Jump to content

epsilon

Members
  • Posts

    53
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  1. The clock stops at 255 hours.
  2. epsilon

    Level Up!

    sorry for the rather long absence, I just got back from a lovely two weeks in China. I'll try to keep this on-topic: - MMORPGS. Fuck me, I never realised there were so many. - MMORPGS. Fuck me, I never realised how generic most of them are. And I thought Anarchy Online was bad... Still, I did spot somebody beta-testing PSO BB, and that looks quite good (as I expected, being a PSO fan). But most of the other stuff is terrible. And it's the combat that ruins it, IMO. Another post will follow once I've had a bit of a think.
  3. Is this on the original SEGA servers, or the homebrew ones? The SEGA ones closed down ages ago, didn't they? http://www.dreamstation.cc/news/video_games/id1694 ":: Notification--Deactivation of PSO servers :: Beginning October 1, 2003 the online services for Phantasy Star Online Dreamcast version 1 & 2 will be discontinued. The PSO US Dreamcast server (11:US/Oberon) will continue to operate and will be maintained until 9/30/03. However, starting September 30, 2003 at 11:59pm (Japan Time), 7:59am(US Pacific Time), the server will be disconnected and no players will be able to log into the game server." That's the US closure notice. I also remember the last day of operation for the EU servers as well, so I know they aren't running either. What's going on?!?
  4. epsilon

    Level Up!

    Fair enough, my mistake. Sorry!
  5. epsilon

    Level Up!

    Yes. And System Shock 2 is even more of an RPG than Deus Ex. The stats make an unbelievable amount of difference to the way the game plays out. One other thing: SS2 is fantastic on a LAN. Do please try it sometime, and have the lights switched off. Seriously - it's an absolute scream.
  6. epsilon

    Level Up!

    And levelling up isn't one of them. As I have explained, it is a throwback. If you disagree, fine. But don't just say that it's 'stupid' for anyone to hold an opinion different from yours. At least others are providing justifications for their statements.
  7. epsilon

    Level Up!

    You would hate Anarchy Online then. I signed up to the 1-free-year offer at Christmas, and it is so unbelievably primitive. At the time of release, didn't it get a reasonable score in Edge? It's basically like KOTOR, but without the polish or license, and with loads more ability-specific stats. The turn-timer is more intrusive than the NWN one, and there's lag on the hits, so sometimes the character will continue to fight, then it will turn out that the enemy you're fighting has been dead for 5 seconds, and everything recalcualtes and reverts back. Shoddy... just an attempt to get onto the 'massively multiplayer' bandwagon.
  8. epsilon

    Level Up!

    Well... FF is one of the game series that I really dislike. I mean, I do like Phantasy Star 2, which was released at a time when SEGA wanted a product to compete against Square on the SNES - but I view it as a product of its time - limited by today's standards. I think the linear plots and turn-based combat are a bit of a throwback to a more primitive age, and the combat system could at least be made a bit better. Grandia 2 on the Dreamcast was a reasonable stab at improving combat. It isn't revolutionary, but even a little progress is better than stasis. The idea of directing moves against a timeline works quite well, and the strategy involved in timing attacks to get 'counters' or breakers makes the combat fun. Grandi lso scores points by making the enemies visible (and avoidable). The bosses are quite good too, and the boss bottleneck problem just doesn't happen. Neverwinter Nights is interesting as well - the 'realtime' combat isn't revolutionary here either, but the timer is really noticable. With certain character classes, combat becomes a case of clicking on an enemy, then going to make some tea while the characters battle it out. It isn't very interactive, and no 'personality' shines through in the way the characters move. I like PSO a lot, but again, there are good and bad points to the way combat is implemented. It's good that the battle system is so well balanced towards strategic multi-class team play, and the 'timer' on the attack rate is reasonable and fairly realistic. Direct control over character movement works well here too, and it is a nice tradeoff between 'realtime' and 'strategic' play. The main points against this approach is that the PSO system sometimes fools people into thinking that it is a button-masher. I've heard people complain about the responsiveness of the attack buttons (they weren't used to the 1-2-3 rhythm of PSO attacks) and the walk-then-run thing on the movement controls. 'Boss bottleneck' does happen on PSO, and is very noticable on higher difficulty levels. If only there were more areas, with a gradual progression in difficulty.... I think probably the best example of a fresh approach comes not from an RPG - but from Galleon. I don't have an Xbox, but I've been watching various bits of footage of the game running, and I have to say the character movement is very clever indeed (in parts). There's personality there, and I know there's a mix of motion capture and computer-generated animation behind it. Specifically, the bits I like: -The walk pathfinding for the bit where the pirate is traversing stepping stones in that cave. -The slightly silly combat. I wouldn't want that to bethe way RPG combat works, but the characterisation is amusing and works better than the NWN, Grandia, FF and PSO system (same motion-captured actions, again and again). Is it too much to ask for a bit of cutting-edge computer science to be included in games software? Starting with slower-paced games such as RPGs? Let's have a bit of AI and better, fine-grained statistics. Let's have the characters 'learning' the players perosnality and integrating it. Let's have genetic algorithms, fractals, cellular automata and neural networks. Even Angband had 'auto-scum' to decide whether a given randomly-generated level was any good or not. A lot of these algorithms aren't even hard to implement. It's the imagination that is lacking. Where are the modern-day pioneers?
  9. epsilon

