What about Bob?

DicheBach

Rescued Ally
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
I'm a huge sucker for the rule set modeled in Temple of Elemental Evil . . . 3rd Edition I think it was?

http://www.d20srd.org/index.htm

Have not played that rule set on a table top with other humans, but as it manifests in ToEE (with the Circle of Eight mod to fix the horrific flaws the developers failed to fix) I'd consider that rule set to be the PINNACLE of turn-based tactical combat. In fact, I intend to model my own stuff largely on that . . .
 

BobCrees

Alamo Family
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Location
Middle of England
I'm a huge sucker for the rule set modeled in Temple of Elemental Evil . . . 3rd Edition I think it was?

http://www.d20srd.org/index.htm

Have not played that rule set on a table top with other humans, but as it manifests in ToEE (with the Circle of Eight mod to fix the horrific flaws the developers failed to fix) I'd consider that rule set to be the PINNACLE of turn-based tactical combat. In fact, I intend to model my own stuff largely on that . . .
Well on here there is no need to mod anything - There is just a Human DM who is fair, providing the Player is not silly:)
 

SomeRandomGuy

Zed Hunter
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
What is going on here? Have modern games ruined me?
In short, yes. Games from "back in the day" were VERY different, and comparing them to newer games is like comparing growing your own apple tree to just going to the supermarket and picking up a bag of apples. Older games usually require a larger commitment of time and brainpower, you have to think about a lot of things and if you don't you either miss things or find yourself outmatched and needing to either reload and level up, or go back to an earlier save if you found yourself stuck in an area that you couldn't handle and couldn't leave.
 

DicheBach

Rescued Ally
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
In short, yes. Games from "back in the day" were VERY different, and comparing them to newer games is like comparing growing your own apple tree to just going to the supermarket and picking up a bag of apples. Older games usually require a larger commitment of time and brainpower, you have to think about a lot of things and if you don't you either miss things or find yourself outmatched and needing to either reload and level up, or go back to an earlier save if you found yourself stuck in an area that you couldn't handle and couldn't leave.
I agree with this to an extent. But I also think that modern games HAVE improved in some areas.

I mean, lets face it: MANY older games gave the user insufficient information to make sound decisions on first playthrough, and thus promoted an artificial sense of the games worth by dilating the time necessary to succeed, either by grinding extra to be safe before tackling crux points, or by reloading.

Just to take one example from BG1. There is virtually ZERO indication of which locked chests are safe to pilfer and which ones will cause a seemingly magical guard to spawn. Developers know they can get away with this sort of thing much less today, so they have developed systems to give the player more information. Modern games tend to be less repetitive, less capricious, more engaging, less tedious, less dull, more devoted to insuring the users "quality of life."

Unfortunately, modern games also seem to place far too much development effort into aesthetics and far too little on narrative, analysis, planning, strategic decision-making, tactical operations, nuanced dynamics. Take an example of an older game which has now been HEAVILY modded with an incredibly amount of detail and additional gameplay.

Jagged Alliance 2 with the version 2.1.13 mod: the graphics remain as painful to look at at they ever were, though the UI is clean, clear, simple, intutive and efficient. The game involves the player controlling a group of hired mercenaries and martialing a limited starting budget to organize effective small units of mercs in order to take over sectors on a game map that represents a fictional "Arulco" country. Arulco has been taken over by a cruel dictator and its people are impoverished and oppressed. The player must explore the game map, winning combats, looting ammo, food, weapons and some cash, and progressively take over strategic locations like airports, mines, etc. By controlling parts of the map that generate revenue the player can use their internet connection and laptop to hire more mercs, purchase weapons and armor, etc.

The 2.1.13 mod expands on the vanilla game enormously. In the vanilla game, one could hire a few "militia" to protect a sector while ones mercenary squad(s) moved around, but in 2.1.13 one can actually hire large numbers of them, equip them as one sees fit, train them, use them to move gear from place to place, and with enough of a revenue flow, effectively control large swaths of the map. Of course, without the bad guy spawns increased, this would all be an "easy" function, but WITH more bad guy spawns it takes what was a classic late 1990s style tactical combat game and expands it into what is effectively a operational strategy game.

None of this would have been possible though unless the developer/publisher went out of business (mainly as a result of bad management),the games themselves were relatively successful commercially). As a consequence of them going out of business, and in recognition of the lively modder community, the developer decided to release the entire game source code!

