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No Pause?

JidokwonJidokwon Member Posts: 351
I've recently expanded my PC game library, but I've been pretty limited to playing games that have allowed pausing, so far. I've really enjoyed how the pausing mechanics in the Infinity games and Neverwinter Nights work, at least, for single player. The entire world is paused and I'm able to queue an action (or a few) before unpausing. In a few of the other games that I've played, the screen will darken or a menu opens up. While I'm not as fond of these, their pause mechanic pauses their entire worlds, too. I'm learning, though, that there are mainstream single player games that don't allow pausing. Others have a pausing mechanic, but it will only pause a very small area within their worlds. In these games, quitting out to the main menu is the only possible way to actually pause the world. I'm curious to hear other thoughts about the topic.

Is pausing the world in PC games important to you?



  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    Depends on the genre. Dark Souls and its derived "souls-like" genre are pretty infamous for their inability of pausing. And people came to expect the thrill of getting attacked while having the inventory open. Same is usualy true for survival games and more often than not also fast paced horror games.

    In (J)RPG's, plattformers and adventure games I personally prefer to have the ability to pause.

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,613
    When BG1 came out you couldn't pause on the inventory screen, which I think made combat more exciting. If you suddenly reaslised you had forgotten to switch your ring of free action for a ring of fire resistance or you needed to pass a potion of healing to an ally then you had to do it while enemies continued to attack you.

    I can't remember whether it was BG2 or the Enhanced Editions that changed things but I do think it took some of the thrill out of the fights. Having said that, I would find it very hard to go back to the original system. Once you have experienced the convenience of being able to pause on the inventory screen it's hard to give it up again.

  • ArviaArvia Member, Moderator Posts: 1,681
    edited November 2020
    I had only ever played games with pause before I saw the RTwP vs TB discussion starting when BG3 was announced. That made me start playing Divinity: Original Sin so that I can form an opinion. It certainly takes getting used to, but I don't miss the ability to pause. In combat it's unnecessary because of the turns, and out of combat there's not much happening that interferes with it.
    In games that have the ability to pause, I have to hit the button all the time during combat to micromanage my party (don't like using AI), which is immersion-breaking, too.

    The only moments where I miss the pause button in Divinity:Original Sin is when I want to talk to an animal, because it's very difficult to click on a running mouse, rabbit or chicken :smile: .
    Also, when you get harmed outside of combat (after triggering a trap or accidentally walking on a harmful surface, for example), you can't hit Pause and organize your potions or healing spells, you must be quick or die (the latter, mostly).
    One other issue I'm having is that I tend to play with my left hand hovering over the Space bar out of habit. Sometimes my reflexes make me hit it in battle, which is bad because in DOS it skips your turn.

    At first those things bothered me a bit. But then, people prefer games to be realistic, right? And what's less realistic than having your companion on fire, stopping time and then rummaging around in your backback for something to douse that fire and heal him?

    So I take it in stride, as part of the game mechanics. If I have the ability to pause, I use it. If not, I adapt to the change. I wouldn't stay away from a game that looks interesting depending on the ability to pause it or not. Besides, I expect that a game without the ability to pause will be made so that you can play it that way. It only asks me to adapt to that, and it's up to everyone else if they think they want to do that or not.
    And if I really have to answer the door or go to the bathroom, I can still hit quicksave and exit the game.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    A lot of games sadly do not respect your time at all. "What's that, you don't have an unbroken hour to play our game? Too bad!"

  • DrHappyAngryDrHappyAngry Member Posts: 1,577
    The first Vampire PC game, Redemption, had to patch in a pause button, that's why it's the funky scroll lock key.

  • JidokwonJidokwon Member Posts: 351
    It's interesting and refreshing to get more perspectives out here.

    I've had to stop almost all of my online gaming, due to a lack of a real pause. Thousands of hours between the Infinity games and Neverwinter Nights, I much prefer having a player controlled global pause which also allows queuing. I might play through a game one time that has no real pause available, but it kills any replay value for me in not providing one. That's mostly a lack of patience on my part, though. Quitting out to the main screen and/or saving and reloading have been options for every game that I can think of.

  • m7600m7600 Member Posts: 260
    I'll second @Kamigoroshi that it depends on the genre. For solo ARPGs like Diablo, real time is the way to go. For party-based CRPGs, it depends. I like both Real time with pause (Infinity Engine games) as well as turned based (Temple of Elemental Evil). I don't think that one system is necessarily better than the others, it depends on the kind of RPG that I feel like playing any given day.

