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Is "kill all enemies"-win condition too prevalent in battle systems?

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Bohrain, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. Bohrain Savant Patron

    Bohrain
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    So basically nearly all battle systems are about killing all enemies as the underlying win condition, which basically leads to fights boiling down to maximizing damage output while surviving and using resources as modestly as possible. Obviously, this a very general desciption and the actual implementation can range from fantastic to dogshit, but do you think developers should give more thought to alternate win conditions?

    Personally I liked how Sengoku Rance approached this. The turn based fights were won by the party with more meter (top of the picture) after reaching maximum amount of turns or wipeout. Besides killing everything, you could win by doing more damage than the enemy, use certain skills that gave you more meter or by simply not taking too much damage, since the defending side started with more meter.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Neanderthal Arcane

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    Fuckin definitely, but then again we all play optimal, an if enemy are bags o xp an loot then they die simple as. Specially if combats got no long term consequences, slaughter is incentivised.
     
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  3. Roqua Prospernaut Dumbfuck Repressed Homosexual In My Safe Space

    Roqua
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    I think other systems are good in other genres but rpgs should approach it from an rpg narrative while allowing for the fact a game should be a good game first and foremost. What do I mean?

    1) Enemies running at low health is a pain and usually means you get no xp or loot but lost your resources (health, mana, consumables, at least time). In most games it is incentivized to run them down and slaughter them so your resources aren't wasted and there was a reason for expend it fighting this mob.

    2) It could be used to provide further opportunities to define your character by allowing yielding enemies to live or delivering the coupe de grace, as well as ramifications down the road. I.e. the next boss fight has his normal amount of minions plus all the minions of his you let live. Getting less experience and loot than killing, but not whatever mechanic that hurts you.

    3) This could be applied well beyond combat. A mod for Skyrim makes it so you lose a ton of benefits from the gods if you pick pocket, steal, pick locks, murder, etc. It seems almost all the bioware type inflected companions only like you or dislike you due to actions in heavily scripted, usually heavily contrived situations. But all your normal actions such as stealing, pick pocketing, being a grave robber, etc, have no impact at all on how they or the world sees you, if you fall as a paladin, etc.

    4) Realize any system can and will be gamed and the bioware inflected companion system goes completely against roleplaying as there is large incentives to do what gives you influence instead of what you feel your character would do. Anyone with a friend, and especially family, and definitely anyone with a spouse can tell you this is fucking retarded. You put up with your friends, family, and spouse even though they all suck and annoy more often than not.
     
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  4. Bohrain Savant Patron

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    Obviously the way exp rewards work affects the incentive to do combat in the first place. Enemies giving worthwhile loot and experience on death tends to incentivize killing everything ASAP, while solely exploration based exp and nonexistant enemy loot tends to favor avoiding fights. Latter isn't all bad if stealth is viable like in Deus Ex. And then you have unholy abominations like PoE, which makes you hate unavoidable filler fights since they give neither exp nor worthwhile monetary rewards.
     
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  5. Freddie Savant

    Freddie
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    I wonder technical implementation.

    In turn based games I guess this could be easy, damn Pool of Radiance had enemies fleeing from overwhelming situations!

    In real time and sandbox games I don't know how easy it would be... Surrender option might work better than leaving NPC's running for their lives for one moment and then after certain amount of time returning to (faction) default state towards player faction, or finally making successful morale roll and getting back to you could create annoying situations.

    I like the idea though. It could help solving issues with high level PC and trash mobs. Anything but level scaled Raiders from FO3.
     
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  6. sser Arcane Cuck Developer

    sser
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    It is always a little goofy when enemies can't break. Why is a nobody bandit whose entire outfit has been slaughtered by way of fireballs still trying to take down my party of terminators?

    "Fleeing enemies" is pretty common in the turn-based blobers that separate the exploration view from the combat view. These games are also less likely to assign loot values to random enemies so that a fleeing one doesn't feel like a potential resource loss. Presentation-wise, it's just a little more difficult to present a fleeing enemy in real-time. I think the mentioned surrender option is more viable.

    Also, things like morale concepts in RPGs seem contrary to the core traditions of player-character heroism. It's hard to picture a character like Minsc mentally breaking without simultaneously and greatly altering the mood of the overall game. I'm sure we'll see more morale elements come into play if the genre experiences some sort of new moody grimdark zeitgeist.
     
