Official RPG Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

BioWare's love for trash mobs

Discussion in 'BioWare' started by Tim the Bore, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. Egosphere Magister

    Egosphere
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2018
    Messages:
    1,548
    Location:
    Hibernia
    Eh, yes and no. The combat in SS is superb, but it's strength lies in the destructable environments, which provide you with endless options in every encounter. I recall a fight against 6 or so British soldiers in a tiny hallway: I used my machine gunner to fire at them in full auto, but he fired so many shots that he destroyed a wooden supporting beam under the floor, with 4 of my enemies plunging into the basement below (and a couple of them dying from the fall). Every floor/ceiling/wall in that game is destructable, so you can knock holes in any surface and use that to your advantage. And that's great. But the encounter design itself is fairly bland, usually against very same-y groups of enemies that take defensive positions and drag you into a war of attrition, whereby you take pot shots at each other from afar. It becomes a lot more fun indoors, when you start slinging grenades their way and watching the whole structure collapse around you.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    ^ Top  
  2. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Messages:
    26,873
    Location:
    KA.DINGIR.RA.KI
    I thought of some alternative wound-based systems rather than hit points and came up with some cool ideas.

    You have multiple things that can go down or up during combat:
    - blood points (basically HP - shows how much blood you have in your body, when it reaches 0 you've bled out, this drains when you have bleeding wounds and don't bandage them)
    - pain (increases when you receive painful wounds)
    - stamina (decreases when you perform actions or have to bear heavy hits against your shield or armor)

    In addition to that every limb has its own hp pool representing its structural integrity. When reduced to zero you receive a grave wound depending on the weapon used: bladed causes a deep cut that bleeds heavily, blunt causes a broken bone that reduces the limb's effectiveness and causes great pain.

    This way different weapons and different attack types have different effects and uses. Attacking a heavily armored knight with a blunt weapon until a critical hit breaks a bone, or until the constant hits cause enough exhaustion for him to collapse, is as valid as hitting a lightly armored guy with quick rapier hits to the limbs to cause many shallow bleeding wounds that make him bleed out and grow weaker over time.

    That would be a nice alternative to the same old "whittle HP down until enemy dead" mechanic.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    ^ Top  
  3. DalekFlay Arcane Patron

    DalekFlay
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    14,105
    Location:
    New Vegas
    Have a trash mob difficulty setting separate from the main one, which just makes them all die to one hit when you're the same level or higher, but keep "important" enemies normal.
     
    ^ Top  
  4. Desolate Dancer Educated

    Desolate Dancer
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2019
    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    Newfagistan, Huntown of Buda
    This sounds good, and I can imagine it being used by a historical rpg since it tilts toward realism, but how would you translate this against e.g. non-corporeal or non-living/bleeding creatures? In some cases 'blood' and 'pain' would not make sense against fantasy beings. This is one of the other advantage of HP: it just provides a "howmuchdamagedoIneedtodeal" parameter which is easy to translate between any creature type.
     
    ^ Top  
  5. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Messages:
    1,868,831
    Location:
    Searching for my kidnapped sister
    Destructible environment is another aspect altogether. It has little to do with how great the model of encounter design in Silent Storm is.
    If you ape that kind of design to games like BG2, we can have something like this.

    Party go from Akethla to Druid Grove. an encounter happen around an area

    1. This happen at night. A party of bandits waylay the party. Since it's at night, its' easier for party to run away to farther away, and a thief sneak back to scout them first before start the fight. Or run away.

    2. This happen at day. It's impossible to run away without being heavily injured in the party.

    3. This happen at day, but the entry location is in a nook of the woods, so we can send thief ahead to scout first to decide whether to fight or run away.

    4. This happen at day, same deal as 3 so we can run away. BUT, unlike three other instance, this time RNG mechanic allow a container near enemy's location and we are reasonably sure that signal one of the thief will carry good loot, ten extra potion of superior healing, a rare thing to find in game. So we choose to stay and fight. Actually, THIS instance is what we've been farming for days (game time, not real time) as we are gathering good healing potions for a boss fight.

    See? Destructible environment doesnt affect how good such a model of encounter design is.
     
    ^ Top  
  6. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Messages:
    26,873
    Location:
    KA.DINGIR.RA.KI
    The setting I conceived it for is low fantasy so there's not a lot of incorporeal beings.

