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What ARE outdated mechanics?

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by IronicNeurotic, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. IronicNeurotic Arbiter

    IronicNeurotic
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    As everything gets dumbed down we hear more and more that the mechanics of old are outdated. For me outdated means mechanics that have become obsolete due to more efficent/better mechanics that do the same thing.

    So why is "outdated" used for every fucking thing?


    How can turnbased be outdated when other options don't allow the same tactical depth?
    How is top-down view outdated when other mechanics don't give the same overview over the battlefield?
     
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  2. baronjohn Cipher

    baronjohn
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    Any game mechanics that aren't in World of Warcraft are outdated.
     
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  3. Gord Arcane

    Gord
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    Outdated in management-speak means that less people will buy the game (or so they fear) because they cannot grasp the concept/find it too boring due to ADD.

    OTOH, how well a certain mechanic works depends a lot on it's implementation.
    E.g. turnbased mode in Fallout Tactics was great in hard and/or important fights because it was much easier to issue commands to your squad. Cleaning up a whole map in TB however could take ages and became somewhat repetitive, which is why I switched to realtime for this, even if it meant taking more injuries and wasting more ammo.
     
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  4. waywardOne Arcane

    waywardOne
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    what outdated should mean:

    "back in 'xx when we made GameZ, we really wanted to do Y and G but [the technology wasn't available -- OR -- we didn't have the budget/time/freedom]."

    what outdated usually means:

    "we heard gamers liked feature X but [we suck at coding -- OR -- we want to sell to the masses of idiots feature X would exclude if properly implemented]."

    examples would be complex rock-paper-scissors relationships between weapons and armors.
     
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  5. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
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    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    IMO, outdated mechanics:

    Instant heal potions needs to go away.
    Those are generally bad for game balance. Any avenues of healing that are instantaneous makes for poor combat. *See Fallout series*

    No cool-down potions are somewhat good for balancing, but...I feel they should penalize players for chugging down potions, make them gain less benefit and at the chance of inflicting harmful effect instead. Just like overdosing on some medicines, I guess.

    Otherwise...hmm. I'm not sure what else is there.
     
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  6. Malakal Arcane

    Malakal
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    Outdated mechanics:
    1. numbers
    2. non mana based spellcasting
    3. non cooldown based skill usage
    4. healing and resurrection
    5. non 3D gameplay

    At least according to the mainstream.
     
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  7. Falkner Thread Decliner Patron

    Falkner
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    Wasteland 2
    The Witcher did this nicely with the toxicity. There was no cooldown for your potions, you just couldn't chug your whole inventory down in one encounter and had to rest to get your toxicity levels down again.

    DA2 on the other hand...
     
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  8. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
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    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    Uh. DA: O was terrible in this aspect, I feel. DA2 might have longer cooldowns but nobody really needed to worry about that unless they play on hard or nightmare. Normal is just a breeze for anyone willing to focus fire.

    I played Witcher and I know what you're talking about. There is a potion to reduce toxicity to counter-act it. But all in all, in-combat healing is harder to achieve in Witcher, and I like it for that. Too bad the combat is turning me off from replaying it again. Perhaps I'll pick it up again to export a safe to Witcher 2. (Must. Not. LP. Another. Game.)
     
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  9. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    That potion also purges all positive effects from your system, so it's not that bad [​IMG]
     
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  10. Black Arcane

    Black
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    Real-time.
    Shit is so inferior to turn-based :obviously:
     
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  11. flushfire Augur

    flushfire
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    bosses that can be talked down

    bosses that do not require a pattern

    friendly fire

    ammo

    isometric view

    accuracy

    non-combat skills
     
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  12. Karmapowered Augur

    Karmapowered
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    I think you must be confused.
    If all of the above had to be outdated, that would be a FPS setting you'd be talking about.

    :rpgcodex: = cRPGs, right ?

    To me, outdated mechanics in modern cRPGs =

    1. awesome buttons. Stick to your console shooters, please.
    2. instant healing/mana potions, definitely, in a shape or another.
    3. enemies dropping out of thin air, popping in the room/corridor behind that you just cleared/explored.
    4. being forced by the game to walk up to enemies when detecting them. First thing I'd want to do when I see an enemy is to shoot, not to listen to idiotic babbles/taunts that the Devs thought cool to implement.
    5. iron-man, I can do it all, savior of the world games. I want to face tactical situations, that I can handle only thanks to a multi-talented team squad (see Wastelands/Darklands/Fallout/BG/Planescape/Arcanum, etc).

    I am fairly sure I could find dozens more, but I am gonna stop here, or this will sound like "yet another DA2 thread" again.
     
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  13. hoverdog dog that is hovering, Wastelands Interactive Developer

    hoverdog
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    There are no 'outdated' mechanics. There are only those good and bad, well or badly implemented.
     
