W3 Replayability

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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Drool » June 17th, 2018, 2:22 pm

Zombra wrote:
June 17th, 2018, 11:52 am
Haha, no. I never reached Supreme Jerk in Wasteland 1, never got anywhere close, never had a desire to.
Took me about 12 hours of "climbing" in Crumb's basement to raise a party that high. And that was with a party that had been through the game several times and was done just to do it. Nobody would grind like that for any other reason.
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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Mole204 » June 17th, 2018, 10:14 pm

Gizmo wrote:
June 16th, 2018, 1:04 am
There is no point to the game facilitating the experience after that.
You've actually got it backwards. A level cap is point where you stop getting results. It's where you stop getting rewards for the efforts. Gain points, go up level. Just because you're at where the programmers expect you to stop doesn't mean the player wants to stop there. Remember: There will always be those who want to try to kill Lord British.
The problem is not ending the game before it then has to support edge-case higher level PCs that go beyond what was intended to be supported.
A level cap is the pencils down moment. The player isn't expected to do anything more, expect what, die in battle?
A prefect game isn't one where every move is done right, it's one that you want to keep playing.
"I bought this game, made time to play it, and now you're telling me to stop? Having it end at the end is bad enough, you can't even wait for me to get to the final fight to tell me to go away?"
Once this happens, the game begins losing its fascination and esteem from the player; along the lines of, 'Familiarity breeds contempt'.

You're actually telling us that level caps are there because you decide that the player should be bored by the game? They paid the money, they run it on their own machine, let them stop in their own time.
How many people are still out there playing some version of Bejeweled on their cell phones? Or Solitare on their computers?
Drool wrote:
June 16th, 2018, 1:41 pm
A party full of Supreme Jerks wearing Leather Jackets and wielding Pistols will still die horribly.
That's just common sense. That actually adds to the difficulty of the game.
Just because you've beefed up a little doesn't stop you from dying because you did something stupid. Or fun. That's what save scumming is for.
Zombra wrote:
June 17th, 2018, 11:52 am
Haha, no. I never reached Supreme Jerk in Wasteland 1, never got anywhere close, never had a desire to.
You might be in the wrong line, then. :D I know I got Supreme Jerk at wl1. And all the levels and more.

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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Gizmo » June 18th, 2018, 12:36 am

Mole204 wrote:
June 17th, 2018, 10:14 pm
You've actually got it backwards. A level cap is point where you stop getting results.
I meant it as stated.
Just because you're at where the programmers expect you to stop doesn't mean the player wants to stop there.
Why should the player have a say in that? It's the developer's game; they have to afford making it, and supporting it. The player buys a ticket, just like a person pays to see a movie—they should demand more after the credits roll? They got what was offered for their money. Nothing stops a player from replaying an RPG —that's the whole point; to see how handling things differently plays out with a new character.
The problem is not ending the game before it then has to support edge-case higher level PCs that go beyond what was intended to be supported.
A prefect game isn't one where every move is done right, it's one that you want to keep playing.
"I bought this game, made time to play it, and now you're telling me to stop? Having it end at the end is bad enough, you can't even wait for me to get to the final fight to tell me to go away?"
I generally quit a game when I see that it has no ending; I play to reach the end—no end, means they've cheated me of the payoff for playing. The ending is usually how I decide (after the fact) if the game was worth having bought it, or if it was a waste of my money.

When you say, You/You're (above), you do mean the developers right?
You're actually telling us that level caps are there because you decide that the player should be bored by the game?
No, I said that it ensures that the game can handle known characters without an undue amount of extra work for edge-case players who advance too far during the game. If they intend to support encounters for characters up to a certain level, then the game doesn't properly support characters beyond that, and they shouldn't have to extend the scope beyond what they intend; or give second rate or buggy support to a product with their name on it.

There is a reason they call some features 'stretch goals' on Kickstarter; it's because it's not practical or worth doing for the lower price.

