deep gameplay that doesn't require the understanding of an incredible amount of rules.

The witcher 2 is another good example. It doesn't hit you over the head with large amounts of math. You just make strikes and get a visual response that can be understood. Combat there is a lot about understanding position and reflex based counter ect. Strikes a fine balance of knowing what to do and having the skill to do it. A perfect system would instantly relay your abilities and your limitation, while still allowing for a diverse choice of actions. Allowing you to figure out what the best action would be and test you if you can do said action.

Broderick:

tycho0042:
I think it's good to make them accessible to more fans so more people can see how good a given game can be isn't good. I think there needs to be a limit to how accessible it is. That point is what needs to be discovered. Too many games were damaged by how accessible they were made. Personally I think that the FF and ME series have been good examples of how dumbing down can hurt a game. I'm sure people would say the same of others like WoW or whatever else.

Accessibility is a must for these types of games. Sometimes people forget that with new players, they dont have the past experience of 10-50 games of the same genre. However, like others said, if they are having trouble, perhaps they should read the manual, or a tips and tricks section =P.

I dont think WoW got hurt from any "dumbing down" that it has done, if anything, it made the game less tedious. Hell, when cata released, the game was so "hard" that people on forums complained until there was a a nerf to nearly all the dungeons. Some people were just so use to the "gogogogo we dont need cc because we are so geared!" mentality of the last expansion. For another example,LFR didnt make the game "dumbed down", if anything it helped a HELL of a lot with people being able to do dungeons instead of waiting around org for a group. However, LFR did kind of kill some of the comradery that goes with having a group. Pros and cons.

I do like the way they have the difficulty set in the newest raid(and they have done this in the last expansion as well), where there is a stacking debuff to the enemies of the dungeon that reduces their health and damage. It however, can be removed by talking to a person in the dungeon, so both the "hardcore" and "casual" crowd get catered to. It is unfortunate that people stil complain about it.

I think it's better to have a variety of games with different levels of complexity. Then in the fact box of the game tell the potential buyer if it's meant for beginners, intermediate players or experts. I think it's a false premise to think it's possible to make games for everyone.

The 'dumbing down' of WoW made it playable for some people, and that was a good thing. But for others it ruined it. Blizzard turned away the established player base, but then tried to win them back at various occasions. The hard dungeons in Cataclysm was an attempt to get some of the old players back, but at the time that was unacceptable for the newer players who had gotten used to a different kind of game.

Draech:

Kahunaburger:

Draech:

Chess has the tactical depth to last through the ages, yet so simple i can write it on a piece of A4

Chess is a great game, and arguably the best game. It's also a highly abstract game. Not every game has to be chess, particularly when game design features simulationist and narrativist goals alongside gamist goals.

It was really just to prove the point that you dcan have depth without the needless complexity.

It is one of my major bugbears that people keep wanting the DnD rulesets implemented in games as an excuse for depth. We can make a deep gameplay that doesn't require the understanding of an incredible amount of rules.

The witcher 2 is another good example. It doesn't hit you over the head with large amounts of math. You just make strikes and get a visual response that can be understood. Combat there is a lot about understanding position and reflex based counter ect. Strikes a fine balance of knowing what to do and having the skill to do it. A perfect system would instantly relay your abilities and your limitation, while still allowing for a diverse choice of actions. Allowing you to figure out what the best action would be and test you if you can do said action.

I think that Witcher 2 is a great ARPG, but that not every RPG needs to have an action component. For those that don't, they could do a lot worse than adopting a tried-and-true system that allows for wargaming, non-combat actions, etc., and is a system many players are already familiar with. Homebrew can be pretty hit-or-miss - sometimes it works and you get something like MegaTen, but sometimes you get something awkward and unbalanced like Dragon Age or Elder Scrolls.

Draech:

Kahunaburger:

Draech:

Chess has the tactical depth to last through the ages, yet so simple i can write it on a piece of A4

Chess is a great game, and arguably the best game. It's also a highly abstract game. Not every game has to be chess, particularly when game design features simulationist and narrativist goals alongside gamist goals.

It was really just to prove the point that you dcan have depth without the needless complexity.

It is one of my major bugbears that people keep wanting the DnD rulesets implemented in games as an excuse for depth. We can make a deep gameplay that doesn't require the understanding of an incredible amount of rules.

