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  1. #1
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    RPG difficulty selection

    DISCLAIMER: Yes Wizardry, I know you don't consider the games I will be mentioning as RPG's. Other people still do, and it's a convient acronym to keep everyone on the same page for the purposes of discussion.

    This is related to the new Mass Effect 'difficulty' selections.

    I generally play RPG's for the story and the world-building. Generally, I'm not a big fan of the combat though. Not because it's hard - more because there is so much of it, that it becomes annoying and repetitive. Dragon Age is a prime example. A single fight can be interesting and challenging, and even fun - 20 of those in a row, and they just get annoying.

    Of course, that is how many modern RPG's can claim so many hours. 100hrs? 90 of those are probably unnecessary grind.

    I'd like a mode where the amount of combat is pared down, not the difficulty. So for example removing the kill-on-sight wildlife and 2/3rds of the Oblivion Gates in Oblivion, or shorter levels with fewer enemy encounters in Dragon Age Origins.

    Of course, i realise that in practice this would mean making two games and so would probably never happen. As a story/world explorer who still enjoys challenging combat once in awhile, it's how these games could be made better for me. The idea that I'd just prefer the combat to be 'easy' like the Mass Effect 3 mode suggests, is a bit condescending and missing the issues I have. Although to be fair, Mass effect has always struck a good balance between action & story in my opinion anyways.

    Anyone else feel the same?

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node DigitalSignalX's Avatar
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    It's difficult to separate the issues because while I like a good RPG in the classic story/character/world exploring sense, I also enjoy some shooting/fighting. Obviously the two aren't mutually exclusive but like you, everyone's opinion will differ on how much they should cross over. IMO ME has a good balance, but the world exploring does suffer some in favor of the plot and the action. Oblivion had superb characters, exploring and action, but the plot got weak. The list could go on. Baulders Gate and NWN2's Mask expansion come to mind as right in that "comfort zone" of all elements.
    All times I have enjoyed greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those that loved me, and alone.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    I can sink 100 hours into F:NV, though much of that is FedEx quests. Even with methodically doing every sidequest, however, ME2 tallied to 25.

    That said, yeah, I'd like infrequent but interesting and unique battles. W2 was spiritually attempting something of that nature, considering Geralt being the local fixer of large, nasty problems, and of games of late came closest to that feeling of "Aww, jeez, this is gonna be tough." Even then, though, you had a lotta mooks to disembowel in the meantime.

    'Course, since disemboweling mooks is the bread and butter of experience points farming, progression would have to be gotten elsewhere, which probably means more setpiece quests.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Binho View Post
    I generally play RPG's for the story and the world-building.
    I guess RPGs are just not for you.

  5. #5
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    I think I agree with the OP. I enjoy combat, and enjoy having to think about how I will approach combat and plan each encounter individually. But when there are are multiple encounters in a row I just can't be bothered so I generally drop the difficulty down a notch for "normal" gameplay and then kick it up for boss fights.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post
    I guess RPGs are just not for you.
    What.

    /10characters
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  7. #7
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    Well I wanted to write "I guess videogames are just not for you" but he specifically said "RPGs" so I didn't want to jump to conclusions.

  8. #8
    Lesser Hivemind Node ado's Avatar
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    I agree with the OP wholeheartedly.

    I love playing the dashing rogue who prefers to talk his ass out of a sticky situation. But 10 out of 10 times that's kinda impossible because the game forces you in to combat. I mean shit, most RPGs make you in to a mass murdering psychopath.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ado View Post
    I mean shit, most RPGs make you in to a mass murdering psychopath.
    A mass-murdering kleptomanic psychopath.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  10. #10
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    Agree with the OP, at least for the Dragon Age games. I think I'm one of the few people who really got into Dragon Age 2, but I still abandoned it because there was just so much combat. I enjoyed the combat - it was one of the few games that really got the rogue right in terms of fighting IMO, but there was just sooo much of it.

    I've not really felt this way with other games - ME2 was about bang on for me - but both Dragon Age games definitely.

  11. #11
    Network Hub thesisko's Avatar
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    It sounds like the OP is asking for improved encounter design that is actually relevant to the setting/story instead of just throwing hordes of trash at the player. Not really something that should be a toggle, it's just good design. The games you gave as examples have shitty encounter design.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    I would have finished Mass Effect were it not for the craptastic combat. Of course I stayed the hell away from the second and will do the same for the third. And I generally love Bioware RPGs.

  13. #13
    Activated Node Dugular's Avatar
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    Argh. This topic brought back memories of Baldur's Gate resurrecting entire squads of enemies just because the corner of the room went out the screen for a second.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dugular View Post
    Argh. This topic brought back memories of Baldur's Gate resurrecting entire squads of enemies just because the corner of the room went out the screen for a second.
    What? Nope, bg only did map travel random encounters.
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  15. #15
    Lesser Hivemind Node fiddlesticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    What? Nope, bg only did map travel random encounters.
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  16. #16
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    well, if you are interested in paying $60 for a half-baked space opera story without any of the meat surrounding the game

    there are plenty of used book shops and libraries full of these things, waiting to be explored
    a grumpy dude with a PHD in videogame debating

  17. #17
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    My first time through Mass Effect, I got so bored with the combat around halfway through that I bumped the game down to easy so I could mow through all the baddies and get on with the story. On my 2nd trip through the game, I took the time to learn and use the squad commands, like moving them to cover and manually selecting when they use their abilities, and had much more fun with it. I tried a third playthrough on hardcore, and it seemed like all it did was give the enemies a ridiculous amount of health. I mean I could walk up to someone, plant my assault rifle in their face and empty round after round and it would barely scratch them.

    I found the combat in ME 2 to be far too easy. Having pixel-perfect aim and a proper crosshair on PC pretty much broke the game. I'm sure it made more sense on the consoles, but with a mouse I was getting headshots nearly every kill. It seemed like I was constantly dropping 6 baddies in 6 shots, then having to stand around and wait until the next wave decided I should be ready for them by now.

  18. #18
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    Only a handful of RPGs have good combat encounters, and they are mostly D&D ones.

  19. #19
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    My big problem with ME2 was that the various skills were mostly palette-swaps (making them kind of boring) and, more critically, largely overpowered. The idea of levitating an enemy in order to shoot them or combining powers to maximize effectiveness simply didn't matter much because every skill inflicted huge amounts of damage in addition to status effects. This also meant that the area-of-effect upgrades were more useful than the high-damage ones, simply because you'd still be doing a boat-load of damage, except to multiple opponents instead of individuals.

  20. #20
    Activated Node creative42's Avatar
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    I must admit that I too find the combat a bit of a grind in RPGs sometimes, and even go as far as to look for cheat codes first before I buy a game, just in case I can't get past a particular opponent. The Witcher 2 was great and I really enjoyed it but if weren't for a very kind forum user making his his game saves available for download, I wouldn't have got past one point very early on in the game (the Kayran monster).

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