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  14. Gord Arcane

    Gord
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    I get what you mean, but insta-heal is an (outdated?) feature that has been present since the dawn of cRPGs, including some of the best games from the genre. Certainly debatable, but ultimately depends on the balancing of the game I guess.
    And that other point is definitely an option in some of the examples you mention.
     
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  15. Johannes Arcane

    Johannes
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    Why do you talk about multi-talented team squads and then list games that can be easily finished with a soloing PC?
     
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  16. Lonely Vazdru Pimp my Title

    Lonely Vazdru
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    Selling less than 3 or 4 million copies is a prime example of outdated game mechanic.
     
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  17. I.C. Wiener Educated

    I.C. Wiener
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    What? I don't get what you mean. Are you talking about being forced to initiate conversation?
     
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  18. Haba Harbinger of Decline Patron

    Haba
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    Codex 2012 MCA Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    To read what happened, open manual at page 25 paragraph two.
     
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  19. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    He specifically means DAO. And possibly its successor. Your entire fucking party approached every talkative enemy in that game and stopped, like, 2 or 3 meters from that enemy. Exceptionally jarring in the Ser Cauthrien fight, but some daemons also wanted to chat with you, bringing the party into the middle of a bunch of enemies.
     
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  20. Karmapowered Augur

    Karmapowered
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    That would be correct (but could be extended to many other cRPGs out there).

    There is stuff I can bear, and then there is stuff that just screams "I am a fucking lazy ass designer, and I don't care about creating a good game" to me :

    1. Player perfectly knows that there is an enemy behind the next door
    2. Player character reloads incendiary ammo, prepares team to throw some grenades inside room, positions every member of the team so that they can cover each other, whatever
    Note : You may adapt the above to "cast short-timed protective spells (buffs) and mages prepare to nuke the hell out of whatever is behind the door" if you prefer a more fantasy-like setting

    This sounds fairly good so far, right ?

    Well, tough luck, Buyoware's lazy designer #3 just happened to walk by, and thinks it is fun to trigger cutscene #63412 :

    1. the whole team switches back to idle stance, casually trots into the room, handshakes everyone, before getting taunted by DaEvil guy #54623 with ultra-smart one-liners
    2. Battle inevitably ensues, with enemies surrounding the team this time

    :x

    Such stupid level design gives me the hives, and makes me want to punch whoever is responsible for it in the face twice : once for thinking this could be fun to any kind of player to start with, and twice for wasting my time.

    This bullcrap has to go from good cRPGs, once for all.
     
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  21. Karmapowered Augur

    Karmapowered
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    That is precisely my point.

    If the game gives me a team to work with, it should be more than a weak excuse for pixelized romances : it should be a true, almost essential, asset for anyone (barring the masochist min-maxing power-freak, that doesn't mind to reload 5 times every 30 seconds).

    The games I mentioned came closest to such an experience to me, even though I probably ought to have added Jagged Alliance and Ufo X-Com to it.
     
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  22. Karmapowered Augur

    Karmapowered
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    Not going to argue here.

    There should be more satisfying concepts out there however, some that would apply to a cRPG without munchkinizing it.

    I believe it is time to give those newer mechanics a fair chance to be researched, and experimented upon in games.

    Guild Wars 2 might just be that pioneer.
     
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  23. zeitgeist Magister

    zeitgeist
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    Because it's a handy euphemism for "we don't need to spend time and money on feature X anymore and the game will still sell just as well if not better because we've shaped the minds of our audience to be dull and undemanding"? Words like these are used in PR/marketing in every industry, and it's scary how many people mistake them for statements of fact and try to use them as basis for logical arguments.

    Anyway, in terms of cRPGs, "outdated" should ideally be anything that ignores the advances made in the fields of gameworld complexity/simulation, character customization, the relation between the character and the gameworld, and generally emulating the pen&paper RPG experience and all the things that are theoretically possible to do in a pen&paper RPG session. So one example would be: static NPC quest dispensers should be considered "outdated" in favor of NPCs with actual jobs, schedules, and proper interactivity with the rest of the world and the PC.

    Of course, all this depends on the focus of the game, since it's pretty much impossible to make a game "with everything", sometimes it's necessary to abstract some things that have been done better/more complex in other games with a different focus, or of a different subgenre of cRPG.

    But in general, everything that doesn't consciously reach towards the ideal (by, if not mimicking, at least analyzing and being aware of the advances in a specific field through the cRPG history, and implementing it to the best of their abilities/adapting it so that it meshes well with the rest of the game's feature set) should be considered "outdated", and depending on the reasons behind it, as either a catastrophically uninformed or an outright malicious action on the part of the developer.
     
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  24. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator

    Jaesun
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    This is why zeitgeist is on my BRO list.
     
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  25. Befuddled Halfling Educated

    Befuddled Halfling
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    Outdated (adjective) mechanics (noun, plural): Video Game Publisher synonym for Features that require use of the human brain.
     
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