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I don't get all the rogue love kids have these days



  • ChildofBhaal599ChildofBhaal599 Member Posts: 1,781
    i think the thing with the MGS and thief references is that those are based on the idea of stealth. they are a lot of fun to play as a stealthy game where combat likely equals death because the systems are entirely built around it all. with Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age, and more they are centered around combat, and so people would expect to be capable combatants. this lead to the fighter tank, rogue DD, and mage CC system to make different classes unique but all fun in combat, the main thing in the game. meanwhile MGS doesn't focus on the combat, and the ideal playthrough would have you only enter combat at scripted scenes and boss battles. they focus on stealth and making that fun, with cardboard boxes and playboy mags to distract guards, because you never want to have to kill one. i actually just recently replayed MGS3 on very hard difficulty with the goal of killing as few people as possible. it was kind of funny when I got to the sorrow battle and finally found for myself that every spirit there I indeed killed, as I got an empty river that game except for the bosses. i then killed just below 100 soldiers during the getaway scene. still, it was fun because the game isn't focused around getting into combat but rather staying out of it and provides you options to do that.

    i think when it comes to RPGs rogues just have to be damage dealers. i don't think they shouldn't be allowed to, either. the fighters still have survivability with them, and their weapons generally do more per hit. rogues just get the bonus that they are faster to strike.

  • NukefaceNukeface Member Posts: 91
    @the_spyder I'm talking about specifically a party based representation of a more "role" based world.

    Thief was exactly that - thief. What about Sorcerer? Fighter? Paladin? Bard?

    I'm not thinking about a single class, I'm thinking about the way they interact and the "role" in the greater world. It's kind of like Skyrim provided the sandbox but really never bothered to allow us to make sandcastles.

    We have all of the concepts at play but they're disparate and nobody has bothered to put them together. You get a little bit closer with games like Fallout: New Vegas but you lack the diversity of IWD.

    What I'm really saying is that creativity should be rewarded in an RPG and not streamlined into a single focus. Deus Ex was a great exercise in scenario design with all sorts of ways through each area, but what if I want to create the scenario?

    It seems to me like a thief would want to find ways to keep things controlled and predictable to pull off a con. A fighter might take the more direct route, etc. - it's that kind of diversity that PnP has that CRPGs don't really strive for.

  • NukefaceNukeface Member Posts: 91
    @cognoscentus That sounds like poor utilization as opposed to anything inherently wrong with a rogue.

    Why not set up a trap? Circle around for a backstab? Scout ahead to see if there's a monster down the hall? Whip out your favorite wand? Or second favorite wand if you're a pervert?

    The beauty of a rogue is in playing intelligently - those few combat skills are there to force you into thinking like a rogue instead of as a fighter. "Swords for everyone" is not necessarily the best approach to game design.

    You also made my point for me - "Killing monsters is not only fun, but is usually the most important part of advancing a quest."

    That's a lot of the problem right there.

  • NukefaceNukeface Member Posts: 91

    I think you're just acceping game design as it stands and aren't bothering to look into the different varieties of RPGs that are out there. A rogue has no need of being a frontline fighter if his skillset is expanded and allowed to shine - if you have a greater variety of options that are all plausible, enjoyable, and interesting then you are less likely to develop a fighter with a different name.

    I see no reason why a rogue has to be able to engage in combat. Ever. That should be their specialty. They also shouldn't be put on the back burner and solely on trap duty. They shouldn't be required - they should be a genuine asset.

    That said they should definitely have enjoyable combat options if they're built as an assassin - but they may be more of a con-artist, or a card-shark, or simply a cat-burglar.

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    DreadKhan said:

    Edit: Hide in Plain Sight in PnP 3.x is certainly not that overpowered... it is a good skill to have, but it is very situational. By the actual rules, the only character that can ACTUALLY fight and hide again is a very high level Ranger, with his concealment ability AND Hide In Plain Sight... and he has to be outside to use this trick. I suspect it was implemented incorrectly if it allows much in the way of shenanigans. Even sniping, IE firing a ranged weapon and IMMEDIATELY hiding again suffers a big -20 penalty, and HiPS does not negate that. Assuming you have a pretty impressive net +30 to hide, that means you are hiding as a well as a 5 or 6th level rogue.