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  7. Saduj Arcane

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    Are there any games where enemies surrender?

    I could see that working well. Assuming you get full xp, that would solve the xp/loot problem plus it would be advantageous in that it conserves resources. Player could have the option of killing disarmed enemies gaining intimidating reputation but making it less likely that future enemies will give up and more likely that they flee. Capturing enemies could be worked into quests or bounty system too. Could also make it possible to recruit certain defeated enemies.
     
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  8. Mustawd Arcane

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    Being able to interrogate captured enemies would be interesting. Because they might not know anything and you might have given your XP up for nothing. Especially if it's just a lowly enemy.
     
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  9. Siveon Bot

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    Ultima, Ultima 4 to be more specific, had it where if you hurt enemies a lot they would run away and you had to let them go to increase one of your virtues: Justice. Not really surrender though. Baldur's Gate also had low level peons like kobolds do a morale check that if they lose, would start panicking and run away.

    Mount & Blade has a pretty vivid system of capturing troops after battle, along with notable generals and enemies to take hostage. I don't recall them actually laying down their arms during battle just running away and then go to negotiations.

    Somewhat unrelated but I remember in Fire Emblem games where you had to survive a set number of turns, and that meant for me, see how many people I can take down and how much treasure I can loot in the allotted time. Pretty funny. I wish more SRPGs has such arbitrary conditions though, it did liven up the gameplay when I had something else to do.
     
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  10. Mustawd Arcane

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  11. Saduj Arcane

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    I thought it was Compassion but I looked it up and it's both. Fleeing from non-evil enemies gave bigger Compassion/Justice bonus but negative Valor.
     
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  12. PrzeSzkoda Augur

    PrzeSzkoda
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    I personally liked the system in Gothic - in "kill or be killed" situations, f. in. when fighting a wild beast or fighting someone who's intent on killing you, killing the opponent is necessary. Otherwise, you could simply beat each other unconscious (and then the loser would get robbed - or dealt a killing blow), and it worked both ways. It often affected conversations/quests, too. It made a lot of sense, especially in the "prison colony" setting of the first one.
     
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  13. Hyperion Magister

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    Front Mission 3. You have to choose between slaughtering everything for cash or trying to get enemies low on health in order to coerce a surrender. This allows you to capture their machine, then scrap it for parts and money between stages. One of the few games to ever get it right, even if it was a huge pain in the ass to pull off.

    The SMT series has dialogue with enemies with whom you can parlay. Sometimes they leave, give XP, items, heal you, damage you. Unfortunately, it's entirely up to RNG but it's certainly something.

    That's more of an encounter design complaint, and is a side effect of them trying to balance combat VS diplomacy. In some cases the most lucrative choice isn't wanton violence, which was a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, Pillars tried to be both PS:T and Icewind Dale at the same time which caused its issues.

    Of course there's always the complete opposite end of the spectrum with hipster faggotry like Undertale that preaches its VIOLENCE IS WRONG!!!!! dogma, with its dipshit fans who actually tried to gift the Pope a copy of the game, as if he's going to give a fuck about a 16-bit bullet hell that throws its pacifist agenda in our faces like a Banana Cream Pie on Humphrey Bogart.
     
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  14. Sacred82 Self-Ejected Dumbfuck

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    SRPG's have different win conditions. It could work in very linear RPG's like D:OS where battles are basically "set pieces" and you can't really roam around freely.
     
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  15. Daemongar Arcane Patron

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    Play a paladin, play a villain. It doesn't matter: at the end of the day, we are all calculators trying to determine the maximum XPs we can get from any event in a game. If I got 6 more xps for letting an enemy go than killing them, I would have the eighth in honor in the first 15 minutes of a game. I am saying is, it all depends. We rarely messed with Deionarra's ghost not because we are tenderhearted suckers, but because we wanted max xps and raise dead. If the programmers made the game so that constantly lying to her got us an extra point of CON early on in the game, we'd all be feeling kinda crappy right now but would find a way to make our peace with our large pool of HPs.
     