    Level Up!

    Just managed to get hold of a copy of Shadowrun. It's quite good! Haven't played it long enough to fully understand the gameplay, but (for those who don't yet have it) it seems like what can only be described as an isometric (Syndicate) futuristic-themed RPG (Deus Ex) with realtime combat (Zelda) and with bits of point-and-click thrown in for good measure too. And groovy music. Are you a gamist, a narrativist or a simulationist? A mixture of two or more?
  10. Acorn Archimedes: Lander PC: Half-life N64: Goldeneye DC: Soul Calibur, Crazy Taxi GC: Luigi's Mansion (I got it at JP launch time, not much choice...) PS2: Linux kit GBA: Kurukuru kururin DS: Feel the Magic
  11. There are many ways of being killed, including the horrible slow saw-through seen in many internet video clips AND a quick lop-off job if you are rather unlucky. It's the second one that pursuaded me to buy the full game in the first place! lol
  12. epsilon

    Level Up!

    Play Deus Ex, System Shock or... er... Zelda. Seriously though - what exactly do you mean by 'realtime combat'?
  13. I have the trial version that came on the Famitsu Capcom mag a few months ago, and that definitely does have the gore included. Haven't started on the real thing yet, but I'll let you know when I do.
  14. epsilon

    Level Up!

    It tends to be sci-fi games that do that, and generally only sci-fi storylines can really allow that type of realtime character adaptation. In both Deus Ex and System Shock, the whole 'stats' thing is based around nanites, or something similar, which are a finite 'real' resource that can be applied in a way that produces immediate changes in the player character's body/abilities. To a certain extent, it could be considered a bit of a special case as far as role playing is concerned. But there's another way of looking at games where the player is some sort of robot/cyborg. Essentially, a cyborg or robot character blurs the distinction between what has traditionally been categorised as 'equipment' (providing immediate stat modification) and 'stats' in the usual narrow sense (the player character's own body/abilities). now, the player and equipment are as one. Denton's special powers are items/weapons (particularly in the sequel) rather than modifiers to 'strength'. The level of gradualism in DX isn't high either - the number of states is typically less than 4 (no ability, crap, good, very good). I'm not saying that DX and SS aren't 'true' RPGs - but they are special cases where the stat mechanism is certainly far less biological/gradual/analogue in nature. The DX/SS system of 'levelling up' feels very much like upgrading a machine. I suspect that this was the intention, especially considering the themes of dehumanisation in both games. Both good games, but hardly representative of the majority of RPGs.
  15. epsilon

    Level Up!

    Because the attributes define the individuality of the character whose role the player is assuming. The characteristics enforce the role to be played, and the player's actions tune the stats to evolve the character (within limits) to suit the player's style. Games such as Mario are about the skill of the player. You are presented with challenges, and you succeed or fail to overcome them. RPGs are not like that. Some players may want to take on the role of a character with abilities very different from their own. RPGs aren't simply about 'winning'. The taking part literally does count, as role playing is supposed to be a social activity. Or at least it was before the transition to computers and consoles. So what have we done? We've taken away the good bits (social interaction, freedom) and kept the bad bits (limited, 30 year old play mechanics optimised for paper play) all for the sake of easy implementation. We're stuck with a genre blueprint designed around the limitations of NES-era hardware. The point is that things could be so much better, if we were to re-engineer a new system based on the original requirements. This article is worth a read, by the way: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNS_Theory I suspect much of the difference in opinion in this thread is due to conflict between the three types of player rather than any objective incompatibility between proposed solutions and 'role playing' in general. If we understand where we are all coming from in terms of GNS, we might be able to come up with some good ideas here, without any silly arguments or massive unnavigatable 30 page threads.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.