    But against a lich, for example, you wouldn't be able to cause bleeding and pain and would just have to hack the dude apart, which naturally causes him to have a much higher durability than living enemies. You won't even have to increase the HP of his limbs by any amount, just make a rule like "limbs receive a debilitating wound at 0 HP but if you keep attacking them and they reach -15 they are hacked off completely" and boom, undead creatures are harder to kill without having to bloat their HP, just by the fact that you have to cause more damage to see any effect, and bleeding and pain don't work on them.

    Battle Brothers kinda does this to some extent already. Your guys and enemy guys can receive wounds which debuff the character, they can also bleed which causes HP loss per turn, and they have morale which causes them to flee if it falls too low. Undead have none of that, you just have to bash them until they're down. Which makes them really scary enemies against which some common tactics don't work.
     
    ^ Top  
  7. huskarls Educated

    huskarls
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2016
    Messages:
    84
    They used this exact system in kenshi; blood, limbs, blade/blunt. Only difference is your maximum pain is a hidden value tied to toughness, so your ability to fight longer increases with levels rather than hp. Mixed blunt and bladed values were also in the game like with hacking swords
     
    • incline incline x 1
    ^ Top  
  8. Desolate Dancer Educated

    Desolate Dancer
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2019
    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    Newfagistan, Huntown of Buda
    In that case it is completely fine as long as it is a historical rpg or very low fantasy setting. I would never dare get rid of HP as a concept, but I'm also inclined to stunt HP bloat, and to implement alternatives to the damage systems.
     
    • Yes Yes x 1
    ^ Top  
  9. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Messages:
    27,259
    what kind of pleb doesn't use invis 10' before traveling?
     
    ^ Top  
  10. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Messages:
    1,868,831
    Location:
    Searching for my kidnapped sister
    Isnt its duration pretty short and run out waaaay before meeting the 1st encounter? Even if you manually cast invi spell, it still run out~
     
    ^ Top  
  11. Hassar Learned

    Hassar
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2016
    Messages:
    109
    I think it has to do with how rpgs on computer and gaming systems can easily code combat but it’s much harder to code meaningful and engaging non-combat choices. Most D&D campaigns don’t even have that many fights (and the ones that were there were meaningfully and thoughtfully placed for the most part) but even the Gold Box games threw combat at the player using same game-ified mechanics as “every x number of steps” (I know this because I got the Gold Box design your own adventure CRPG module when it came out). This type of design choice carried over to the point where combat really isn’t tied to the narrative in any way.

    I don’t think Bioware thinks of combat as tied to the story, anymore. It’s just another numbers-based puzzle to distract the player from the fact that they are basically walking from cutscene to cutscene. I got bored with DA:II because the combat became so random - you’d be walking down a street and suddenly enemies would climb down ropes and attack but your characters weren’t even invested in it, just mindlessly autoattacking for X damage until you used specific skills to break up the boredom by adding a multiplier to x damage or whatever.

    This is part of my general gripe about most RPG magic isn’t magical - it has no application out of combat and you can’t turn invisible to avoid enemy encounters or fly to move somewhere you couldn’t walk to. In ME, your biotic character can eventually hurl enemies back with telekinetic/gravitational mass effect fields but can’t blast through walls, doors, or do anything meaningful in the non-combat environment.

    RPGs just have a bad tendency to completely excise the adventure aspects of their games and focus on the low hanging fruit of throwing in a passable combat system. If you re-read LotR, there aren’t that many combat situations, but the adventure was full and sticks in your memory because the characters did more than just fight waves of monsters...they met other characters, got out of scrapes, ate, slept, and did so many other things besides combat that it felt like an epic. Nowadays, developers like SE and BioWare think “epic” means “clocking over a certain amount of hours to complete & big, fancy cutscenes.” MMMoRPG crap like FFXIV are great examples of this - your genocidal character mows through millions of mobs to get from major story point to major story point but it is all so plastic and meaningless.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    • I found this text to be too long and as such I didn't read it I found this text to be too long and as such I didn't read it x 1
    ^ Top  
  12. Sreggin Etah I Learned

    Sreggin Etah I
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2019
    Messages:
    368
    Retardex logic:

    Trash mobs in Bioware games: "bad ! this game is a chore to play"

    Trash mobs in M&M 6,Wizardry 8 and Icewind Dale: "Good ! don't you like combat ? then go read a book !"
     
