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Game mechanic ideas you wish had been better implemented

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by the_shadow, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. Perkel Arcane

    Perkel
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    Open world as in Fallout 1/2 instead of linear missions.

    Sorry but i stand by everything i said. FT needed just open world like F1/2 and more stuff to do to be considered golden classic instead people focused on it as shitty cash in spin off which frankly didn't deserve as even with mission based story it was fucking solid game.
     
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  2. JMab Savant

    JMab
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    What about more realistic melee combat? For example, you "slash" the mouse across a part of your enemy and animation system calculates what position your arm and weapon needs to be in to attempt the attack.

    Enemy can dodge and block and so can you. Melee combat is about exploiting openings in your enemy's defences and ensuring your defence is solid.

    More powerful (i.e. longer slashes) attacks when successful give the reward of chopping off limbs and heads.

    Challenges are the inverse kinematics required for the animation, the dismemberment logic for the models and how to make this all work in a control system that is not a complete clusterfuck.

    I know there has been a few attempts at this, with Die by the Sword being way ahead of it's time with it's physics/animation, but suffering from poor controls.

    And games like Mount and Blade more recently, though I haven't checked that out.

    Gun combat at least gets the real world aspect of "aiming", it would be good to get the same for melee combat, rather than "get close and push the attack button".
     
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  3. PorkyThePaladin Arcane

    PorkyThePaladin
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    Let's be honest here, pretty much all game mechanics can be significantly improved. It's a fairly young industry, and even the games with the best mechanics are often just the next step in a long path toward greater things. And unfortunately, this path often winds back.

    Definitely agree on spellcasting/magic systems. So many are so bad. The system in D&D games is pretty simplistic and boring in the big picture, but it looks like pure genius when compared against the vast majority of "spammer" systems, where spellcasting is just another version of archery. I would love to see games with more complicated magic systems, where magic would be its own thing, as opposed to just a variation of other combat disciplines. Maybe you would have to solve gameworld puzzles/mysteries to progress your magic abilities, or actually set up a wizard tower with a laboratory, and perform pseudo-scientific experiments to learn how to use magic. Maybe there would be consequences to the world every time you used it. Maybe instead of being just another messenger/lackey dunce in a wizard hat, advancing in the magic path would open up unique gameplay opportunities such as taking over the world! Mwahaha!
     
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  4. sser Arcane Cuck Developer

    sser
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    I don't know of a single RPG in existence that handles pickpocketing/stealing very well. It's such a binary function in pretty much all of them, both in action, and in reaction (the town kills you for being caught). Most of the time it just looks bad. Like you sneak around a dude's shop while he naively just stands at the register. Meanwhile, you're plucking greatswords and chest-plates off the walls like they're pieces of candy.
     
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  5. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
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    "Attempts"? ATTEMPTS? Sir, haven't you ever heard of Blade of Darkness? It is The Father of slahers genre and remains the only represantative of it up to this day. With only Rune and DbtS trying to repeat the success. The first one didn't quite catch the idea, and the second? Die by the Sword? Horrible abomination. unplayable, and not just coz of controls. The whole concept of modeling your own moves didn't work out. It was broken. It looked ugly and unnatural in action.

    Back to Blade of Darkness:
    1. Dodge, blocking, exploitig weaknesses and openings in melee? Check.
    2. Powerful attacks and severed limbs, with gallons of blood pooring out? Check.
    3. Dismemberment logic in models? Check.
    Cinematics..? Try Skyrim. It's like slasher, only not slasher. But hey, it has cinematics.
     
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  6. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator

    Jaesun
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    Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    So what games actually captured cRPG mechanics you liked?
     
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  7. JMab Savant

    JMab
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    Ha! Well, to be fair, DbtS came out in 1998 and BoD in 2001, so DbtS would still be the father, albeit an awkward, obsessed, self-destructive, Neanderthal father.

    BoD had pretty good shadow effects for it's day - looks newer than 2001 vintage.

    However BoD looks like it used pre-canned animations only, no inverse kinematics, so I wonder how fluid/reactive the combat actually was. Still, I'll check it out if gog.com has it.

