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  1. - Top - End - #151
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    However, that doesn't mean you have to include skills that are actively useless, or set things up so that somebody might have to restart the game just because they picked a bad selection of skills and can't actually make it through. When I was younger I had the patience to play through the first few hours of a game two or three times trying to find a decent set of skills that would get me through, but nowadays that sort of thing is just going to make me ragequit and uninstall.
    Yeah....I'm fully in favor of niche skills, downright esoteric skills, and skill choices that you know in advance may make your life more difficult than it needs to be (Borderlands the Presequel triple-prompts you to confirm when you try to start as Claptrap, as all three apply); but when skills are presented as equal and you only find out the hard way that they're not? That's just frustrating...like when I restarted Fallout 4 because despite their initial presentation, attributes are not even remotely created equal.
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  2. - Top - End - #152
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by danzibr View Post
    Character creation.

    Not that it’s necessarily an old game mechanic. Also, it can be done well. My major complaint when you build your character up from a blank canvas, your decisions usually aren’t (in my experience) important to the plot.

    Like in Xenoblade Chronicles X. It feels your companion is actually the main character.

    Or Fallout 3. Your character’s most defining trait is their father.

    Or KOTOR. You actually have an awesome backstory, but that’s wiped clean by the time you actually make your character.

    The more I think about it, it feels the more freedom a player is given, the worse the plot is.
    That's something I hope will evolve over the next decade. Obsidian in particular seems to be toying with the approach of "Choose a background and/or starting weapon set, your starting skills are tied to that." Not as liberating as letting you pick your skills from scratch, but it grants unique dialogue choices and gives NPC's in the game proper something relevant to reference in making your character a part of the world.
    Last edited by Toric; 2019-11-14 at 03:49 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #153
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Toric View Post
    That's something I hope will evolve over the next decade. Obsidian in particular seems to be toying with the approach of "Choose a background and/or starting weapon set, your starting skills are tied to that." Not as liberating as letting you pick your skills from scratch, but it grants unique dialogue choices and gives NPC's in the game proper something relevant to reference in making your character a part of the world.
    Same, same.

    However, I thought about it some more. I can think of an example of a game with superb plot yet has a totally blank protagonist: Baldur's Gate.

    Still, overall, I find games where you're playing as somebody (without dialogue options?) to have better plots than games where you build someone from scratch (and you choose what they say?).
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  4. - Top - End - #154
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    I rather prefer the active character creation method. To put it in Fallout terms, instead of being asked for a bunch of stats, you start in front of a table of weapons before a target. You can play with them and shoot the target, then get to choose which you prefer. And the non-violent solution being to walk straight to the 'excursion' and say you don't need them.
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  5. - Top - End - #155
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    So, I'm going to preface this by letting you know that I have read through the entire thread and the back'n'forth that's been played out on this subject. I'm just quoting this post because if you're going to start anywhere, it's probably best if it's at the beginning...

    I would suggest that you're missing the point of systems with a large number of skills/options/whathaveyou. The point *is* that there are so-called "trap" options. The point *is* that you'll have to restart and replay if you want to experience all that the game has to offer. The point *is*, in these kinds of games, that the expectation is that you'll be roleplaying, as opposed to merely gaming.
    And I'd suggest that there's a world of difference between systems that don't give you enough skill advancements to do everything, and systems with trap options.

    Outer Worlds, for instance, is a system that doesn't give you enough points to do everything. You have enough skill points, over the 30 levels you get in the game, to max out maybe four skills out of the . If you want to be an excellent negotiator, you're going to be losing out on combat viability, or technical skills, or sneaking, or hacking or lockpicking or what have you. But when you put points into a skill, you can be relatively confident that it's going to be useful, and that skill will open up paths to which you otherwise wouldn't have access. Even the most useless skill, block, is situationally useful if you're doing a melee build.

    Compare that to Wasteland 2 or Daggerfall, where entire skills are basically useless, and never come up. Points put into those skills lead to no increased enjoyment and no alternative ways to play the game. They are, in every way, a trap for the player, and the only replayability they add is the ability for the player to say, "okay, next time I'll invest in my ability to shoot guns instead of toaster repair." In short, skills that do nothing are bad game design.
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    It you want to make esoteric skills, either make it obvious that they are marginal ("toaster repair" is actually pretty funny, I can imagine being used only, and solely to repair toasters over the entire game), or maybe have a selection of skills that are all marginal, clearly identified as such, and have all players at least pick one for the fun wacky factor of it.