Contrast this with Jagged Alliance Back in Action. The graphics are, in comparison to those in JA2.1.13, stunningly beautiful. The game includes an innovative "pauseable real-time combat system" including a neat action-sequencer system, and the game is as fully functional and "complete" as one would expect for it to be in early Beta stage. But in every other respect it is a WORSE game than JA2, not to mention JA2.1.13.

The vanilla camera is a nightmare and without mods there is little to no option to adjust it. Limited number of weapons and gear and poor balancing; lack of many basic gameplay features of various sorts: milita, inventories, training, healing, item repair and upgrades, etc.

Even the neato "action sequencer" lacks features that would have allowed each player to play the game as they might prefer, for example a time-dilation control that would allow the rate of time passage to be regulated independently of the pause and plan functionality.

It is like we cannot have our cake and eat it too.
 

SomeRandomGuy

Zed Hunter
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
I agree with this to an extent. But I also think that modern games HAVE improved in some areas.

I mean, lets face it: MANY older games gave the user insufficient information to make sound decisions on first playthrough, and thus promoted an artificial sense of the games worth by dilating the time necessary to succeed, either by grinding extra to be safe before tackling crux points, or by reloading.

Just to take one example from BG1. There is virtually ZERO indication of which locked chests are safe to pilfer and which ones will cause a seemingly magical guard to spawn. Developers know they can get away with this sort of thing much less today, so they have developed systems to give the player more information. Modern games tend to be less repetitive, less capricious, more engaging, less tedious, less dull, more devoted to insuring the users "quality of life."

Unfortunately, modern games also seem to place far too much development effort into aesthetics and far too little on narrative, analysis, planning, strategic decision-making, tactical operations, nuanced dynamics. Take an example of an older game which has now been HEAVILY modded with an incredibly amount of detail and additional gameplay.

Jagged Alliance 2 with the version 2.1.13 mod: the graphics remain as painful to look at at they ever were, though the UI is clean, clear, simple, intutive and efficient. The game involves the player controlling a group of hired mercenaries and martialing a limited starting budget to organize effective small units of mercs in order to take over sectors on a game map that represents a fictional "Arulco" country. Arulco has been taken over by a cruel dictator and its people are impoverished and oppressed. The player must explore the game map, winning combats, looting ammo, food, weapons and some cash, and progressively take over strategic locations like airports, mines, etc. By controlling parts of the map that generate revenue the player can use their internet connection and laptop to hire more mercs, purchase weapons and armor, etc.

The 2.1.13 mod expands on the vanilla game enormously. In the vanilla game, one could hire a few "militia" to protect a sector while ones mercenary squad(s) moved around, but in 2.1.13 one can actually hire large numbers of them, equip them as one sees fit, train them, use them to move gear from place to place, and with enough of a revenue flow, effectively control large swaths of the map. Of course, without the bad guy spawns increased, this would all be an "easy" function, but WITH more bad guy spawns it takes what was a classic late 1990s style tactical combat game and expands it into what is effectively a operational strategy game.

None of this would have been possible though unless the developer/publisher went out of business (mainly as a result of bad management),the games themselves were relatively successful commercially). As a consequence of them going out of business, and in recognition of the lively modder community, the developer decided to release the entire game source code!

Contrast this with Jagged Alliance Back in Action. The graphics are, in comparison to those in JA2.1.13, stunningly beautiful. The game includes an innovative "pauseable real-time combat system" including a neat action-sequencer system, and the game is as fully functional and "complete" as one would expect for it to be in early Beta stage. But in every other respect it is a WORSE game than JA2, not to mention JA2.1.13.

The vanilla camera is a nightmare and without mods there is little to no option to adjust it. Limited number of weapons and gear and poor balancing; lack of many basic gameplay features of various sorts: milita, inventories, training, healing, item repair and upgrades, etc.

Even the neato "action sequencer" lacks features that would have allowed each player to play the game as they might prefer, for example a time-dilation control that would allow the rate of time passage to be regulated independently of the pause and plan functionality.