    I've got a view that differs to that taken by the DbtS and BoD developers - I think this type of game should be in first person, not third person. In first person, you could "slash" your mouse across the neck of your opponent right in front of you and with a Jacobian inverse technique, with your melee weapon as an extra bone, you should be able to calculate in realtime exactly how your body should contort to have the melee weapon attempt to hit the neck at exactly where you "slashed".

    You lose that potential precision with the third person view. If the camera is offset somewhere off and above your character's right shoulder, for example, then I think you'd have to abstract your slashes and stabs to high/low/left/right, depending on where you "slash" your mouse on the screen.

    A major problem either approach is the control system though. You need to control; movement (e.g. WASD keys), view (e.g. mouselook) and arms/weapons. But you've only got a mouse and keyboard. If you had a VR head-tracking device to take care of the view, that would be ideal, with your keyboard hand moving you around and your mouse hand controlling your character's arm/s.

    A less than ideal approach might have to be taken in reality. E.g. WASD keys for movement, and hold down left mouse button (LMB) for view/mouselook and hold down RMB for attacking. That leaves blocking - you could do something like holding down the alt key with the RMB to block. Wouldn't be ideal...
     
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  8. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
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    Yep, GOG has it. I still recomend you to play either Skyrim or Rune - they are the closest you'll find to first-person-view-slasher. Quiet decent too. But that is a whole different kinds of slashers.

    BoD is hardcore. The first trick is configure the controls, coz the default ones are rather inconvinient. Then you either savescum and endure the game, or git gud try to play it fair. The game tends to call you names if you savescum, which is a nice feature :) The thing is, most of the fights end rather fast. You and your enemies need about 2-3 well-placed hits that connect. Sometimes even one hit is enough to chop off the head. When you play without savescumming, you are ALWAYS in constant state of pumpin' adrenaline. You feel more tension than even in Dark Souls, coz the last one just respawns you after death. Here you die - goodbye. No second chance.

    So, if you are going to check it out, I dare you to try it the fair way, so you won't miss the charm of the game and the feel of combat. I know what you saying about first person combat. Personnaly, I like the "feel" of the sword in Daggerfall. But BoD remains unmatched in slasher genre.
     
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  9. JMab Savant

    JMab
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    I've finished Skyrim... but I'd hesitate to lump it in with these other games. Combat is pretty basic - attack over and over, with the occasional power attack to break a block stance. Some pre-canned animation finishing moves, and staggering to mix up the trading of blows a bit. I don't think combat is a strength of Skyrim.

    Rune seems to have trod the same ground as DbtS and BoD, with a third person perspective.

    I think Daggerfall "felt good" because of the first person perspective and your arm/sword animations felt right. And if my memory serves correctly you had more options in melee than Skyrim, with slashes, thrusts and chops.

    I'd put Ultima Underworld ahead of both Daggerfall and Skyrim for this type of mechanic though. You could aim with UU and holding down the mouse button drew the weapon back to give it power. And it was first person which I still think is the right approach! UU was way ahead of it's time in many ways.

    UU was a work of art, but the interface feels incredibly clunky now. Directional arrow cursors on the screen to move? Wouldn't fly now, everyone is used to mouse/WASD. I'm trying to think how to make a first person slasher work properly based on a mouse/WASD input basis.

    Don't worry, I'll play BoD the right way!
     
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  10. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

    Lilura
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    I cakewalked Skyrim. On my first run I configured Deadly Combat + TK Combat/Dodge/Hitstop which was a bad joke compared to Oblivion's combat mods, which were themselves a joke (Deadly Reflex + Unnecessary Violence).

    The fact TES even gets mentioned in action combat is hilarious, people see the mods and think incurably clunky, floaty and huge hitbox combat is srs hack n slay...

    Dunno what the other guy's going on about, the default keyboard controls for BoD are rock fucking solid. This isn't Gothic 1 where you're at first gonna be going WTF (takes 10mins 2lrn, but I digress...). I was also never tempted to use an external app to configure a controller. I would invest in a gaming kb/m for this kinda thing, though. Goes without saying, really...

