[MUD-Dev] Secondary characters as a mechanic

Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com
Thu Feb 13 16:49:10 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


From: Brian Hook [mailto:brianhook at pyrogon.com] 
 
>> That's one good reason it may not work, the other is interface
>> difficulties.
 
> I think interface difficulties is actually the most serious of the
> problems.  While you can play a game such as Baldur's Gate in real
> time, at some point it ends up feeling like kids chasing a soccer
> ball.
 
> If you slowed down the pace and/ore removed unit complexity I
> don't think it's that bad -- you can use RTS games as pretty good
> evidence that you can manage complexity, but the trade off is that
> you can't have as much per-unit complexity/depth. Which is
> probably a good thing, in my book.

I agree with you, but it would need to be done better than any
RTS/RPG has done so far. If you've played Warcraft III with its
specialised hero units, its terribly difficult to use all their
abilities in a big fight (those which don't autocast at any
rate). Most of the time you end up picking a favourite skill and
using nothing else but that.

The other implementation I've seen with more of an RPG slant, and
less complex characters is Dungeon Siege. I think a lot of people
were impressed by the game initially, and then discovered that there
genuinely was no depth to it, and it was a tank rush simulation, or
chasing a soccer ball...

Perhaps if all the characters are specialised, then the interface
doesn't need to work in terms of a character, but in terms of the
party. If there is one or more person in your party that can cast
fireball, then the computer picks the one with the most mana (unless
you've set an override on that spell) when you select the fireball
spell. It's the faffing around picking which character does what
which ruins these things, and I suspect what I've suggested would
solve that.

Still not sure of how one can maintain player interdependance though
without giving them a party of characters that all do the same thing
though. If you have a melee, a caster and a healer then you don't
want for much else in a trad CRPG...

Dan

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