It is like we cannot have our cake and eat it too.
Oh definitely, there's bad to go with the good in older games just like there's good to go with the bad in newer games, but overall I think back to the games I used to play in the 90s and they were just more fun. Remember the old TSR "gold box" titles? And Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday? If games like those were remade with a modern engine keeping the games themselves generally the same they would blow pretty much every RPG made in the past 10 years away. Well, aside from having some of the narrative in those damn books, that kind of copy protection just doesn't work anymore.

And yeah, BG definitely had it's issues. Especially since you could "technically" play an evil character as far as choosing your alignment but if you do anything evil that's outside of choices you pick as part of the story you effectively end the game because there's really no way to progress further when you have flaming fist mercs constantly spawning ontop of you wherever you go.
 

osamaclees

Rescued Ally
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Location
Kiwi Mate
I agree with this to an extent. But I also think that modern games HAVE improved in some areas.

I mean, lets face it: MANY older games gave the user insufficient information to make sound decisions on first playthrough, and thus promoted an artificial sense of the games worth by dilating the time necessary to succeed, either by grinding extra to be safe before tackling crux points, or by reloading.

Just to take one example from BG1. There is virtually ZERO indication of which locked chests are safe to pilfer and which ones will cause a seemingly magical guard to spawn. Developers know they can get away with this sort of thing much less today, so they have developed systems to give the player more information. Modern games tend to be less repetitive, less capricious, more engaging, less tedious, less dull, more devoted to insuring the users "quality of life."

Unfortunately, modern games also seem to place far too much development effort into aesthetics and far too little on narrative, analysis, planning, strategic decision-making, tactical operations, nuanced dynamics. Take an example of an older game which has now been HEAVILY modded with an incredibly amount of detail and additional gameplay.

Jagged Alliance 2 with the version 2.1.13 mod: the graphics remain as painful to look at at they ever were, though the UI is clean, clear, simple, intutive and efficient. The game involves the player controlling a group of hired mercenaries and martialing a limited starting budget to organize effective small units of mercs in order to take over sectors on a game map that represents a fictional "Arulco" country. Arulco has been taken over by a cruel dictator and its people are impoverished and oppressed. The player must explore the game map, winning combats, looting ammo, food, weapons and some cash, and progressively take over strategic locations like airports, mines, etc. By controlling parts of the map that generate revenue the player can use their internet connection and laptop to hire more mercs, purchase weapons and armor, etc.

The 2.1.13 mod expands on the vanilla game enormously. In the vanilla game, one could hire a few "militia" to protect a sector while ones mercenary squad(s) moved around, but in 2.1.13 one can actually hire large numbers of them, equip them as one sees fit, train them, use them to move gear from place to place, and with enough of a revenue flow, effectively control large swaths of the map. Of course, without the bad guy spawns increased, this would all be an "easy" function, but WITH more bad guy spawns it takes what was a classic late 1990s style tactical combat game and expands it into what is effectively a operational strategy game.

None of this would have been possible though unless the developer/publisher went out of business (mainly as a result of bad management),the games themselves were relatively successful commercially). As a consequence of them going out of business, and in recognition of the lively modder community, the developer decided to release the entire game source code!

Contrast this with Jagged Alliance Back in Action. The graphics are, in comparison to those in JA2.1.13, stunningly beautiful. The game includes an innovative "pauseable real-time combat system" including a neat action-sequencer system, and the game is as fully functional and "complete" as one would expect for it to be in early Beta stage. But in every other respect it is a WORSE game than JA2, not to mention JA2.1.13.

The vanilla camera is a nightmare and without mods there is little to no option to adjust it. Limited number of weapons and gear and poor balancing; lack of many basic gameplay features of various sorts: milita, inventories, training, healing, item repair and upgrades, etc.

Even the neato "action sequencer" lacks features that would have allowed each player to play the game as they might prefer, for example a time-dilation control that would allow the rate of time passage to be regulated independently of the pause and plan functionality.