While I agree that level caps are a kludge, if the game is still challenging, then it's still fun to play—while it's winding down (towards the end). One might even welcome the approaching end, (and continue to play past the level caps) looking forward to it.
They paid the money...
...And they can play it as many times as they wish—indefinitely. It's not unlike buying a movie. You can play it indefinitely—but it starts over once it's done... No one expects the story to go on past the ending; and I consider it an abuse of the studio to demand this of them.

**New Vegas ended, because they didn't or couldn't (afford to?) support the myriad of possible end states for the region's politics... yeah Bethesda wouldn't care about that. Bethesda makes very poor RPGs IMO; all that concerns them is maintaining a timeless simulation. Logic and sensible outcome can be tossed to the wind with them, and that's either a kind of disrespect for the player, or a very targeted respect for a specific player-base; that won't notice or care about it, but they will surely give them money for an endless playroom.

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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Zombra » June 18th, 2018, 2:33 am

I actually agree with everything you're saying, Giz. However, I disbelieve that W2 was balanced to end when the devs actually wanted it to. In a sense, I got to the end of the game before I got to the end of the game. I can't believe that I was supposed to stop caring about my characters before I had a chance to finish all my missions and finally confront Matthias, and I can't believe that I was expected to start running away from random encounters that I still found enjoyable and rewarding.

If they insist on putting a brick wall in W3, which they shouldn't, my expectation is that it will be put so far down the track that I will never see it, unless I go well out of my way to deliberately pursue it. It's simply not fun to hit a wall like that, unless you are interested in reaching the limit strictly for its own sake.
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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Gizmo » June 18th, 2018, 2:52 am

Zombra wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 2:33 am
I actually agree with everything you're saying, Giz.
Image
I can't believe that I was supposed to stop caring about my characters before I had a chance to finish all my missions and finally confront Matthias, and I can't believe that I was expected to start running away from random encounters that I still found enjoyable and rewarding.
I never look at it that way. I just see it that the game has to stop the aspect of character leveling at that (usually late) point the game; I'll still do the fights & quests if they are interesting, or if they are necessary to complete the game... But they are not interesting at that point if they are trivial to win; randoms or side quests.
If they insist on putting a brick wall in W3, which they shouldn't, my expectation is that it will be put so far down the track that I will never see it, unless I go well out of my way to deliberately pursue it.
That's the ideal place for it; or they could selectively have the game support one or more levels above what they reasonably believe is possible—and make the cap nearly impossible to reach; or even notice. I'd guess that this is probably the usual plan for a developer—and some players still manage to push the boundary.

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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Drool » June 18th, 2018, 4:42 pm

Gizmo wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 12:36 am
No, I said that it ensures that the game can handle known characters without an undue amount of extra work for edge-case players who advance too far during the game.
I think the issue boils down to many of us viewing games in a very different way to how you seem to. You appear to see the game as a Thing by the developers and their vision must be respected and everything flows from them. I disagree.
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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Gizmo » June 18th, 2018, 7:59 pm

Drool wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 4:42 pm
I think the issue boils down to many of us viewing games in a very different way to how you seem to. You appear to see the game as a Thing by the developers and their vision must be respected and everything flows from them. I disagree.
My opinion was never the issue; nor part of the point. That's an interesting link. I happen to disagree with it; and I find it odd that he could think that his work would be taken seriously when his premise is to ignore an author's intent of the text—his own in this case.

No. As I see it, a game (or any creative work) is theirs if they created it (and haven't sold it). It's their choice what it contains, and what it means; it is possible that the author intends for the reader (or player) to interpret their own meaning from it—in which case, it still means what the author intends.