    HiPS in the NWN2 worlds I played was MUCH different. Combat starts, player HiPS - Poof-, circles around and sneak attacks, thus becoming visible. Next round, Player HiPS, sneaks around and sneak attacks. Rinse, lather repeat until opponent is dead. Wizard targets player with HiPS? -Poof-, target lock is lost and so no individual target spells work. Your AOE spells better cover a LOT of ground or your opponent will likely simply avoid it. It is literally used as zero action, on demand, unlimited use Invisibility. And since it isn't "Actually" invisibility, it is immune to True Sight (not 100% sure on this one, it's been a while).

    So, a bit over-powered in implementation, at least in NWN2 (or maybe just on the servers that I played?).

  • ChildofBhaal599ChildofBhaal599 Member Posts: 1,781
    Squire said:

    Nukeface said:

    Interesting fact: when Dragon Age was first in development, they weren't going to call the rogue class "rogue". The original plan was "strength based fighter", "dex based fighter", and "mage". They needed a name for the "dex based fighter", and the community decided that "rogue" was simply a convenient name.

    that is interesting. and i was just about to put that out there. sometimes you just need to look at rogue as "dex based fighter". that is why I said I consider thief just a sub class of rogue. i generally consider rogues use dexterity and stealth in some way, fighters use strength and constitution in some way, and mage just use intelligence to make the impossible happen in many ways. indeed, I find it perfect that a "thief" in baldur's gate isn't very good in combat, as they label it as "thief" rather than rogue. however, I think the combat orientated rogue is still different enough from a fighter to be it's own thing, too, and perhaps have the thieving stuff thrown in there with it because they are also similar. in the end though the most important thing should be if something is fun. in the context of all these combat focused RPGs, it would not be fun to not be able to do anything in combat. in something less combat focused with more free will and options they could perhaps provide ways to make stealth fun. i am absolutely not saying somebody can't pull off making a fun non combat rogue, but they would need to design with that in mind and many games just are not and would make for a boring experience.

  • NukefaceNukeface Member Posts: 91
    I think the engines allow for it which is why PS:T and Fallout hold up so well, despite their flaws.

    I'm trying to wrap my head around what the next step in CRPG's would be. I want a DnD style adventure but with modern bells and whistles. There's something elegant about the immersion of DnD that's lost without a good DM - that's where I think the next step is.

    There was a big push for procedurally generated scenarios back in the day. That's great but it doesn't address the story concerns that a proper RPG should have - it seems like the next step is to procedurally generate a story without it going off the reservation completely.

    I'm trying to work out how each class differs and what would make not just "good" content but "GREAT" content. If you take the Infinity Engine and add a procedural overlay you'd have something pretty incredible in terms of scenario replayability. If you added a competent procedural story generation mechanic then I think you'd have a near flawless single player interpretation of DnD's selling points.

    The idea isn't that it would be procedural from the beginning but procedural based on the way you play. Kind of like how a DM would get tired of your party resting after every battle, the game would say "Oh, you like to talk your way out of everything? Here's a blood-thirsty demon for you" as a means to keep it fresh. Kind of a poor example, but that kind of alteration is intriguing to me.

    If you factor in the abilities and the selling points of each class, add class specific concerns and quirks, and then have a changing and breathing world then I think you have something epic. It doesn't even have to be a major sandbox - it's more what you can do with the sand that's interesting.

  • cognoscentuscognoscentus Member Posts: 65
    Nukeface said:

    @cognoscentus That sounds like poor utilization as opposed to anything inherently wrong with a rogue.

    Why not set up a trap? Circle around for a backstab? Scout ahead to see if there's a monster down the hall? Whip out your favorite wand? Or second favorite wand if you're a pervert?

    The beauty of a rogue is in playing intelligently - those few combat skills are there to force you into thinking like a rogue instead of as a fighter. "Swords for everyone" is not necessarily the best approach to game design.

    You also made my point for me - "Killing monsters is not only fun, but is usually the most important part of advancing a quest."

    That's a lot of the problem right there.

    I think you completely missed my point.