    • butthurt butthurt x 4
    • Funny Funny x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • WTF am I reading WTF am I reading x 1
    ^ Top  
  13. the mole Learned Shitposter

    the mole
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2019
    Messages:
    628
    Would you rather watch a cutscene or fight something, I would prefer a fight 99 percent of the time

    Then again I'm a patrician whos favorite rpg can't be topped it's called final fantasy tactics

    Games need to weave the narrative into the game while you play more often instead of relying on cutscenes, because they are just fucking boring most of the time and interrupt the flow of the game
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    ^ Top  
  14. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Messages:
    27,259
    It lasts 24 hours.
     
    ^ Top  
  15. hexer Guest

    hexer
    I didn't know Beamdog added random encounters to BG1.
    This supposedly happened at level 1. They sure "fixed" the game

    [​IMG]
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
    ^ Top  
  16. octavius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    octavius
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Messages:
    15,467
    Location:
    Bjørgvin
    AFAIK that's actually true to the original game, unlike BGT and TuTu.
    Pretty sure I saw that encounter only with vanilla BG1.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Balanced Balanced x 1
    ^ Top  
  17. hexer Guest

    hexer
    That random encounter happened between the map where Gorion gets killed and the one to the east where you meet Elminster.
    I think they should have put ankhegs in that area too, why stop at mere gibberlings?
     
    ^ Top  
  18. octavius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    octavius
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Messages:
    15,467
    Location:
    Bjørgvin
    Sure, but it was not Beamdog that added it.
    Beamdog only "enhanced it". The game was designed by a developer called BioWare.
     
    ^ Top  
  19. hexer Guest

    hexer
    Yes, but Beamdog made that 10 vs 2 encounter happen in a place where it never happened before.
    I know they messed with maps and encounters too much because they also allowed the party to exit the first wilderness map to the south towards High Hedge which wasn't possible in the original.
    This allows you to miss the first Elminster encounter and meet him for the first time when it should have been chronologically the second.
    Then when you meet him at the wilderness map later, he's talking to you as if he never met you before.
    If it's not broken, don't fix it!
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • When words are not enough When words are not enough x 1
    ^ Top  
  20. Machocruz Arcane

    Machocruz
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    3,500
    Location:
    Hyperborea
    Neo Scavenger might have the best combat model I've seen in a game. Every encounter was high stakes. I don't remember if it even used HP concept (which in video games has a different definition than that what was intended in DnD), fights were lethal and quickly resolved
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Prestigious Prestigious x 1
    ^ Top  
  21. octavius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    octavius
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Messages:
    15,467
    Location:
    Bjørgvin
    Ah, if that is correct then I see your point!
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    ^ Top  
  22. Vibalist Arcane

    Vibalist
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    3,448
    Location:
    Denmark
    I just finished BG:EE and that sure didn't happen to me. And had it happened, I could have probably just reloaded to avoid it.

    My two cents re the discussion: BG2 is the only Bioware game with good encounter design and a refreshing lack of trash mobs. It's actually quite amazing how consistently good everything is in this area. BG1, on the other hand, is one of the most painfully tedious experiences I've had gaming wise in the last few years. 95% of the fights are against the same bandits, goblins, gibberlings, gooblydoinks and gibbelydicks. It fucking sucks.
    Everything about it is so easy that I actually wish something like the above had happened.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  23. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    32,611
    Location:
    Chrząszczyżewoszyce, powiat Łękołody
    I'm pretty sure I have done just that in the original.
     
    ^ Top  
  24. Daidre Augur

    Daidre
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2019
    Messages:
    1,306
    Location:
    Samara
    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Why are you so sure it is Beamdog's work?

    AFAIK this 10 vs 2 random encounter was ruining no-reload runs for decades. It has always been pretty rare but you could get it on the way to Friendly Arm back in '99.
     
    ^ Top  
  25. hexer Guest

    hexer
    I'll have to see that for myself, I recall not being able to go south from that map

    I'm not 100% sure, but since they took it up on themselves to fix the game's issues I can now blame them.
    That encounter has no place between the first two wilderness areas unless the game designers wanted to flex their muscles on level 1 characters for whatever reason. It's setup in a way you can't even run away.
     
    ^ Top  

As an Amazon Associate, rpgcodex.net earns from qualifying purchases.