  • m7600m7600 Member Posts: 260
    How do you get good screenshots without pausing?

    Good point, I hadn't thought about that.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    A game HAS to pause for me. There is no point during the day or night where I won't have to leave at a moments notice.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    edited November 2020
    I don't have so much experience with other RPGs, but i suppose that it depends a lot on how the RPG is designed.
    Talking of the BG games, and mostly of BG2 that is the RPG game I play the most I simply could not play without pause and I use extensively the auto pause function, without the pause I would have to change completely my play style.

    I mostly run 3 or 4 people parties, for me it is the sweet spot, but sometimes also solo or whatever number of characters up to 6, and I micro manage a lot. I don't like to play point and click toons, I seldom use pure fighter classes, and often all my party members are casters, single class, dual or multi.
    For me a well played battle is a battle where my party members position themselves carefully on the battle field, using at best its features, to control who the enemy target and to focus the fire on the right enemies at the right moment, precise timing for me is crucial.
    I.e. after spotting a group of enemies I can have a thief go hiding then reach the back of a mage I want to stab, and he must be ready, before a new hide in shadows check happens, right after a mage breaches the mage, while some fighter draw the attention of the mage helpers so they don't use ranged weapons against my mage disrupting his breach spell. This ambush needs precise positioning and timing, the thief has to go to a low light spot to hide, then he has to run near the enemy mage, but not too fast as after the stab he must run away and hide behind some corner, so the stab must be at a precise moment or he will be too early when comes the chance to hide again, then the fighter must appear in sight of the enemy and finally the mage begins to cast his breach, it is even possible that a second mage has to cast a quick spell on the enemy mage to disrupt him, and that a ranged attacker is ready to kill him if the stab does not roll for enough damage.
    This is only an example, but shows how in my style full control on what each party member does is fundamental, and even when I have only 3 toons I could never do it without pausing often,

    I also use the auto pause as it allows my toons to attack and cast/use an item in the same round, when I use very complex tactics I have probably the auto pause on spell cast, end of round, depleted ammo, enemy killed enabled and still I have to use the manual pause.
    Arvia wrote: »
    people prefer games to be realistic, right? And what's less realistic than having your companion on fire, stopping time and then rummaging around in your backback for something to douse that fire and heal him?
    This is true, but in a real situation in a party each member has his own mind, and is perfectly aware of what he is doing and able to react to the situation, in a "real" situation a mage does not have to scroll trough his spells to select the one he want to cast, so somehow for me to pause makes the game more realistic.
    My characters act like a group well trained to work together, let's say a basketball team, does in the real life, but as they are only puppets controlled by a single mind, mine, pausing and giving individual orders to each one of the puppets let me approximate how they would do if each one of them would be controlled by a dedicated mind.
    And when RoV and improved alacrity kick in pausing becomes even more important, as a mage can cast so many spells in those 18 seconds that the alacrity lasts that even assigning to each spell a dedicated key I would not be able to use at best that 3 rounds, even forgetting for 3 full rounds that I have other party members to control as my AI is always off.

    I would like to have even a better auto pause, I would like to be able to set individually for each character the auto pause conditions, not that it would make my playing more effective, it would only spare me to start again the time when not needed (for that particular character that triggers them) pauses kick in.

  • ArviaArvia Member, Moderator Posts: 1,681
    edited November 2020
    How do you get good screenshots without pausing? Am I the only one that likes to get a particularly good screenshot or two out of an enjoyable RPG run? I have a folder dedicated entirely to this.

    A lot of people hate on the Neverwinter Nights camera, but it's perfect for pausing and getting good screenshots. After extensive graphic modding of course.

    That's true, NWN makes for great screenshots. In games without pause, it's a bit like taking photographs while riding a bike. You either catch the right moment or you don't.
    I like good screenshots, too, but again that's not something that would keep me from buying, playing and enjoying a game just because I can't pause. At least for me, it would be a minor nuisance, nothing more. But of course others might have different priorities.

    Edited at as an afterthought: I have to leave at a moment's notice, too, especially if I play when I have on-call duty. In D:OS I can come back to my laptop after hours, and if it's in battle or out of it, I find my party exactly as I left them.

  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,599
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    A game HAS to pause for me. There is no point during the day or night where I won't have to leave at a moments notice.

    I have prostate cancer so it's a choice between a pause function or nappies/diapers!

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