    If you want first-person combat, then there's already Warband and Chivalry. Warband doesn't have 1st-person for archery, but the cam is just behind the head and doesn't feel uncomfortable. I talk about archery briefly in a few RPGs here.
     
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  11. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

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    Skyrim needs a lot of modding to become challenging and even then it won't become a slasher. Neither of TES games will, but they seem pretty close to me. Good point with UU combat, tho - it does have that right feel to it. The second part is pretty challenging too. But I still prefer Daggerfall, besides, it is stiill playable today. It "felt good", coz your weapon followed your mouse movement. In later TES games weapon followed WASD buttons, which doesn't feel so right to me.

    If you ever change your mind about third person perspective, you should also try out Demon/Dark Souls series - they've got decent combat as well, although not so gory. Works wonders in PvP, but people talk about cheating PC community. I play on PS3, works wonders for me. I would also reccomend Brytenwalda mod for Mount&Blade - the combat in this one is most satisfying among all of M&B mods. The setting is awesome too - Britain of Dark Ages.

    As for BoD controls, just see for yourself. Someone like Lilura can play with defaults, I guess my fingers aren't just nimble enough. I prefer to play it without mouse whatsoever, using just my keyboard. Was thinkin' about trying some joystick, but I'm too lazy to set it up.
     
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  12. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

    Lilura
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    The community really let down the PvP aspect, yeah. First you had the faggot twinkers who would get far into the game to get OP items and then just stay low lvl to invade noobs (or wait for noobs to invade them). Then the hackers just maxed stats beyond design so that you could only kick them off an edge, bleed burst or curse-kill them. Then they worked out how to protect against that, so in the end I just started hacking myself and the challenge just became who was better versed in Cheat Engine... (if you can't beat em, join em). Really bad mentality, but there you have it. At least Dark Souls will be highly competitive for years to come in the speed-run arena, but PvP's just dead.

    I thought Prophecy of Pendor was good, when I OC'd my i7 I modded battle size to 1000 and some epic shit ensued. The reason I don't play Warband now is that I figured out all the AI exploits in sieges/open field, and its just too easy to reflexively abuse them.
     
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  13. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

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    That is so sad, actually. On the console you got all those honorable guys, bowing and drinking all estus before the fight. Those who don't are usually just new to PvP part - you can see it coz of low skill. There are some assholes to be sure, but not very often that I see them. And no cheaters, of course.

    PoP is too fantasy for me. I can't play M&B with freaking elves and magic. Brytenwalda is very realistic - it does complete game overhaul. The combat becomes more gory and natural, you have to rediscover the game from the start. The horses, swords, armor - they are rarity. Hard to come buy, cost a fortune. And it's MUCH harder to play than vanilla or PoP, more skill-demanding both in strategy, tactical combat, leadership and battle skill. But also much more rewarding. I could talk about it for long, I've been playing it for many years now and never got bored with it. But it's actually better to try it out yoursellf.

    And yeah, forget about vanilla AI. Brytenwalda fuckers will never rush at you, if they aren't ABSOLUTELY sure of their victory. No. They will keep formation and either advance slowly or wait for YOU to charge.
     
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  14. Jools Eater of Apples Patron

    Jools
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    Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    - IE/AE games provided a fairly decent party/action/turn/queue management solution.

    - VATS was an interesting idea to turn FPS into RTWP, if it only had been used better and if it had allowed for commanding companions too.

    - Exploration wise, my preference goes to Gothic1/2/Risen, and to Skyrim. Skyrim is an excellent trekking simulator, or alternatively a decent "fantasy GTA".

    - My favourite melee combat would probably be M&B's, it's so weird it actually feels "realistic".
     
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  15. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

    Lilura
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    There was almost no standards in PC PvP. I met some Japanese and Russians who would always bow, but they were so rare it depressed me. Mostly the behavior was predatory and dishonorable. Hackers would drop items for noobs and then kill them when they tried to pick them up. I mean, really...

    I have the mod, installed it once but then got into something else. PoP is widely regarded as being the most difficult Warband mod, but after some teething problems it became facerollish. I also tried Gekokujo, but that's still under dev. Supposed to be a Napoleonic mod coming out, can't recall the name. Saw the trailer, looks polished.
     