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  16. TigerKnee Arcane

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    The Aethra Chronicles seems to have some form of routing mechanic where you really only need to kill around half of any encounter's enemies before they run away. Your EXP and loot rewards at the end of battle seem to be based off the difficulty of the fight rather than how many people you actually kill and it doesn't do the "enemies drop what they are wearing because it's super realistic" thing which means fleeing enemies don't translate to "lost XP and loot"

    Incursion: Halls of the Goblin King (3.5E based Roguelike) has a "surrender" mechanic and characters on the Lawful and Good spectrum are expected to use it on sentient enemies - you make a diplomacy based check with modifiers on power level and who is currently winning the fight and if you succeed, they'll toss all their items at your feet and wander away peacefully. If not, you're free to kill them. Which means you probably don't want to make Lawful Good Rogues

    That's all I can think of.
     
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  17. Hobo Elf Arcane

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    In the roguelike Infra Arcana, a lovecraftian inspired horror dungeon crawler, you get 50% of the XP that any given monster is worth for spotting them, and the other 50% for killing them. The point of this system is that it's a stealth focused game and you shouldn't engage each and every monster. It was a genius move to tie half the XP progression to something other than pure combat so that you can sneak around (because stealth is avoiding contact, not backstabbing everyone!!) and still feel like you won't be underleveled if you avoid as many enemies as possible as you work your way down the dungeon.

    "But I only get 50% XP for spotting them, the min maxer in me says I have to have the other 50% and kill everyone anyway!" you might think. It's not really feasible to engage each and every enemy as you have an Insanity/Shock stat manage. Getting close and personal with monsters makes this go up, especially the more horrible the monster is. Your character is likely to go bananas if you try to do this. It's better to avoid some fights and survive your descent than to try and undertake each fight and maximize the chances of dying.
     
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  18. Gregz Arcane

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    As long as they drop all their loot before they run away, and I get full XP as if I killed the ones that ran away, I'm OK with this.
     
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  19. Comte Arcane

    Comte
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    In the Gold Box games enemies will surrender or flee when faced with overwhelming odds.
     
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  20. SwiftCrack Arcane

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    I think it has to do with developer laziness, the idea that the player wants to accomplish something (killing probably gives a bigger satisfaction than letting a few enemies skip battle, I know that I always hated the enemies in the Final Fantasy series than could run away), and the fact that in RPGs there is always some reward for killing (exp, loot, gold, combination) whereas in some other game genres there isn't (killing hordes of zombies in L4D gives you absolutely nothing).

    Combine that with the fact that you're pretty much fighting 'baddies' in 95% of RPGS, which gives an easier justification for setting the victory condition for a battle as 'kill all enemies'.

    I guess you could say it is too prevalent, but it's one of the 'bottom of the stack' things I'd want to change in most games.



    That sounds like a fun mechanic to at least try out, and the game is free to boot apparently :salute:

    https://sites.google.com/site/infraarcana/




    XCom has this at least
     
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  21. Neanderthal Arcane

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    You know it'd be kinda good if that influence system from Poe worked in combat encounters, and unlocked shit down road: Say you've slaughtered every motherfucker you've seen, then you get massive points in psychotic an a natural fear aura, like that terrifying aura in New Vegas, and an XP boost for pursuing this path. Or if you've been merciful, you get something else. Bringing folk to justice, never initiating combat, never looting, extorting loot out of enemies who you've injured. Have a reputation built from what you've done on battlefield rather than what you say. Could even get unique quests an contents unlocked.

    Course you'd have to implement loadsa shit like morale, surrender, wounded, captured etc, track it all an make rewards for each play style an that'd be hard work, but i'd find it more interesting than whats in Poe now. An you could always cut back on all pointless grindin an loot recycling to make room for this.
     
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  22. an Administrator Self-Ejected

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    Way of the Samurai 4

    You can hit enemies with the blunt edge of your weapon make them your pupils.(or just telling them to get lost)
     
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  23. Xathrodox86 Arbiter

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    Old Fallouts did this right. When you were kicking enemy's ass, he usually ran away. Nothing worse than an artificially prolonged fight.
     
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  24. Dead Guy Arbiter

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    That was a great idea in theory, but in practice it just became insanely annoying in Fallout. Especially for melee characters but also for others in towns where spooked NPCs would initiate combat again if you walked too close only to run away a bit further, for example. Or the wolves in that defend Brahmin thing.
     
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  25. an Administrator Self-Ejected

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    In older Fallouts companions were also running away from combat when they were getting hurt. It wasn't like that your companions would fight alongside you until the last drop of their blood. Felt realistic.

    And you could end the combat the moment enemies start running away.
     
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