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cRPG Party Control Poll

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by AeriusSky, Sep 30, 2017.

?

What is your favourite way to control party members in a turn based tactical/strategy cRPG?

  1. Directly - Command (You choose every party members, movement, actions and attacks, every turn)

    85.4%
  2. Indirectly - Gambits (You only control your Main Character, and set up pre-made AI Party Behaviour)

    1.1%
  3. Indirectly - Command | Minds of their own (Only control Main, give Party M orders, may/may not obey)

    5.6%
  4. Directly/Indirectly - (A Mix of Option 1 and 2 - Choose when to interrupt Party M to control direct)

    7.9%
  1. AeriusSky Literate

    AeriusSky
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    Hi,

    I'm developing a cRPG, I just wanted to get an idea of which type of Party Member control system people prefer?

    Any questions on the possible responses I will be back to check this daily, if not more than once a day.

    and I'd love to see any discussion on the topic!

    Thanks for your time in answering the poll!
     
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  2. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    No.
     
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  3. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    ...

    Is this poll for the purpose developing a JRPG? I can move the thread there if you want, but if you want maximum exposure I recommend leaving it here.
     
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  4. AeriusSky Literate

    AeriusSky
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    no it's a cRPG it's just some jRPG's have similarities. No problem was just wondering :).
     
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  5. AeriusSky Literate

    AeriusSky
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    To clarify this is a Grid based game.
     
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  6. Covenant Learned

    Covenant
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    Not being able to control your party members leaves you too open to RNG-bullshit, in my experience, and limits the player in the complexity of any tactics they can reasonably hope to employ.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
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  7. AeriusSky Literate

    AeriusSky
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    Hey thanks for voting if you did and starting the discussion!

    Indeed I agree. Option 3 I see as a way to compromise between focus on the player's character being central to the player (more immersion) and still get the tactical complexity, with commanding, formations, and other mechanics. So essentially, it's no different from option 1, except that sometimes your commands aren't always followed/obeyed.

    Option 4 is there as a way to speed up gameplay. So either you can always Directly Control your all party members, or allow the AI to take care of your party members actions completely, and at any time take over for them.
     
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  8. pippin Guest

    pippin
    I think you should at least show us the design documents of your game. Looks are very important, after all, here we have many people who are very insecure about every aspect of their lives, and find japanese cartoons to be very threatening to their personalities and life choices.
     
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  9. undecaf Arcane Patron

    undecaf
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    I liked that the partymembers in Fallout 2 had their own will (I still got the say on something, mind you), and I also liked in Wasteland 2 that the companions had the opportunity to act on their own.

    I think that gives the companions much more chracter and their character makes the combat situation much more lively and unpredictable, and less calculatable and one that you won't get with a full party control. And this is actually a very good thing in that you can not 'sperg the situation, you will need to adhere to the decisions of others and this, on top of everything, increases replayvalue as it always subtly changes the outcomes. Full party control is overrated, even if preferred most of the time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
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  10. Zombra Arcane Patron

    Zombra
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    It really depends on the format.

    I generally enjoy a high level of automation. I build the party/army, position them on the strategic map, wind them up and watch them go. Setting AI parameters is fun. I loved Dominions 4 (not an RPG, but a good example of what this looks like). In Tactics Ogre Knight of Lodis, I took advantage of the ability to turn on AI for all my units. I also like how tactical automation is handled in the Disciples series. Also the first Ogre Battle. Having too much control can mean I get pissed off and reload every time I miss an attack. When it's AI battling, I'm not so invested in every little thing so it's cool if one of my guys gets wiped out. Even if I get game over, I can reload, change equipment, reposition, wind them up again, and see what goes differently. Fun!

    One thing I don't enjoy is having different rules for the "main character". If it's AI vs. AI, let all my characters be run by AI. "Wind them up" games aren't fun when there is one unit I can't wind up.

    And I hate "Chosen One" RPGs generally. If I have a party, let them share the spotlight. Your assumption that there must be a "main character" is annoying.