It is like we cannot have our cake and eat it too.
disagree with that myself
in BG1 theres 100% indication whether a locked chest is safe to pilfer or not, you just need a thief. Thieves in D&D are the only characters (except for spells ofcourse) that can detect and disarm traps.
remember also old games came with a manual, and not only a manual but A GREAT AWESOME PROPER EXPLAINS ALL GAME MECHANICS MANUAL. they didnt give you insufficient info? they gave you a whole printed manual with every single thing you needed to know to play in it?
the BG games we are referencing here even listed every single spell, exactly what it does and everything you need to know about effect/casting time/duration etc
new games come with nothing

for example the above example about the locked chests, the manual explains that only thieves can detect and disarm traps and also lists their base chance, dex and race bonus'/penalties, and points they gain to distribute per level. your character sheet in game keeps the exact chance you have in it.

baldurs gate was awesome, its hard to use a character from BG1 in BG2 though because of the kits, there no kits in BG1 and kits are awesome.

new games are aimed at a casual gamer market and have suffered for it
i am older ofcourse and have less time, tireder and get bored easier these days. but most modern games i never finish as i just lose interest in them, and alot of them that i do finish i finsih for the sake of finishing not because of the fun of playing or i am actually interested in finishing.
older games were never like that for me

jagged alliance 2 is awesome i still play it now, no mods
graphics mean nothing, nothing
 

DicheBach

Rescued Ally
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
I wasn't referring to traps; I was referring to guards in certain civilized locales showing up when your thief attempts to unlock a lock.

"Manuals" . . . not much point in these anymore. Best to include them in-game as a digital that includes: searching, filtering, bookmarking, cross-referencing, comparison tables, a simple calculator, a user note page, and of course, a toggle on/off tool tip when hovering cursor over in-game items.

Reading from paper is so 1990s! :p

ADDIT: no offense but saying "graphics mean nothing, nothing" is both silly and irrelevant. Graphics obviously mean a great deal and even for Grogs like yourself who claim to enjoy the masochism of gazing at low-res, blurred, tiny-unzoomable raster renders graphics mean something. Play games with your monitor off much?

Re: your use of the term "casuals" . . . heh . . . like to see developers go hungry do you!? :cautious: . . . Old game elitism is just as bad as new game elitism. Pragmatism and common sense about what makes good games is all I ask.
 

osamaclees

Rescued Ally
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Location
Kiwi Mate
I wasn't referring to traps; I was referring to guards in certain civilized locales showing up when your thief attempts to unlock a lock.

"Manuals" . . . not much point in these anymore. Best to include them in-game as a digital that includes: searching, filtering, bookmarking, cross-referencing, comparison tables, a simple calculator, a user note page, and of course, a toggle on/off tool tip when hovering cursor over in-game items.

Reading from paper is so 1990s! :p

ADDIT: no offense but saying "graphics mean nothing, nothing" is both silly and irrelevant. Graphics obviously mean a great deal and even for Grogs like yourself who claim to enjoy the masochism of gazing at low-res, blurred, tiny-unzoomable raster renders graphics mean something. Play games with your monitor off much?

Re: your use of the term "casuals" . . . heh . . . like to see developers go hungry do you!? :cautious: . . . Old game elitism is just as bad as new game elitism. Pragmatism and common sense about what makes good games is all I ask.
oh ok thought you were meaning traps sorry
well stealing in civilized areas is well illegal just like it is in real life. in BG if anyone, not just the guards but anyone at all, detects you stealing from a chest in town the guards get called. im sure this is in the manual, it definitely is in BG2s manual.
you 100% no which chest will spawn the guards, its any chest in a civilized area in which any "persons" of that town whatever see you doing it. Sometimes NPCs can be stuck behind an open door or something like that (games did and do still have bugs) that might "see you". also whenever you use a thief skill you will exit stealth if in it, so you cannot pick a lock in front of someone while under stealth because you become unstealthed as soon as you so.
if no one does see you, you get away with it.

manual is still better, so much easier to have on hand, plus ofcourse can read up on when feel like, in bed etc and for games like baldurs gate that use a huge ruleset like d&d that is so much better. paper is so much better for you than reading from screens.
to much information im sure sorry :) but there was nothing i used to like better after getting a new game (including ones id copied from friends id take the manual to my dads office and photocopy the whole thing) than a ahem sit on the toilet and read through the manual planning my character.

no offense taken :) everyones got a different opinion
ok maybe i should have said graphics is the least important part of a game rather than means nothing im sure you knew what i meant though and that was a pretty dumb line, i never said im a machosist? or im so cool cause i love low res images, just that graphics is less important than gameplay. like every single old game in the world graphcis is not a good as todays but does that somehow mean they are unplayable? that only masochists can play an old game and if you do still play old games you are just an elitist that "claim to enjoy the masochism of gazing at low-res, blurred, tiny-unzoomable raster renders graphics mean something. Play games with your monitor off much?