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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Mole204 » June 18th, 2018, 11:36 pm

Think of an rpg as a basic mouse maze or chess board. The players run around, collect the interesting cheeses, and generally have a bit of fun. You say that they have to be level capped. They can't have all the fun they could figure out to have. They can't get their level numbers as high as they end up doing. The scoreboard isn't reliable, then. If they end up getting to level Really High Number, good for them, they must have wanted it that way.
Gizmo wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 12:36 am
Why should the player have a say in that? It's the developer's game; they have to afford making it, and supporting it.
That's the programmer's problem, just as how to defeat the challenge or puzzle of the game is the player's problem.
The player buys a ticket, just like a person pays to see a movie—they should demand more after the credits roll?
YES! It's called being successful enough for a sequel! Or an expansion pack! Or a line of novels or comic books. Back to the Future had a cartoon series! If a demand is created, it must be allowed to spread!
They got what was offered for their money. Nothing stops a player from replaying an RPG —that's the whole point; to see how handling things differently plays out with a new character.
You're seeing the game as something static, like connect-the-dots, or one of those japanese clickthrough video-book games. All the options are controlled, all the decisions are predicted- and curtailed. Level caps are meant to hold back the player, not let them explore everything or have the hit points needed to do something crazy. Like, in Wl2, destroying the guns at the prison. Or, in Wl1, just running around Base Cochise's lawn, killing the super-tough robots.
Level-caps are a detriment, not something that helps. Let them figure it out themselves.
It's not unlike buying a movie.
And they way you advocate using level caps to stunt the player shows that you view it too much like a movie. But this is the rpg category, where the player isn't going to be passively sitting around. They have to plan how to kill the guys stopping them from Doing The Thing. Can't pay the fee to get inside the mead hall? Wipe out the guards. Can't answer the riddle to defeat the dragon? Kill it. Don't have the emerald to pay the bridge keeper? Ax to him, too. Ambushes, tricks, traps, and general bad ideas? Set them on fire? Just plain drown them? The player's going to want to defeat that too. Which may mean leveling up, then leveling up again. And going past the level cap.
The player bought the game. It's his now. He should play it without any artificial hampering. Gizmo seems to disagree with every aspect of that.
"Here's a chess board, but you only get the pawns."

Counting ten marbles, then counting the same ten marbles again is not a game. Hungry Hungry Hippos is a game.

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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Gizmo » June 19th, 2018, 12:54 am

Mole204 wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 11:36 pm
Think of an rpg as a basic mouse maze or chess board. The players run around, collect the interesting cheeses, and generally have a bit of fun.
But that kind of applies to any game—RPG or not; that applies to Rat-Race: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwnzsIH_1Uk

I say that a qualifying RPG can be made around an assigned PC, serving a life sentence in a jail cell. :mrgreen:
(Papillon the RPG)
Gizmo wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 12:36 am
Why should the player have a say in that? It's the developer's game; they have to afford making it, and supporting it.
That's the programmer's problem, just as how to defeat the challenge or puzzle of the game is the player's problem.
I don't see a problem here—not for the programmer. They can say, "No, this doesn't happen; we are not supporting that can-of-worms for the kind money reasonably expected". Or they can say (internally), "This game will have a sequel that lets you import PCs from the previous game. So this game will only advance to level 6, and the next game starts at level 6". They can implement whatever they what, it's their game.
The player buys a ticket, just like a person pays to see a movie—they should demand more after the credits roll?
YES! It's called being successful enough for a sequel! Or an expansion pack! Or a line of novels or comic books. Back to the Future had a cartoon series! If a demand is created, it must be allowed to spread!
Yes? (You agree?)
The rest of your statement doesn't seem to relate to anything but marketing separate products as expansions to the original. Which I am all for that. 8-)
They got what was offered for their money. Nothing stops a player from replaying an RPG —that's the whole point; to see how handling things differently plays out with a new character.
You're seeing the game as something static, like connect-the-dots
Not at all. I see it as dynamic—and enforcing its decided boundaries.
It's not unlike buying a movie.
And they way you advocate using level caps to stunt the player shows that you view it too much like a movie. But this is the rpg category, where the player isn't going to be passively sitting around. They have to plan how to kill the guys stopping them from Doing The Thing.
...And when those guys are dead, it's done; the way to the Thing is open, and once they've done the Thing, the game can end... but you seem to want a perpetual jaunt. The cowboy rides off into the sunset—into the next town with the next despot.