The witcher 2 is another good example. It doesn't hit you over the head with large amounts of math. You just make strikes and get a visual response that can be understood. Combat there is a lot about understanding position and reflex based counter ect. Strikes a fine balance of knowing what to do and having the skill to do it. A perfect system would instantly relay your abilities and your limitation, while still allowing for a diverse choice of actions. Allowing you to figure out what the best action would be and test you if you can do said action.

Early D&D games: 6 characters against multiple enemies
Witcher 2: 1 character against 1 enemy

In Witcher 2 you have a choice between moving left, moving right, moving back and striking or defending. In D&D you have the option to go to dozens of positions, attack any number of opponents, and use any number of weapons and special attacks or spells. That's only per turn!

Real-time will never be nearly as complex as turn-based, simply because you can't fit as many decisions into a limited time period as you cad an unlimited one.

Real time RPGs will always be little more than the thinking man's action games.

As with every sane person:
Simplifying mechanics - Mechanics should be as complicated as needed to provide a compelling experience. Not an ounce more.
Making Easier - No!

A lot of the fun of old RPGs seems to be the learning of a games mechanics through experimentation. Well, nowadays we can learn all we need from Wikis. If you want this experience don't read the available information. This is counter-intuitive in a way because once upon a time friends would share their in game discoveries with each other. You CANNOT do that now, because your little friend group is the internet and they did all the experimentation and documentation for you.

I like a game to be upfront about it's mechanics. I like to plan a strategy and not be punished unfairly when it doesn't work. Levelling up into an impossible corner after 20hours is a bad punishment. Finding out I only have 30% of the maximum total stats is a bad punishment(Oblivion!!).

I'm actually most excited about Diablo 3 at the moment. The mechanics are all out there ready to be read. The acquisition of this information is practically in-game, and there is no punishment for failure beyond a minor currency penalty and you sucking in front of your friends until you are convinced to stop with that stupid Jar of Spiders already. If the skill system works (seems to in beta) then there is no 'Best Way' to play. What combination of skills will you determine to be the most efficient? Better go experiment!

Blood Brain Barrier:

Draech:

Kahunaburger:

Chess is a great game, and arguably the best game. It's also a highly abstract game. Not every game has to be chess, particularly when game design features simulationist and narrativist goals alongside gamist goals.

It was really just to prove the point that you dcan have depth without the needless complexity.

It is one of my major bugbears that people keep wanting the DnD rulesets implemented in games as an excuse for depth. We can make a deep gameplay that doesn't require the understanding of an incredible amount of rules.

The witcher 2 is another good example. It doesn't hit you over the head with large amounts of math. You just make strikes and get a visual response that can be understood. Combat there is a lot about understanding position and reflex based counter ect. Strikes a fine balance of knowing what to do and having the skill to do it. A perfect system would instantly relay your abilities and your limitation, while still allowing for a diverse choice of actions. Allowing you to figure out what the best action would be and test you if you can do said action.

Early D&D games: 6 characters against multiple enemies
Witcher 2: 1 character against 1 enemy

In Witcher 2 you have a choice between moving left, moving right, moving back and striking or defending. In D&D you have the option to go to dozens of positions, attack any number of opponents, and use any number of weapons and special attacks or spells. That's only per turn!

Real-time will never be nearly as complex as turn-based, simply because you can't fit as many decisions into a limited time period as you cad an unlimited one.

Real time RPGs will always be little more than the thinking man's action games.

And you are factually wrong quite simply to the point where I find it almost a waste of time to correct you.

You have 6 spells.

You have to deal with engaging multiple enemies at a time. You need to choose who to charge and who to avoid.

You had to chose between quick and strong strikes. Ripost, counter action, throwing bombs/daggers ect.

Not to mention how you decide to engage the fight.

You are either a liar pretending you played it or you are a liar purposely misrepresenting it.

DnD isn't the thinking mans game. Just nerds game. Wasteful use of mechanics. The kind of enjoyment you get out of solving math. Unless math is the point of the game it an outdated solution. Tieing random generated numbers down into the limitation we had with using dices as a random number generator is a perfect example.

There can be deep combat in everything. Even the ones you find dumbed down. The CoD series that everyone tries to take out as your standard "dumbing down" example. The addition of Iron Sight Aiming/sprint from from the games where it came from makes a person take a tactical decision without even noticing it. When you sprint you cant shoot sacrificing offence for defence. When you Iron sight aim you move slower sacrificing defence for offence. All without people noticing.