    Game designers create games that (they think) people will enjoy. Most CRPG's are created (and more importantly sold) with combat being a major, if not sole activity in the game. These games are not designed this way because that's how the designer feels a game should be played, they are merely giving their market what they want. Their market wants to kill things and break stuff and that's what they get.

    Having said this, I agree with what I think is your basic premise. I like options. I can infer that a rogue type character can be more than what they typically are. Con artist, cat burglar or infiltrator for instance. But I also don't like options being taken away. If you like to pigeonhole a particular type of character that's cool. Most games allow you to do that.

    I have come to some of my perspective from playing DDO for a number of years. There were those who said that mages can't tank raid bosses, there were those that said that clerics should stay back and just heal, those that said a fighter couldn't do traps and there were those who just couldn't figure out how that damn rogue led the kill count quest after quest.

  • NukefaceNukeface Member Posts: 91
    @cognoscentus‌ I think we're on the same page.

    I don't think it's a lack of willingness on the designers, I think it's a lack of understanding by the publishers. Commerce drives development - games are in a good place right now with more indie developers stepping into the fray, however.

    Games were, in my opinion, at their best when they "weren't for everyone". We've hit the point where mass appeal is becoming no appeal. If you know the market then you know well enough to try and identify YOUR audience. A strong community is going to sell your game far better than mass marketing.

    That's where I'm at - I'm trying to understand what the next step would be for people like ourselves who are willing to buy a re-release of a classic game rather than spending that money on something brand spanking new. What did it have that we're lacking these days and how do we get it out there again? What can we do to make it even better?

    There's a love for this kind of game that just doesn't seem to exist for AAA titles that are past their prime.

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    @Nukeface - oh there's no question that the engine "Allows" for it. But there generally isn't a push for it. Not everyone plays the games for the sheer role play of the experience and no one wants a tactical weak link (well, almost no one). PnP is a very different experience than a CRPG and although you CAN do a thing simply to role play it, you don't HAVE to do a thing.

  • NukefaceNukeface Member Posts: 91
    @the_spyder I agree and that's a wonderful point.

    I'm beyond what CRPGs allow for currently and I'm asking, specifically, what we would like them to do. What is it about the rogue that makes it special that isn't translating and has resulted in a "light armor fighter"?

    I don't care if a rogue is a fighter class or not. What I care about is that there's so much more that can be done that doesn't seem to be available. Now I'm looking for ideas for what would be the next step if I were to go about creating a game that would make a rogue a viable addition to the party and be able to focus exclusively on non-combat utility rather than creating a gilded-cage of a high DPS fighter in light armor and calling it "nuff".

    Just because there isn't a "push" for something doesn't mean that it's not a great idea. Nobody was "pushing" for Metal Gear Solid - it just hit. What I've seen so far is more of a problem with implementation and immersion than with the roots of the archetype.

  • The_Potty_1The_Potty_1 Member Posts: 427
    Well to take New Vegas as an example, a sniper build almost certainly falls under 'sneaky' rather than 'fighter'. Another point is that melee attacks in fallout are almost always silent. This matters in the quest I'm currently on, to clear a cavern of deathclaws.

    Deathclaws are massive, deadly, armored, super-fast nightmare creatures. Outside, I can blow them away with armor piercing shells in my anti-materiel rifle. In this cave, I'm really struggling, but finally hit on the following strategy. First, tell my two companions to wait outside. Then, equip my armor-piercing melee weapon, and sneak into the cave. Wait till a solo deathclaw walks past, and blitz it. Rinse and repeat. It's like soloing a BG thief through the lighthouse area cave against those golems, just with more failing and dying.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    @Nukeface In role-playing terms, I don't see why only the rogue should be able to wear a disguise, for example.

  • NukefaceNukeface Member Posts: 91
    @the_potty_1 Assassins have all sorts of roots - you might have a James Bond-esque hitman or a more classic Hanzo Hattori, a fighter would make an interesting path to becoming an assassin in my book. A Ranger seems like the most obvious candidate in terms of skillset to me, even more than a rogue, and would fill that middleground nicely between thug and ninja.

