Managing Party Members in an RPG (pls no)

Arnoxthe1

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SmugFrog said:
So basically you want someone to just have the best items in the game right away? I recently picked up Borderlands 2 and in looking for players all I see is posts about "Power level me!" or "Loot drops / duping!" - all I want to do is play the game and enjoy it. If I had someone give me the best weapons/equipment at the start of a new character that kind of takes away part of the Borderlands experience. I started a new commando and found an extremely overpowered legendary item that I'll probably use for 20 levels. That's pretty awesome, and its neat to see it happen. Why not just use a save/charactor-editor and give yourself the best weapons and stats so you don't have to worry about playing and leveling up and finding loot?
It's not about getting the best numbers. It's actually about giving you more options in your gun selection. Then, just because a certain weapon is white colored doesn't mean it's total vendor trash. And you can still have weapon rarities. Simply have it be to where the more rare a weapon is, the more extra functions and effects it can have on it.
 

SmugFrog

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Arnoxthe1 said:
It's not about getting the best numbers. It's actually about giving you more options in your gun selection.
Ok, forgive me I'm trying to understand what you're getting at here with Borderlands as an example.

So based on what you've said, this is what I'm understanding your meaning - but if you could answer my questions to clarify I would appreciate it.

- No leveled weapons - meaning no level requirements to use a weapon? How do you prevent a level 1 from using a maximum player character item? I get that you prefer a game to be more stats based and the weapons not to change (unless I misunderstood a previous post), but in Borderlands it's all about finding loot rather than worrying about a skill level and points.

- More options in gun selection - meaning... more functions of the gun? Like additional damage etc?

- White colored doesn't mean it's trash - This is true on the higher skill levels, the whites can replace other colors, but if there's no level requirement than the other, lower difficulties have just had their white items negated.

- More rare a weapon is, the more extra functions and effects on it - Doesn't the game do that already? I mean at times if the damage, reload speed, or magazine size or increased beyond a certain % of what it would be for that level, it will change the color/rarity level of that weapon to indicate it has something special to it.

I think Borderlands does a pretty good job of balancing and marking which weapons are "rare loot". At any one level the higher the color tier the better the weapon is going to be to a comparable weapon - unless you're giving up something such as, with a sniper rifle I prefer a high rate of fire over a slower one - and I'll often not take something that does more damage but fires more slowly. Also there's the effect consideration as you may not want particular effects with a certain weapon. I think it's done pretty well with whatever algorithm is running the show in the background.

Does it come down to numbers? In a way, yes. There's always the other considerations/effects but I think ultimately something about those numbers (damage, fire rate, ammo count) are going to matter enough to make that gun something you'll want. Numbers drive so much in an RPG.
 

votemarvel

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Saelune said:
It just depends on how easy it is to move equipment between characters.

I love Mass Effect 1, I really do...but FUCK YOU for having to go to each character's individual lockers.
Then don't do it at the lockers, you don't have to at all.

Equipment is in one big pool, so just equip the character when you take them out on a mission. This works better for some characters since you can't equip the better armours until you level them up.
 

Saelune

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votemarvel said:
Saelune said:
It just depends on how easy it is to move equipment between characters.

I love Mass Effect 1, I really do...but FUCK YOU for having to go to each character's individual lockers.
Then don't do it at the lockers, you don't have to at all.

Equipment is in one big pool, so just equip the character when you take them out on a mission. This works better for some characters since you can't equip the better armours until you level them up.
If I had infinite inventory and could hold onto things without worry, sure, but limited inventory makes cleaning it up important.
 

Aeshi

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I quite liked how the Shadowrun Returns games do it: The loadouts of your party members auto-update as the story progresses without you having to do a thing, but you can still swap out one of their weapons or spells if there's something you really want in your team.
 

DoPo

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votemarvel said:
Saelune said:
It just depends on how easy it is to move equipment between characters.

I love Mass Effect 1, I really do...but FUCK YOU for having to go to each character's individual lockers.
Then don't do it at the lockers, you don't have to at all.

Equipment is in one big pool, so just equip the character when you take them out on a mission. This works better for some characters since you can't equip the better armours until you level them up.
ME1 throws so much useless loot at you that you cannot really do that. The weapon mods are cool and all but you have TEN versions of each. And TEN upgrades of each weapon. And TEN upgrades of every type of armour. You are constantly being bombarded with more and more of them when you really don't need them.

First time I played it, I thought it'd be cool to have stuff to match different circumstances, like anti-living ammo if I'm facing organics and so on. That proved to be really unnecessary - I'd have, say, level 2 anti-organic ammo and have to hold to it, since I'm facing robots, then by the time I go against living stuff, I am now at level 4 weapon mods, so the level 2s are obsolete. So, in the end, I just started equipping the best weapons mods every once in a while and then turn the rest into gel. And that was pretty essential, since I was easily running out of inventory space.

The game just showers you with useless drops, so holding on to the "essential" ones is hard. Moreover said essential ones could turn out to be superseded by newer stuff by the time you get to use them.
 

votemarvel

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It throws so much tat that I turned it into a game of its own. What was the highest Omni-Gel score I could get after one fight.

However that doesn't change the fact that you don't need to use the lockers on the Normandy to assign equipment. Since it is all one pool, it doesn't matter where you do it.
 

runic knight

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Seems to be an issue with a game mechanic itself, as in, an element that appeals to a lot of people in the first place. Hard to fix what people come to the game looking for. Random loot and party customization, those define genere of games. Still, you aren't wrong, making it needlessly convoluted is a pain, and vendor trash has people asking "why not just give me the gold" instead. Valid points.

I'd say for vendor trash, the desire for randomized loot leads to such wild options that you will always get mountains of trash for ever gem you want. For games that have full option of loot possible, this is truly bad. Nothing like finding lvl 5 damaged gear when you are in your 50's looking for epics. Loot tier systems such as rank color helps, but that is still a lot of trash to run past. Could go drops are resources, so you always gather them and can simply convert to the gear you want, though that in turn removes the fun of randomness and thrill of discovery.

Tying into the thread topic of party management, attaching that loot system is suppose to generate a use for some of the trash loot and make it feel worthwhile. But as mentioned, forces micromanagement. auto-equip or optimization removes customization and strips control, and removing the ability strips depth.

In the end, it is a hard fix. You are pitting streamlining against the very depth and nature of a very sought-after element in rpg. I can see fixing poor systems here, like making it easier to equip and compare gear, but can't see solution for a full change or removal.
 

sanquin

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Bad Jim said:
2) Easy comparison with the whole party. You should have a compare option that puts an item's stats on the screen along with the stats for every item in the same slot being used by party members. What you usually have to do is cycle through every party member and look at their stuff one by one. Developers seem to delight in wasting as much screen space as possible when what you really want in this situation is a big spreadsheet. Bonus points if you can select multiple items for the same slot and put their stats on screen along with what the party is using.
Earlier final fantasy games had this, not sure about new ones. You'd have your characters visible while the inventory was open. And when you put your cursor on a piece of gear, each character would have an arrow pointing up, down or an equal sign above them to indicate whether it would be an upgrade for them or not. They should put that in more games that deal with gear...
 
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bastardofmelbourne said:
What's wrong with you? I fucking love managing my party in an RPG. That's like 80% of the gameplay.

exactly. I get giddy as fuck when I see rpg's have parties/party management systems, if anything alot of solo rpg's I tend to shy away from.