    Like I said earlier, esoteric mechanic can work if you thought your game around it. No repeat of Arcanum Gamble skill please. Where its used *once*

  7. - Top - End - #157
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    ("toaster repair" is actually pretty funny, I can imagine being used only, and solely to repair toasters over the entire game)
    ....
    Like I said earlier, esoteric mechanic can work if you thought your game around it.
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    To use Fallout 1/2 by way of example, I've done playthroughs that never invested points in any weapon skills except Throwing; a marginal skill at best by most accounts, but one that can be done. Perhaps a "trap" option for newbs who don't yet know how rare grenades and throwing knives are in the early game, but a solid "iron man" option there for more experienced gamers.
    I would really rather be able to focus on throwing as a new player without finding out it's terrible once I start encountering tougher enemies.
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  9. - Top - End - #159
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    To an extent, Fallout 3, Oblivion, and New Vegas did a bit to address the "I have to build my character blind" problem... build your character as you like, but when you reach a certain point, the game says "Ok, if you go past here, your choices are fixed. Do you want to change any choices now?"
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  10. - Top - End - #160
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    The problem with allowing for esoteric silly skills is you then have to balance the game for people who take those extra points meant for silly and use it to further boost their primary skills. Ive seen games that do it right, games that have primary and secondary skill sets where you unlock the ability to choose a silly skill without losing the good ones but you cant stack two good ones. Along these lines was something that used to be in world of warcraft. I cant remember what they were called, but they had large and small runes or something. The large added boosts to skills, the small were flavor stuff mainly "Polymorph turns target into a penguin now" that sort of thing. Letting you pick both a game balance effecting boost, and a fun flavor skill.
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    The lord of the rings this game its very old 1955 and make by Mr, J. R. R. Tolkien he is Genus

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrory View Post
    The lord of the rings this game its very old 1955 and make by Mr, J. R. R. Tolkien he is Genus
    Not sure if bot or just having linguistic translation issues...
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Balmas View Post
    Compare that to Wasteland 2 or Daggerfall, where entire skills are basically useless, and never come up. Points put into those skills lead to no increased enjoyment and no alternative ways to play the game. They are, in every way, a trap for the player, and the only replayability they add is the ability for the player to say, "okay, next time I'll invest in my ability to shoot guns instead of toaster repair." In short, skills that do nothing are bad game design.
    Which is it to be? Skills that are "Basically useless" or "do [literally] nothing"? Those are not the same thing. If Toaster Repair even has a single use in game, then it's not the latter and such things can be entertaining to find for yourself where and when that weird, esoteric, seemingly useless skill actually comes into play. I agree that including a skill or ability that has literally zero utility or function is bad design, but I cannot recall a single game (other than ones still in dev) that has such a feature.

    Such things aren't always well implemented, granted, but that's more a factor or how well designed the game is than the game style. There are FPSs that are good and bad; the bad ones don't make FPSs a bad concept. Similarly, esoteric/expansive skill systems aren't inherently bad and have much that can be said in their favour.
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    Which is it to be? Skills that are "Basically useless" or "do [literally] nothing"? Those are not the same thing. If Toaster Repair even has a single use in game, then it's not the latter and such things can be entertaining to find for yourself where and when that weird, esoteric, seemingly useless skill actually comes into play. I agree that including a skill or ability that has literally zero utility or function is bad design, but I cannot recall a single game (other than ones still in dev) that has such a feature.
    The old Megatraveller games had several skills that were completely useless (I think Megatraveller 2 helpfully pointed them out in the manual, but 1 did not), and there were some spells in the old SSI Gold Box games that were useful in only one or two places in the entire franchise. In both cases, they were there because they were part of the tabletop game, and there was still an idea that you'd be moving a character from tabletop to computer and back in the design room.

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Not sure if bot or just having linguistic translation issues...
    He makes a good point though. Why haven't we named a genus after Tolkein yet?
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    For me, it's RPGs with playable casts larger than the default party size, that require you to swap out members regularly to ensure that everyone is getting XP. I normally don't mind having to grind a little to get past a particular challenge (I like seeing my characters getting incrementally more powerful, sue me), but having to do it in gradual stages, especially in games where you can only change your party members at specific locations, it's just a painful experience that tends to hit me with option paralysis when I'm not just annoyed by it.