case in point my alltime favorite game is still pool of radiance a 1988 SSI gold box game. the graphics are poor, real poor, not old enough to be playing it then, i first played it around 1999. the games of this era had maaasively superior graphics but pool of radiance had great gameplay (IMO) that trumps graphics everytime.
like jagged alliance 2, graphics suck yes but gameplay IMO is excellent. its a frustratingly annoying game at times and with some unlucky rolls, bad position and ofcourse where the cover is can mean a badly injured party or even a wipe. i prefer this to todays insta win all.
a game with great gameplay but poor graphics is always better than a game with great graphics and poor gameplay
graphics IMO is by far the least important thing and is even irrelevant, ofcourse better graphics is well better but not at the cost of gameplay which it most definitely is. its all about super high res cut scenes and amazing drop deap gorgeous in game worlds and far less time and budget spent on the actual gameplay.
the more people demand graphics graphics graphics the less time and budget will be spent on gameplay. look at fallout 4, now yes this is all personal opinion ofcourse. but compared to other fallout games the graphics are mucho better, rather impressive actually, but look at how the game mechanics themselves have suffered. no skills, poor dialogue options consisting of 3 ways to say yes and 1 way to say no only to name a couple.
IMO the game extremely suffered because of this, now everyones entiltled to their own opinions and everyone has their own likes and dislikes (just like those out there that dont like games at all!) but for me once again a game with great game play and poor graphics i will happily play whereas a game with poor game play but great graphics i will not be interested in at all.
state of decay is a great game, inwhich bought everyone on here because we play it. the graphics are fine IMO but compared to games coming out today its graphics are poor right? yet here we all are still playing it, why? gameplay thats why, the most important part of any game.

ok come on guy ofcourse they have to make money and eat and to do this they have to make what sells, like any manufacturer. what i was meaning and yeah prob didnt explain well enough is back in say BG1 times there were many games made for just casual playing but there were also these huge sweeping epics targeted directly at fans of that genre, like BG1 was there was no was in hell that was made for casual play.
thats my problem with today is unlike yesteryear where there were plenty games for both the casual games, the hardcore gamers, and the fans of certain genres and the mechanics of such, today there is not this choice which is disappointing look at the big sweeping epic rpgs of today compared to their ancestors (xbox for me as i still use winXP cant play new games on PC)
dragon age inqusition vs dragon age origins
mass effect andromeda vs 1,2,3
fallout 4 vs fallout 3 and NV (cant compare with 1&2 its just too different)
all of these are the newer has the better graphics but the older has the better gameplay (once again ofcourse IMO)
you cant deny that the newer versions of these were all designed on picking up the casual market? which ofcourse is bigger, i dont blame them for this i never said i do only that i believe games have suffered for it

and where are the NWNs and BGs style games, that dont even exsist on PC anymore. the only option for that style is indie kickstater games like for example pillars of eternity and wasteland 2, where graphics are average (horrible really for wasteland 2 lol) but gameplay is great.

look what happened to the final fantasy series, my god were the graphics incredible in the newer versions of those but i think most FF fans agree

I would love to have games for each and every persons likes but at the moment its not, im not saying no games should be aimed at casual market or only games i like should be made etc
i would just like to have the odd game come out both in the old style genres like BGs but were gameplay mechanics were the most important design priority, and the mechanics have not been watered down or even eliminated on the hope of attracting a larger audience by "streamlining it". just make games for targeted fan types like they used too. eg you say you like JA2 how would you feel if a new JA came out where the graphics were incredible but all the skills were eliminated, theyd got rid of cover and other mechanics to "streamline" the game and make it more open for casuals and those that wernt previosly fans of that style of game to the point where you felt it was some other game with the JA name?
what if SOD2 comes out, graphics are incredible but the gameplay had lost all that made you love SOD?
what if SOD2 comes out the graphics arent great but the gameplay is just as good or better than SOD?
i know which one id prefer.

yeah id love a game where the graphics were incredible and so was the gameplay but that is insanely rare im afraid. all im saying is id rather graphics suffer rather than gameplay.

calling someone elitist because their opinion differs is really bad for discussion. If you have a look at the favourite games thread you will see a post from me with mine. plenty old games and plenty new.
 
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