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    @Nukeface - I don't know if I am quite grasping your dilemma. For me, when I play a party in Baldur's Gate (or more appropriately in IWD because I create my own party), my group all 'Role Play' in my head. The flavor feedback that sometimes comes with BG2 is only the very tip of the iceberg. In any given situation, I imagine what people will respond with and how they will react to a given quest. If it is a 'Goody Goody' quest, I usually have Firecam or Minsc be the one driving everyone. If it is more stealthy and shady, Jan.

    As far as "Using" a thief, Jan will often go off on his own and pick pockets or do other 'Thiefly' type endeavors. Plus all of the shenanigans that go on within the party. But in a dangerous environment, my group won't wander far a-field on their own for obvious reasons. Basically, a lot of what you are looking for (seemingly) actually goes on in my mind.

    I would however, perhaps suggest that you try out NWN2, specifically the Storm of Zehir expansion. In that they implemented different chat options offered up by specific party members. You could track opponents in the woods and you could set traps etc. It provided a lot of game mechanics around what you are seemingly wanting to find. Just a suggestion.

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    I actually like the concept of 'skill based' adventurers sometimes. 3.x allows this, especially with some expansion books. Skills in RPGs tend to be obviously combat based, but using a very good spokesperson (IE high diplomacy, bluff, sense motive, intimidate, disguise, etc) instead of just always kicking down the door is more interesting. But, how many core RPG players would choose really indirect solutions, when kicking down the door works fine? Games are usually designed around selling them after all, and the demographic shift in who plays videogames has not yet been fully embraced by developers.

    Then again, there WERE those old Sierra adventure RPGish games, where you never really fight. So there is a precedent at least, or a framework to develop on. Of course, the item based nature of those games also created some frustration, and you did not improve skill sets, you either could do something or not.

    It is MUCH easier to design and balance a kick in the door vs a very, very free form problem solving type game you can run in a PnP environment. This would likely make such a game expensive to make, and big developers seem not to like risking too much on this type of game, especially since they really target a smaller demographic (Not everyone can stand playing or win such games... people did NOT like the puzzles in IWD2 for example!).

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    DreadKhan said:

    But, how many core RPG players would choose really indirect solutions, when kicking down the door works fine?

    Possibly more than you might think. Or maybe not.

    I guess I can see what is being asked for. I'd often imagined a dungeon where you start out in a room with 4 doors and two alternate exits. Behind each door or exit there is a challenge that only a given skill set can overcome. Not all would be combat related. I can definitely see the value in such a thing. Unfortunately, since no such thing actually exists, I do most of it in my head.

    I do think that a lot of the stealth action games like Splinter Cell usually offer multiple paths to victory. Something like Dishonored is another option. You choose and decide what path to take, and some of them are non-violent. These aren't party based though... So???

  • NukefaceNukeface Member Posts: 91
    @the_spyder @dreadkhan Thanks for the input!

    What I'm saying is I'm developing a game in my head - possibly going to try and develop it on a computer for mass consumption.

    The precedent is there that kicking in doors "works just fine" for an RPG but not for Assassin's Creed. Well, it doesn't really work all that well, it's pretty silly especially for an RPG.

    So, the problem I'm seeing with RPG's is that the environment doesn't really have much to do with the adventure, when you boil it all down. It seems like it would be worthwhile to include elements where it makes sense to have adventuring gear - rope, food, blankets, etc. - and include skills that would correspond to situational difficulties you might experience.

    Mountaineering may sound like a strange skill to invest in until you realize you're going to be investigating a Dwarven Stronghold of some sort.

    Strange thing is this stuff was all pretty standard back in the day when CRPG's were still emulating the PnP experience. Seems like the JRPG market was a lot more influential over the WRPG market than people realize.

    Legend of Grimrock was popular enough to indicate that this kind of gameplay still works. I just don't think we've had a good WIzardry or Might & Magic in a while to stoke the flame.

    So, I'm starting to envision a cross between Dark Souls, Might & Magic, and Rainbow Six with a bit of Leisure Suit Larry thrown in.

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    edited January 2015
    @Nukeface - what you are proposing is not a bad thing. I'd be interested to see how it fleshes out.