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  16. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
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    That is exactly why I keep my console handy. I hate playing online on PC, that's true to any game. The community is so large and anonymous - it spawns all kind of bastards. The only bad online experience I had on PS3 is GTA 5. But that's another thing - the game itself supports asshole behavior among players. Looks very childish and outright dumb. Other than that, it's always enjoyable to play with cool guys, like Demon/Dark Souls PS3 community.

    Yeah, I know the opinion about PoP among MB fans. I think it's bullshit. PoP is the most popular mod, maybe along with ANNO, and it certainly harder than vanilla. Well, I guess ANY mod out there is harder than vanilla. PoP can be hard to start, hard to get around, but once you get the grip - there is NO CHALLENGE in it. Whatsoever.

    Just a few Brytenwalda features that really make me happy:
    1. All forts, castles, towns are made from scratch. As the global map, of coz. Nuff said.
    2. Morale system - that's basically the cornerstone of combat. Some battles can be won or lost without any bloodshed. You've gotta keep your warriors well fed, well paid, choose your enemies wisely and behave like a leader. That includes making some hard choices.
    3. For example, you've just defeated your enemies. But you know that reinforcements are on their way, you gotta do something. Want to loot the fallen? It takes time. Want to use that time to bury them instead? Or maybe loot&bury? Then you will certainly get attacked by coming reinforcements. Just leave the battlefield as is? Take an honour penalty then. If you play pagan, then you'll burn the bodies instead of burying, btw. Oh, you can also entrench your camp before doing anything if you know you'll face your enemies soon.
    4. Sieges are working right. You'll get a hard time sieging anything. You'll have to deal with supplies, deseases, building siege machinery, defending your camp, keeping high morale among the troops, making negotiations, deciding when and how to attack, etc. Same goes for defending part.
    5. Random events are random.
    6. Officers have much more complex relationships with each other.
    7. Very easy to loose it all making one small mistake, even when you're doing very good. Even in lategame. Especially if you playing without saving. As you should.
    8. Over time you tend to become ruthless. Take whatever opportunities you got and never playing a hero. Coz while the combat is fun, hard and engaging, the major difficulty is about making the right decisions rather than facerolling through ur enemies.

    And the atmosphere of that game. With historical names and language, with all that music and gory combat sounds. And the WARCRIES! God, fucking Skyrim should have took the warcries from Brytenwalda. It's triggerd by "U" button, if memory serves me - shit, I love those. When your saxon shieldwall charges on those pictish barbarians, and you cry smth like "DDAAAAMN YOUUUU" and ALL of the 120 soldiers of yours simultaiously cry out AAARRRGGHGHG after you, the enemy then shit their loincloth and run - MAN, that feels good!
     
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  17. nihil Augur

    nihil
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    JRPG combat with more emphasis on positions, area attacks, etc. Basically Chrono Trigger, evolved. That game tried some fun things but didn't commit to them. Battles started with enemies and PCs in various positions, mostly outside of the player's control. Attacks could have areas like lines, circles or triangles. Ranged attacks were weaker when the target was right next to the attacker. In practice it just meant waiting for enemy formations/positions to change before attacking, but there are some unexplored possiblities there, I think. Engagement, actions that change you position, line of fire, etc. Lots of opportunity for encounter design with less control over PC movement. WRPG-like tactics in a more discrete, "active time battle"-system. Or turn-based, but I have a thing for early ATB.
     
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  18. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
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    Valkyrie Chronicles is JUST what you're looking for.
     
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  19. Immortal Arcane

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    I think open world has been largely a missed opportunity for many games.

    From a designer perspective, how do you make open world truly free roaming and still handle the power curve in RPG's. Like you start in one area of the world.. and you would expect the farther you travel, the harder things might get to produce challenge for someone who is getting stronger and leveling up.