I'll mention it again, New Vegas ended because they couldn't support the possible outcomes, and the game would get stupid afterwards. If you don't mind an RPG playing out like Donkey Kong, then endless questing is a fine feature to add, but it imposes limitations on the game's ability to depict a changing world.
The player bought the game. It's his now. He should play it without any artificial hampering. Gizmo seems to disagree with every aspect of that. "Here's a chess board, but you only get the pawns."
Inaccurate, I'd say that you cannot get the pawns—back.
Counting ten marbles, then counting the same ten marbles again is not a game. Hungry Hungry Hippos is a game.
It is when you have ten marbles to play Hungry Hungry Hippos with. ;)
Hungry Hippos ends; but you can start over again.

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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Drool » June 19th, 2018, 2:54 pm

Gizmo wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 7:59 pm
My opinion was never the issue; nor part of the point.
When discussing why people have such drastically different core theories on game design, the source of those differences are very much germane to the discussion. Debating the differences themselves may not be, but understanding the existence of that difference could at least make points seem less alien.
I happen to disagree with it; and I find it odd that he could think that his work would be taken seriously when his premise is to ignore an author's intent of the text—his own in this case.
Not to get into a huge debate on literary criticism philosophies, but you seem to have fundamentally missed his point. Of course he would expect his work to be taken seriously; that's the entire point. His argument is that you should read his argument as an argument and not dive into his thoughts on the politics of the day, his religious beliefs are anything external to the argument itself.

To extend to game design, I really don't care what Brian's intent in for WL3. I care about the game itself. I care if it's enjoyable and fun. Take Bard's Tale 2004 for instance. It was clearly intended as a satire on RPG and swashbuckler tropes. But, if it didn't have biting humor and acceptable gameplay, then all the intents in the world wouldn't matter. There's no "A for effort" here.
No. As I see it, a game (or any creative work) is theirs if they created it (and haven't sold it). It's their choice what it contains, and what it means
So what? Who cares what they say it means?
Gizmo wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 12:36 am
Why should the player have a say in that?
Not to be excessively pedantic, but when a company asks people for how the game should be made and provides a forum for that exact purpose, I think it's fair to say the players have been expressly given a say.
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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Gizmo » June 19th, 2018, 3:41 pm

Drool wrote:
June 19th, 2018, 2:54 pm
Gizmo wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 7:59 pm
My opinion was never the issue; nor part of the point.
When discussing why people have such drastically different core theories on game design, the source of those differences are very much germane to the discussion. Debating the differences themselves may not be, but understanding the existence of that difference could at least make points seem less alien.
In the Internet forum environment, a person cannot seem to point a thing out as it is, without their personal bias being applied to it by those seeking to contradict them; (that is not directed at you personally... it's just the way it commonly is).
Not to get into a huge debate on literary criticism philosophies, but you seem to have fundamentally missed his point. Of course he would expect his work to be taken seriously; that's the entire point.
I didn't miss the point, I said that I found it odd.
So what? Who cares what they say it means?
They probably do. I think that you've changed the context with this into the end interpretations of the consumer. The context was of the studio's planned scope of the project; and what they choose to build or not to bother with.
Not to be excessively pedantic, but when a company asks people for how the game should be made and provides a forum for that exact purpose, I think it's fair to say the players have been expressly given a say.
...And that's nice of them; but not binding. It keeps the studio in touch—or rather, not out of touch, with their audience.