    My DM would always add flair and touches based on our characters (this was WAAAAY back in 2E). We were always encouraged to role play our characters and often got rewarded for same. We had each our own "Non combat" skills. If someone wanted to ride horses, that was a skill. Our dwarves always had "Some" stonework skill, but unless they actually spent time on it, the information feedback that they got when asking the DM about stonework got less and less. That was what the adventure was all about, the touches and flair.

    CRPG games today do leave a lot of that stuff out. I remember in one of the original Ultima games, if you found corn and put it in a pot over a fire, you made pop-corn. Finding that was a fantastic easter egg in my book. Packing food and other equipment was fun, but if I had to be honest it could get a bit tedious at times. What I am saying is, flavor is good. Just don't bog it down to such a degree that micro-managing is the end all and be all of the game. A DM can manage that on the fly such that if it becomes a chore, s/he can allow the players to skip it. A program can't.

    Good luck with your concept.

    EDIT: There was another game called Averena (or something similar) a while back that you might want to look into. I remember it had food and other 'Flavor' elements added in. Just an idea.

  • NukefaceNukeface Member Posts: 91
    I'm more thinking about how instead of an infinite backpack of holding you might have a wagon at the entrance to a dungeon that you could trek back to to deposit your hard earned wealth. It's not groundbreaking but it adds a bit of immersion. You might have to abandon it to go chasing after a pack of goblins or some such and return to it later.

    Food is just kind of like "Well, you packed enough for three days of adventuring. Now it's going to take a week to follow the mad sorcerer you're honor-bound to kill. Do you have a Ranger to help you rough it or are you going to have to take your chances and hope you find a village on the way?"

    That could simply be handled by a screen for adventuring supplies when you leave the city gates. More of a consideration that could turn into a survival-horror aspect - imagine the "hardcore dumpster dive" runs!

    New Vegas had that option, too. See? It's frustrating because it's all there, it's just not all put together yet.

  • NukefaceNukeface Member Posts: 91
    I'm of the opinion that value added is subjective in terms to the party's strengths. Traipsing back and forth to town doesn't make a lot of sense if you have an experienced woodsman - if you're in a desert, however, back to town it is.

    Each area should have a valid set of concerns - part of that is incorporating a 3D approach to RPG game design. If NWN2 had a more 3D environment, such as second stories to buildings accessible by climbing, then your rogue has an extra dimension in which to use his roguey skills that a fully armored knight may not. Likewise, a PnP Dragon Disciple replete with wings might be able to bypass that lack of skill due to a physical adaptation.

    It's the idea that a Mage makes perfect sense as a solo adventurer in the BG world - they have a counter to most situations and that's their strength. They have to be prepared for that, however, and are limited to meta-game knowledge of the situations they are going to face.

    The idea is instead of balancing a world, it's to unbalance the world with your characters so you can create a game within the game. That's where the meta-game aspects shine and should have a fairly sensible appeal to creating "the ideal party" at character creation based on what you, the player, wants from your characters as opposed to what's dictated by the scenario.

    You should be given the opportunity to shine with your ingenuity as well as with the butt-loads of gear you plan on accumulating.

    Part of this is adding in tactical representations a la Gears of War - a Ranger behind cover has added value with marksmanship whereas a Fighter with a high constitution may be better positioned in a door-way with a Tower-Shield that blocks line of sight of enemy archers so your mage can pop a few Fireballs after your Cleric has fortified your Fighter with "Protection from Fire" or some other buff. Tug of War with the Fighter as the enemies try to remove him from the door with your Druid stabbing at the enemies with his spear to keep them back. When your Fighter needs a breather your Druid shape-changes into a friggin' bear. Enemies roll for morale failure.

    Or, to avoid all of this, your Rogue pops in for a look-see through an open window by scaling the outside of the mansion and drops a few vials of "Sleeping Potion" on the unsuspecting guard.

    If you gain genuine tactical advantage by scoping out an area and determining situational advantages through stealth and just rushing into a situation leaves you "naked" and the enemy AI is smart enough to look for cover then that "utility thief" seems like a net positive.

    The added complexity to actually programming is minimal but the strategic implementation completely changes.

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