The goal isn't about solving math., but solving the games objective.

sextus the crazy:

The Problem with RPGs is that you can grind your way to victory in most of them. Most of the challenge comes from higher leveled monsters or cheap tactics. What RPGs need is some sort of non-stat based modifier to combat such as strategy (over come bad odds with tactics) or real time combat (I.E. demons' souls).

That exactly what RPGs should require. Legitimate difficulty from design that rewards (or punishes) the player's choices; not just grinding for a higher stat-block.

But that takes EFFORT; both on the part of the player and even more on the part of the developer.

Incidentally, most designs that result in "artificial difficulty" are the same designs that result in "artificial ease", only scaled backwards (stat-mongering especially).

Draech:

DnD isn't the thinking mans game. Just nerds game. Wasteful use of mechanics. The kind of enjoyment you get out of solving math.

Because using "nerd" as a pejorative on a video game forum is totally something that makes sense :D

Draech:
Unless math is the point of the game it an outdated solution. Tieing random generated numbers down into the limitation we had with using dices as a random number generator is a perfect example.

There are certain advantages in using dice. If a game tells me my sword does 2-12 damage, that doesn't give me as much information re: how reliable the damage is compared to the game telling me the sword does 1d11+1 or 2d6.

Draech:

There can be deep combat in everything. Even the ones you find dumbed down. The CoD series that everyone tries to take out as your standard "dumbing down" example. The addition of Iron Sight Aiming/sprint from from the games where it came from makes a person take a tactical decision without even noticing it. When you sprint you cant shoot sacrificing offence for defence. When you Iron sight aim you move slower sacrificing defence for offence. All without people noticing.

The goal isn't about solving math., but solving the games objective.

Call of Duty is a good example of why I like the way RPGs are up-front with their mechanics. There's quite a lot of math involved in CoD - it's just all behind the scenes. Now as a nerd who likes winning, I like to know exactly what stuff like slapping a silencer on my gun, adding a 25% damage bonus - or both - will affect things like my TTK and where I have to aim my sniper.

So, if I want to optimize my CoD character, I have to look up a chart on the internet. If I want to optimize a character in an RPG, the game will generally tell me what effect skills/perks/feats/proficiencies/items/etc. have on my damage/swing time/THAC0/damage reduction/etc. I prefer the game that understands that I'm a nerd who likes winning, and gives me the numbers up front.

Kahunaburger:

Call of Duty is a good example of why I like the way RPGs are up-front with their mechanics. There's quite a lot of math involved in CoD - it's just all behind the scenes. Now as a nerd who likes winning, I like to know exactly what stuff like slapping a silencer on my gun, adding a 25% damage bonus - or both - will affect things like my TTK and where I have to aim my sniper.

So, if I want to optimize my CoD character, I have to look up a chart on the internet. If I want to optimize a character in an RPG, the game will generally tell me what effect skills/perks/feats/proficiencies/items/etc. have on my damage/swing time/THAC0/damage reduction/etc. I prefer the game that understands that I'm a nerd who likes winning, and gives me the numbers up front.

And even with all that math it is still easy enough to pick up.

If you like math then go do math. You dont need a game for that. Go calculate the world. If you like solving objectives, then let that be the focus of your game. Not doing the math.

Draech:

And even with all that math it is still easy enough to pick up.

If you like math then go do math. You dont need a game for that. Go calculate the world. If you like solving objectives, then let that be the focus of your game. Not doing the math.

There's actually an advanced statistical concept called "Game Theory" that attempts to unify math, marginal thinking, strategy and decision-making for both real-life applications and fictitious. It's a concept most commonly applied in Economics, but it has other applications.

Don't be so quick to dismiss the "math nerds who like solving problems" so quickly; video games are a very good way to study the theory as a control system without introducing needlessly high stakes.

Atmos Duality:

Draech:

And even with all that math it is still easy enough to pick up.

If you like math then go do math. You dont need a game for that. Go calculate the world. If you like solving objectives, then let that be the focus of your game. Not doing the math.

There's actually an advanced statistical concept called "Game Theory" that attempts to unify math, marginal thinking, strategy and decision-making for both real-life applications and fictitious. It's a concept most commonly applied in Economics, but it has other applications.

Don't be so quick to dismiss the "math nerds who like solving problems" so quickly; video games are a very good way to study the theory as a control system without introducing needlessly high stakes.