    The XP Share feature introduced in Pokémon's X/Y generation that shares half the XP of your active mon with all those on the bench was a godsend for me, especially after the grinding hellscape that was Black/White. But now I've been using my Switch to go back and play games a little before my time, and Final Fantasy IX hits all the problems I've described above. The game is fun, don't get me wrong, and I actually like switching up my party now and again to try out all the different combinations available, but I'm at the point where I have a full party of eight with only four slots (and one of them has to be Zidane), and it's making the late game a slog to ensure they're all up to par.

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    @Kats: so much yes.

    Currently replaying FFX. Very irritating.

    Or in like Suikoden you have a party of 6 but a million playable characters.
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Balmas View Post
    They are, in every way, a trap for the player, and the only replayability they add is the ability for the player to say, "okay, next time I'll invest in my ability to shoot guns instead of toaster repair." In short, skills that do nothing are bad game design.
    I will point out here that Toaster Repair may sound like a joke skill, but it actually isn't. Toasters in Wasteland 2 are effectively chests with high-quality items hidden inside, and the only way to get those items is the repair skill. So, there are effectively *three* lockpicking skills in Wasteland 2--lockpicking, safecracking and toaster repair, all used for different types of container and all equally useful (or useless, if you prefer).

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    Which is it to be? Skills that are "Basically useless" or "do [literally] nothing"? Those are not the same thing. If Toaster Repair even has a single use in game, then it's not the latter and such things can be entertaining to find for yourself where and when that weird, esoteric, seemingly useless skill actually comes into play. I agree that including a skill or ability that has literally zero utility or function is bad design, but I cannot recall a single game (other than ones still in dev) that has such a feature.

    Such things aren't always well implemented, granted, but that's more a factor or how well designed the game is than the game style. There are FPSs that are good and bad; the bad ones don't make FPSs a bad concept. Similarly, esoteric/expansive skill systems aren't inherently bad and have much that can be said in their favour.
    If a skill isn't going to be useful for a new player who picks it because it suits their character, forcing them to go through their game with a dead weight on their character sheet, it has no business being in the game. That it has some esoteric use cases somewhere isn't substantially different from not being useful ever. The new player may or may not even run into those opportunities to use it.
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-11-15 at 04:00 AM.
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    If a skill isn't going to be useful for a new player who picks it because it suits their character, forcing them to go through their game with a dead weight on their character sheet, it has no business being in the game. That it has some esoteric use cases somewhere isn't substantially different from not being useful ever. The new player may or may not even run into those opportunities to use it.
    The flipside is, of course, that if this new player does have opportunity to use it, then it wasn't dead weight. If they don't, then assuming there is a use, it becomes an incentive to play again and find out what the use is, so again, not pointless.
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    The flipside is, of course, that if this new player does have opportunity to use it, then it wasn't dead weight. If they don't, then assuming there is a use, it becomes an incentive to play again and find out what the use is, so again, not pointless.
    That's if the player's takeaway is "I'm going to try using this skill again somehow" and not "this skill is useless and I'll avoid it next time". In the second case, the skill absolutely is dead weight. Again, it doesn't matter if there's a use for it somewhere. It still has to compete with skills that are consistently useful. "Not completely 100% useless" isn't a high or meaningful bar to clear.
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I will point out here that Toaster Repair may sound like a joke skill, but it actually isn't. Toasters in Wasteland 2 are effectively chests with high-quality items hidden inside, and the only way to get those items is the repair skill. So, there are effectively *three* lockpicking skills in Wasteland 2--lockpicking, safecracking and toaster repair, all used for different types of container and all equally useful (or useless, if you prefer).
    The other thing to point out is that in Wasteland 2 you make a party of four custom characters instead of one, so you're spreading those skills out considerably more than you would in other equivalent games.

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    The flipside is, of course, that if this new player does have opportunity to use it, then it wasn't dead weight. If they don't, then assuming there is a use, it becomes an incentive to play again and find out what the use is, so again, not pointless.
    What actually happens is the new player beats the game without ever using the skill then feels safe to go check for spoilers, finds out there actually was a use for the skill and says "F that noise" to the idea of replaying a 40 hour RPG just for one Easter egg. For example, I'm more annoyed than enthused about missing the best suit of armor in the game (The Witcher) because I didn't walk back into the literally burning city literally in the middle of a war, or losing the idol group that boosts your entire fleet by 20% no matter what post you give them (Infinite Space) because of the newbie RPG mistake of talking to everybody. I obviously didn't need them the first time. Congratulations on beating the game. Now you can go back and play it again, only easier. Not interested.