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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Mole204 » June 21st, 2018, 12:45 am

Yes? (You agree?)
I agree that there should be more after the credits. You're just applying it wrong. Like I pointed out- in Wl1, after the game is won, the game does not shut down. The player can continue as much as he likes. In Wl2, credits roll, it's over. If you want to play you have to do the whole quest over again. Usually it's done with less patience. Wl3 will need more replayability, and letting the players loose on (what they'd left standing on) the map is the way to do it. How would that have harmed anything? What would have been wrong with Wl2 playing the Arazona map again with whatever you have left after the Evil in the Basement was defeated? It's possible to play individual levels in the save folders, but unless someone wants to try every permutation of one fight, well, why? And they can handle that themselves. The rumors of a multiplayer Wl3... I'll wait and see. MMorgs always get shut down after a few years. Games like Starcraft and Warcraft were successful for the 1 or 2 or AI player games. If it's a good idea, entertaining, there should more of it. And/or as much more as the game creators can make. Otherwise fans get lost to other series and other pursuits. I don't see anyone making a fuss about that Chopperlifter game or whatever.
New Vegas- I never got into the Fallout games all that much. Oh, that's right, it was popular and people wanted more after the credits rolled! Maybe you should have paid attention to that part, Gizmo. It's what is supposed to be done with Wl3, though what'll happen without Brian Fargo, I don't know. Of course they kept making more Fallout and now Wasteland is stuck with an empty Magic Sack of Ideas, overshadowed by it's own Relabeled Clone. There may never be a Wasteland 4, so a soft and pleasant approach to replay-ability is the direction to take this.

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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Gizmo » June 21st, 2018, 1:55 am

Mole204 wrote:
June 21st, 2018, 12:45 am
New Vegas- I never got into the Fallout games all that much. Oh, that's right, it was popular and people wanted more after the credits rolled! Maybe you should have paid attention to that part, Gizmo.
I'm guessing that you paid no real attention to my post, that you mention.

FO3 ended—until they backpedaled under fan pressure—unfortunately.

New Vegas had some complicated politics, and Obsidian would have had to support the (highly variable) aftermath left by the player's outcome. They chose not to bother, and ended the game rather than reduce it to a timeless sandbox that didn't reflect what the PC had accomplished.

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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Mole204 » June 21st, 2018, 2:10 am

Oh I paid attention to your post, I paid no real attention to Fallout. Which means you're well ahead of me into the lore around that series. How could some widely different endings have caused some support problems? After 5 different downloadable content packs, sure, that's time to end the game. (oh the one with the roman army showing up)
How many DLC packs do you think Wl3 will get? How many do you think that people would want? But first the game has to be entertaining, catchy even, worth the time. My previous criticisms over lazy writing is part of that question. Make it great first, make it clean (or close enough), the fans will track dirt over it themselves.


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Re: W3 Replayability

Post by Drool » June 22nd, 2018, 4:11 pm

It's not that one way is clearly superior to the other. It's that I think some companies don't give it enough thought.

Really, it should be one of the first things the developers figure out, because the whole game needs to be designed with that in mind. You build and design an endless game differently than one with a definite ending point.

Wasteland 1 being endless is kind of a result of how the game itself was designed. Since you could recopy discs, there was nothing to keep you from replaying Quartz until your fingers bled (beating the game back when I was 12 involved replaying Quartz and Needles several times for the money, gear, and XP). And, frankly, with the disc recopying (or the later utility in DOS) it was sort of an ancient New Game+ mechanic.

That said, there's no plot/event reason for Wasteland to not be endless. Yeah, you blew up Cochise (spoilers), but there's no reason you couldn't then hike back to Vegas for some gambling. And at least the world map updated with that destruction. Wasteland 2, on the other hand, really had a definitive ending. I don't think that game, as written, should have been endless. Blowing up Cochise was one thing. Blowing up the new Ranger Center (spoilers) is rather different.

That said, pure RPGs should probably end when the final mission is over. They've told their story, you're done. More sandbox RPGs should probably be open ended. In that sense, New Vegas was a bit of an odd man out, but I would argue its story (and the wide-sweeping results of the Second Battle of Hoover Dam) mean that having a solid end was appropriate. Fallout 3's ending felt a little out of left field (at least New Vegas warned you that you were crossing a point of no return), but I would say that Broken Steel handled it well. It actually added in the ramifications of your choices with Project Purity.

As for Fallout 4... I... I honestly didn't care. That ending was so half-assed and slipshod that it really doesn't matter.
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