That is in reverse. You use math to emulate a situation in a video game. The point is to transfer the exp the best possible way. If you need math to understand it then you failed the whole point of trying to emulate it.

"Game theory" doesn't go against what my original statement was. That a game should aim to be easy to learn, hard to master. You might be able to see "code" after reading up the game to a certain degree, but if you need to read up to that degree to enjoy it then it failed on a basic lvl.

Draech:

Kahunaburger:

Call of Duty is a good example of why I like the way RPGs are up-front with their mechanics. There's quite a lot of math involved in CoD - it's just all behind the scenes. Now as a nerd who likes winning, I like to know exactly what stuff like slapping a silencer on my gun, adding a 25% damage bonus - or both - will affect things like my TTK and where I have to aim my sniper.

So, if I want to optimize my CoD character, I have to look up a chart on the internet. If I want to optimize a character in an RPG, the game will generally tell me what effect skills/perks/feats/proficiencies/items/etc. have on my damage/swing time/THAC0/damage reduction/etc. I prefer the game that understands that I'm a nerd who likes winning, and gives me the numbers up front.

And even with all that math it is still easy enough to pick up.

Yeah, it is. So are most RPGs. The difference is that the RPGs give me the numbers I need to do simple optimization up front, and I have to dig up the Call of Duty numbers on the internet. IMO, there's really no excuse for a game not being transparent about simple mechanics like damage numbers.

Draech:

If you like math then go do math. You dont need a game for that. Go calculate the world. If you like solving objectives, then let that be the focus of your game. Not doing the math.

Doing well at many games requires simple math. Let's go back to Call of Duty - if I want to snipe dudes with a silenced sniper rifle, my gun and perk set-up can make or break my loadout. Or if I'm playing Bad Company 2 and I want to roll with the VSS Vintorez, knowing the gun's unusual mechanics (and how BFBC2 gun mechanics work well in general) is going to be very important in terms of picking the right perks and actually being able to hit anyone.

We expect people to be able to read simple things in order to play video games - I don't think it's unreasonable for some games to also expect them to be able to do simple math.

I never liked the very old RPGs, but the modern ones are definitely too easy. I stopped playing Skyrim until some decent mods were made because of how it was too damn easy to exploit the game mechanics. It wasn't until there were mods to add hunger, thirst, fatigue, risk of hypothermia, and to turn off the scaling of fights, loot, and shop merchandise that I went back to playing.

Thing is, I don't care about the "challenge" of an RPG so much as the immersion. Old RPGs weren't immersive because you had to draw maps on graph paper and take notes on which spell incantations had what effect (though I do like the glyph-casting system in Legend of Grimrock), and don't get me started on their graphics.

But modern RPGs don't make me feel like my character is a person. I liked Fallout 3 because a post-nuclear-apocalyptic setting is the closest thing you'll get to an American fantasy genre, but I kept finding food items that I didn't need because 1. The amount of health they recovered was abysmal, 2. The ratio of weight to health recovery was moreso, given that medpacks were weightless, and 3. They added rads. This broke the role-playing experience and just made me feel like I was in an old shooter (especially since ammo was also weightless).

But then came Fallout: New Vegas and its hardcore mode. I LOVED hardcore mode. It felt good to be keeping track of my character's hunger, thirst, and sleep deprivation. It made me feel like my character was mortal. A capable and powerful mortal, yes, but still mortal. And I feel the same way about my Skyrim experience now that I have the right mods.

I don't need my RPGs to be more difficult. I just need them to be more immersive and less empowering when I don't want them to be. Basically, I want it to be about survival. When playing Legend of Grimrock, what pressures me to move forward isn't the fear of being ambushed by an enemy I haven't seen; it's the thought of my characters starving to death because I need to pick up and keep food as I go. It adds a whole new level to the experience.

Draech:

"Game theory" doesn't go against what my original statement was. That a game should aim to be easy to learn, hard to master. You might be able to see "code" after reading up the game to a certain degree, but if you need to read up to that degree to enjoy it then it failed on a basic lvl.

You do push this argument quite often. As usual I challenge your perception that Chess is easy to learn and therefore I don't think it's a good example. Your ideal is one I agree with, but I'd like to claim that it's so hard to implement thats it's practically irelevant.

Easy to learn hard to master is the holy grail in gaming. The ideal is worth searching for but impossible to reach in practice.

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