    The problem is that doesn't always make sense... What? Do bandits in the north just happen to be more powerful then bandits in the south where you started the game. I can see the challenge that games like New Vegas and Skyrim had.. I think New Vegas had a great way of handling this issue because they can put any content where they want, but it only worked because of the post apocalypse setting. In a traditional setting of kings and bandits, it's much harder to justify steep power curves in a 'normal' fantasy setting.

    In a world where you have living breathing villages and you can go anywhere at any time.. It's hard to keep things balanced and I hope WItcher 3 will find a way to fix this problem without decline mechanics like Level Scaling or Railroading players by locking content behind main quest goals.

    Ideally I would like the safest low level areas to be on well travelled roads and cities or villages with heavy presence of law and order. The harder locations would be areas that branch away from those areas.. but that's just something I pulled out of my ass.


    I would love a sandbox game like Skyrim that used factions and town / castle building that was in M&B. One of my favorite things about M&B (Depending on the mods you use) is that you start the game as a weak piece of shit while all these kingdoms around you are really powerful and constantly allying and going to war with each other.

    Then by forging alliances and slowly leveling / building an army, you climb the hierarchy and eventually become a threat that all other kingdoms start to take notice of and eventually ally together to destroy.


    If that sort of dynamic was integrated in a Skyrim type game with all the radiant shit dropped, make all the content unscaled. I would kickstart the shit out of that game.
     
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  20. Kalasanty11 Learned

    Kalasanty11
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    Faction disguises from NV could've been implemented better. NCR does not attack you when you wear raider armour, helmet doesn't matter, etc. But overall, there could've been more missions involving disguise. And it should be harder to get. Like power armour in F1&2, when you couldn't loot corpses for armour.
    And it would be fine if D:OS had more mechanics from KotC/ToEE, like 5 foot steps for example.
     
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  21. The eternal one is DIALOGUE.

    I'm amazed this hasn't been mentioned more and more prominently in people's responses.

    You can find games with the kind of combat you like, with the kind of character specifics you like, with good crafting, sneaking, magic, etc etc etc. There wont be an abundance of anything, but there will be games that cater to your particular mechanic fetish out there. If it's in a game you don't like for other reasons, that's just unfortunate, but it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    What doesn't exist and has failed to exist since the very early promise of computer games is the question of fully interactive Role dialogue. Because it's a monumental task. The most monumental challenge to the entire genre - and so important because it is, whether you like it or not, the primary defining feature of the genre.

    A game where your first conversation with your first NPC will change the direction the game will take you. Where the second conversation with the second NPC multiplies your destinations by a second level of options. Where the 'end' of the game could involve any one of 1,000 different adventuring paths, and that these endings all take place at completely different locations with different motivations and conclusions.

    The absolute truly epic.

    This could be achieved by someone. Someone could make this a 'lifetime' project to write. The problem would be technology. It would take someone, or even a team of people, many many years to write such an epic (and have lots and lots of gameplay time for any choice of dialogue tree), but the technology would change four or five times while they were doing that. And who's going to pay for these people to do something that took that long and keep the quality of the end product a-list?

    Now that's the ultimate mechanic which needs greatest improvement. Yes, it's kind of the elephant in the room and I apologise for mentioning it, but I'm not the first and I wont be the last and it would be nice if we could have just one such game before we all die, just one...
     
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  22. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

    Lilura
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    Vampire Bloodlines' various social mechanics (seduction, dementation) and clan-based flavor, standout ofc being Malkavian. And ofc the general modular nature of the questing was involving and fun to tinker with.

    Storm of Zehir's overworld map, trading system, all-party dialogue and crafting.

    The largely mechanical stat-based dialogue of Planescape: Torment, and Special Abilities acquired through dialogue and later used within it (ie, Stories-Bones-Tell.)

    Conditional tactical framework system in Dragon Age: Origins, like the game or not, that system is something of which IE gamers can only dream.

    Psionics and hacking in System Shock 2, and the unique presentation of the story. The fact you can listen to those spectral recordings while doing other things is impressive.

    Teleport arcane spell in Temple of Elemental Evil, IE games only had Dimension Door and it was removed in BG2 due to a glitch that enabled sequence breaking.