    Exception: the game Dead State was originally going to be a party-based zombie game in which you were a "Chosen One" leading a group of survivors, you could give them commands but they might do whatever they wanted; you only had full control of your one guy. This sounded really great and perfect for a survival type story about the problems of leadership. If you're doing something like that, I could get into it.

    I also can certainly enjoy micromanagement tactics games where I have full control over every piece. But there are plenty of those already.

    Meaning what? Chess? Wizardry?
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
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  11. Maxie Der Einzige Patron

    Maxie
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    What a dumb goddamn poll I'm genuinely bothered now
    Party members are my chess pieces to autistically arrange as I see fit
     
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  12. YES! Hi, I'm Roqua Dumbfuck

    YES!
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    In my opinion this is an issue with two best ways. The more and superior rpg way of doing it would be the Tim Cain way. You have no control over members of your party. They are their own entities and do what they think they should do. You are just your character and only have direct control of your character.

    But, I far more prefer to control their actions in combat, their leveling, and every other way to micro manage them. I also far more prefer to create my own party and not have talking head recrtuitables.
     
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  13. Damned Registrations Prestigious Gentleman Furry Weeaboo Nazi Nihilist

    Damned Registrations
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    The problem with AI control is that it's only good if the AI in question is competent, which is probably not the case unless the game is extremely simple, like in a blobber with trivial combat. In a grid based game, you'll have problems like the AI using an important character suicidally because it values killing a low hp enemy more than safe positioning, or wasting an incredibly expensive healing item because you ran out of cheap ones and it had nothing better to do than heal 5 hp at the end of it's turn.

    That said, I have played a grid (hex) based game in this vein (Brigandine) with full AI control before, and it felt somewhat satisfying to win the game without personally controlling my retarded units. But that was after I had well and truly mastered the game and playing manually was trivially easy.
     
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  14. undecaf Arcane Patron

    undecaf
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    This I agree with. It's not a be all end all way of design, obviously party control is needed for certain games, but it is a way of design that works just fine inspite of the criticism and should be used where possible.
     
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  15. Dorateen Arcane

    Dorateen
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    It's been said before. In a single-player party-based game, YOU play the party.
     
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  16. AeriusSky Literate

    AeriusSky
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    pippin

    Unfortunately no design docs, but when I'm closer to release I'll definitely have some sneak peaks.

    undecaf

    I agree, it helps with unpredictability, which also adds to immersion.

    Zombra

    This isn't quite a "chosen one" RPG. Chess, not Wizardry.

    Maxie

    I'm sorry :(

    YES!

    I think it may be possible to mix the two, and have the best of both worlds. I'll take what you've said into consideration as well.

    Damned Registrations

    "The problem with AI control is that it's only good if the AI in question is competent"
    I agree, don't you worry about that though :D.
     
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  17. Circuit Self-Ejected

    Self-Ejected
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    Micromanagement or bust.
     
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  18. undecaf Arcane Patron

    undecaf
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Not just that, it also gives the cNPC's character of their own. And even more so if you can program their AI accordingly.
     
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  19. YES! Hi, I'm Roqua Dumbfuck

    YES!
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    Mixing isn't usually the best course and I wasn't trying to influence anything, just stating my beliefs.

    For your game I suggest full micromanaged control and fullparty creation if you want a more complex rpg with better combat. I suggest going full computer control of the recruitables if you are going for a more roleplay focused experience that isn't worried about having shitty combat that sucks, is boring, and often annoying.

    I honestly can't think of any popular indie rpg that has a regular amount of combat and the combat is bad and annoying. The rpg aspects and quality non-combat content would have to be done well enough to overshadow the extra shitty combat, which will be difficult.

    If you are looking for more bang for the buck I would focus on enemy AI and let the player micromanage if your game is TB. RTwP always sucks so it doesn't matter I guess, since degree of sucking is semantics. The people who want no control or a mix are most likely younger/console sensibility people and not interested in your game, or what this site call "storyfags" and only interested in the story, non-combat rpg aspects and they usually stick to games with higher production value too since the console lite rpg ways and child accessibilities appeal to their likes.