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Not really a mechanic, exactly, but that reminds me of something that I really don't miss: a lot of older games used to be really rude. I'm thinking of stuff like the first Space Quest game, where it's possible to put the game into an unwinnable state within the first few screens... and you didn't find out until near the end of the game.

    I'm also glad that you don't really see the old-fashioned "You played on Easy! No later levels for you." thing anymore.
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zalabim View Post
    What actually happens is the new player beats the game without ever using the skill then feels safe to go check for spoilers, finds out there actually was a use for the skill and says "F that noise" to the idea of replaying a 40 hour RPG just for one Easter egg. For example, I'm more annoyed than enthused about missing the best suit of armor in the game (The Witcher) because I didn't walk back into the literally burning city literally in the middle of a war, or losing the idol group that boosts your entire fleet by 20% no matter what post you give them (Infinite Space) because of the newbie RPG mistake of talking to everybody. I obviously didn't need them the first time. Congratulations on beating the game. Now you can go back and play it again, only easier. Not interested.
    If you have no interest in replaying the game, I'd suggest that the game wasn't that good in the first place. That's not to say there aren't story focused games that you might only play once and then leave for a few years before playing again, if you ever get around to it, but if the gameplay is engaging and the story variable enough (even if it is only in the details), then you'll want to find out what those easter eggs are. The kind of "hey, why don't you play again but easier" features are poor design in my book; it's a cheap shot at trying to make the game replayable. Replayability shouldn't be about being easier, it should be about being different.
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    If you have no interest in replaying the game, I'd suggest that the game wasn't that good in the first place.
    Yeah, and too many disappointing skills with few and uninteresting uses throughout the game is one of the things that can make games not good.

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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    Yeah, and too many disappointing skills with few and uninteresting uses throughout the game is one of the things that can make games not good.
    The same can be said of literally anything. An excess of anything, whether that thing is considered "good" or "bad" is always "bad". That's not just gaming, that's life.
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

    Please be aware; when it comes to 5ed D&D, I own Core (1st printing) and SCAG only. All my opinions and rulings are based solely on those, unless otherwise stated. I reserve the right of ignorance of errata or any other source.

  28. - Top - End - #178
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Or you can have a game that offers different ways of playing that are actually somewhat balanced with each other, instead of trap options some players might treat as a puzzle to be cracked.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.

  29. - Top - End - #179
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by KatsOfLoathing View Post
    For me, it's RPGs with playable casts larger than the default party size, that require you to swap out members regularly to ensure that everyone is getting XP. I normally don't mind having to grind a little to get past a particular challenge (I like seeing my characters getting incrementally more powerful, sue me), but having to do it in gradual stages, especially in games where you can only change your party members at specific locations, it's just a painful experience that tends to hit me with option paralysis when I'm not just annoyed by it.
    Agreed. To make it worse, many games that do this also have one main character that you cannot remove from your party, causing them to become over-leveled relative to everyone else if you take the time to grind a lot. And often those games also have sections where you have to use a certain character in your party temporarily, meaning if you haven't been either using that character regularly or grinding to keep them leveled up, then they're an active liability when you become stuck with them.


    The XP Share feature introduced in Pokémon's X/Y generation that shares half the XP of your active mon with all those on the bench was a godsend for me, especially after the grinding hellscape that was Black/White. But now I've been using my Switch to go back and play games a little before my time, and Final Fantasy IX hits all the problems I've described above. The game is fun, don't get me wrong, and I actually like switching up my party now and again to try out all the different combinations available, but I'm at the point where I have a full party of eight with only four slots (and one of them has to be Zidane), and it's making the late game a slog to ensure they're all up to par.
    I sure don't miss the days of trying to level up a Magikarp by putting it first in my party and then switching to my real Pokemon during the battle, like I had to do before getting the XP sharing items.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
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  30. - Top - End - #180
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    Default Re: What's One "Old Game" Mechanic That You Don't Miss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    I'm also glad that you don't really see the old-fashioned "You played on Easy! No later levels for you." thing anymore.
    I know. I love the relatively recent design philosophy that games don't have to be hard to be worthwhile, and that players don't have to display a sufficient amount of skill to appreciate a game's full contact unless the difficulty is a specific design choice. I was delighted when I heard Mass Effect 3 would have a "Story" difficulty, and I love that Celeste has collectibles that are purely optional so you can just follow the story if you like.

    I recall hearing that in the NES era Japanese developers would specifically make American versions of games harder because they disagreed with the practice of video game rental, and it ensured nobody could fully appreciate the game without either multiple rentals or just buying the game. Don't quote me on that, I may need to verify it.
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