    Fallout's SPECIAL, yes there's lots of deadwood in there but overall the sheer number and variety of traits/perks/skills can make for interesting builds and the ability to Mutate! and Tag! shows devs were thinking. I also liked the Barter system, and recommend a Tag there in Fallout 1 for convenience reasons. The targeted shots and gory death anims are unforgettable in this masterpiece.

    The alchemy system is excellent in The Witcher 1, but if you're gonna concoct potions and oils n bombs you should play on the hardest difficulty since its majorly OP.

    Healbotting was pretty much eliminated in JA2 by making regen syringes rare/expensive and emphasising the need for medics, dedicated doctors and later even a hospital to speed up recovery. JA2 = mechanically top-tier, one can espouse the long list of virtues here but many are well-known by now.

    Deus Ex implemented firearms solidly, its more than just accuracy/dmg - skill modifies shaking, reticule reduction speed and movement penalty (eg, GEP). Plus the added effect of augmentations and mods (reload, silencer, scope, ranged, laser sights and clip capacity). The ability to play without guns, the emphasis on and encouragement of the stealth approach which you can choose to ignore entirely. Solid shit.
     
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  23. PorkyThePaladin Arcane

    PorkyThePaladin
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    Maybe you've heard of it, but there was a Kickstarter for a project called CLANG by the sci-fi writer Neal Stephenson and some of his buddies. The idea was to create a realistic medieval fencing simulator and then wrap an RPG around it later on. They were thinking along similar lines, that keyboard and mouse wouldn't be sufficient, so the plan was to create a custom controller that looked similar to a lightsaber handle. Player could hold it like a sword hilt and perform realistic moves which the computer would capture and translate into sword movements. They raised like half a million dollars, but failed to convince anyone else to sponsor it, so as far as I know it's canned or at least on the shelf now.

    The best current hope for interesting melee combat is a game called Kingdom Come: Deliverance from a Czech studio. Maybe you heard of it as well. The devs claim the combat is modeled on real historical fencing techniques, and they brought in fencing experts to help them create the system. The game is currently being developed, so they haven't revealed completely how it's going to work yet. Based on what was revealed so far, it will have inverse kinematics (swords will stop when hitting other objects), 3 basic sword attacks (slash, thrust, and pommel strike) that can target 6 different body areas, so 18 overall, and a parrying/prompting system. The latter will require the player to actively parry an enemy strike in time, which will initiate a short period of "bullet-time" during which there will be prompts on the screen for various follow up moves. At this point, it's hard to tell how well it will work exactly without seeing it in action, but the guys behind this game have made some pretty good realistic combat systems in the past (Operation Flashpoint, Mafia).
     
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  24. nihil Augur

    nihil
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    Awesome. I've obviously heard about it, but never got around to trying it. Is it ATB-ish or TB?

    Edit: Tried to Google it. Are you talking about Valkyrie Profile, or the newer Valkyria Chronicles?
     
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  25. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
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    Yeah, sorry. I meant Valkiria Chronicles.

    It's kinda hard to describe the combat there, but it's pretty much what you're asking for. Postitions are of utmost importance, it's not entirely TB nor is it ATB. It's based on phases. I'll try to explain the best I can. So here you are, controlling a squad. Turn starts.
    1. You select a squad member whos' gonna move.
    2. You got ALL THE TIME in the world to think what you're gonna do, weight your options, etc. Thinking and planning doesn't have a time limit.
    3. If you want to MOVE before taking any other kind of action, you're going "real time". Meaning, if you move thorugh enemies line of sight, they will fire at you until you finish movement and return to "stale" state. God, that must sound confusing. You may try to crouch or crawl to avoid being shot at.
    4. Then you may take as many actions as you have AP left. Take cover, give cover fire, simply shoot or bomb or whatever.

    The combat is actually not so hard to get a grip of, but it has enormous depth to it. Lot of micromanagment between missions too. It has JA2-style approach to parties: a LOT of different guys and girls each with their own personalities, lines of dialogue, strong and weak traits and all kind of relationships. Beautiful story and art. I love this game.

    Here you go with a decent sample:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-0RY4TTNwE
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2014
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