    Your market making a non-hipster indie are people who value good combat and would need control. Either direct control or very predictable member AI they could base a strategy around and apply winning tactics too. This means TB and also means you need a decent enemy AI. Good enemy AI and good companion AI do not work together in my experience. Since time is money the more sensible path to take is the one of least resistance in which case that is going for decent, controllable combat with the less coding (allow the player to control all party members).
     
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  20. santino27 Arcane

    santino27
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    Honestly shocked it's only ~80% direct control right now.
     
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  21. undecaf Arcane Patron

    undecaf
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Same.
    Everyone wants a certain experience, at that's fine, though.

    Although... That way, it's not really all that different from how the mainstream plebs want what they want. Little flexibility and more dogmatic and popularity based approach on how things should be made. Yeah, bad joke. :D

    But in any case, that's how it often seems with this matter.
     
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  22. Taka-Haradin puolipeikko Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Taka-Haradin puolipeikko
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Bubbles In Memoria
    What do you mean with option 3?
    Is it about command checks like Wasteland 2 NPCs or is loss of control status effect with units panicking, berserking etc like in X-com?

    If its about latter why not give player full control of the full party except when said status effects kick in (and FFS make enemies suffer from the same too).
     
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  23. AeriusSky Literate

    AeriusSky
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    YES!

    Hey no problem I definitely wanted everyone's and anyone's opinions and thoughts. You make good points. I was more leaning towards the status quo Direct anyway, I just had a couple other ideas on how I could do it and wanted to see what everyone thinks. I figured if I am already writing good enemy AI it probably wouldn't be much to add it in for party members. I'm going to wait 2 weeks and see how this poll works out and everyone's comments and factor all of those into my decision. I didn't set a close date on the poll though, ah well.

    santino27

    Ya I wasn't sure how it would turn out. I figured it would be more towards the Direct, like DnD and old cRPG's though.

    @Taka-Haradin puolpeikko

    Well nothing is 100% set in stone yet. But Command checks and loss of control like XCom were both in there. Maybe some other stuff too. That's typical for most RPG's though. I was more concerned with what people wanted when it came to "Turn by Turn", and whether controlling a whole party takes away from the experience for most RPGers and RPing. For the latter I would definitely do that, if I go Direct that's how that will be done.

    The cool thing about the AI, is I can give my NPC's of all kinds, personalities etc. Instead of just being what to me, in a lot of games feels like empty vessels. I think that can really shine when the player has control removed from the party members. If I go with Option 3.

    Also not 100% decided yet but there may be multiplayer/co-op, peer to peer, for an optional game mode, I'm not sure yet though. So I may have to take that into account.

    undecaf

    I won't design the combat around the poll, just wanted to get a feel for what people like. In the end it's whatever will be fun, for others and myself. Like I was saying wasn't sure how it would turn out, but I did expect Direct to come out on top because it's the more familiar one, and definitely gives more control to the player.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
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  24. AeriusSky Literate

    AeriusSky
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    Option 3 is mainly; the Party Members have their own minds, and you don't order them every turn if you don't want to, in fact in most cases you wouldn't be able to command all of them in a given turn.

    For instance if you had to say "Formation - Diamond", "Formation - ("Put Custom Formation name Here")", or "Spearmen - Forward" or "Healer(or Party Member Name) come to me!" that takes up a certain amount of time, so you can only deliver so many commands every "turn". And they, being "Entities" with their own "minds" and goals etc. and personal situation at that given moment, will decide to obey or not to obey.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
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  25. Sceptic Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Sceptic
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    Divinity: Original Sin
    Option 1 is by far the best and my own vote.

    Option 3 could be fun if done in an interesting way, similar to how Ishar did it back then, but more refined. Something like how much loyalty your party members have influences the chance they'll refuse your orders. Still one would have to be careful not to let this option become just shitty randomness.

    Option 2 is crap no matter what. I can't think of a single game where I liked it. It was tolerable in NWN2 after a gazillion patches, but still not ideal.

    Option 4 is crap by dint of having some of #2. DAO did this, and I just raged every time I switched to another character and the previous one went on autopilot instead of just continuing to do what I asked them. Infuriating.
     
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