RPGs with Unusual Mechanics

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AuthorTopic: RPGs with Unusual Mechanics
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #25
I think the biggest problem with the system was that you could play through the entire game without gaining a single level and the monsters would stay easy enough to beat even if you had the worst skills and crappiest items. You could become the Hero of Cyrodil, slay that demon lord guy, and even be the best fighter the Arena has ever seen all while still level 1, wearing rusty chain armor, and wielding a rusty iron shortsword.

I prefer games with things that are too hard to do until you reach a higher level.

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #26
I'm not all that into game difficulty scaling with experience gained by the party. It severely limits the incentive for players to grind if they want to. If the game is always going to provide the same challenge no matter how powerful your party is, what's the point?

This was particularly brought home to me in BG2, when Adamantium Golems would start to appear in Nalia's castle if I didn't get to it until much later. I thought that IWD2 got it right, where experience awarded would track with challenge level (aside from the squatting exploit).

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In today’s America, there are more World of Warcraft players than farmers.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Shaper
Member # 32
Profile #27
I agree that there are flaws to such a system. I just beat FFVIII the other day and my strongest character was only level 18.

Which reminds me of a unique mechanic in that game. The ability to turn random encounters on/off (via Diablo's Encounter None ability).

It allows players that don't want to deal with all the minor fights and grinding to simply skip them.

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Lt. Sullust
Quaere verum
Posts: 2462 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #28
quote:
Originally written by Lt. Sullust:

The ability to turn random encounters on/off
Didn't the old Exiles have that option, or am I thinking of something else? I like that option. I'm a fan of non-respawning monsters. It give me a sense of completion.

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #29
Exile games had the feature that as you got more powerful the monsters would flee from you. It kept you from fighting weak monsters at higher levels as random outdoor encounters.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 2123
Profile #30
What made Golden Sun and Golden Sun the Lost Age so great to me was that you can import the very same caracters that you used in Golden Sun to The Lost Age game. The use of Djinn both in battle and in puzzel-solving makes it stand out a bit from other RPGs I think. The lost age was also very non-liner.

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Rahhar...
Posts: 228 | Registered: Monday, October 21 2002 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #31
quote:
Originally written by Rowen:

What made Golden Sun and Golden Sun the Lost Age so great to me was that you can import the very same caracters that you used in Golden Sun to The Lost Age game. The use of Djinn both in battle and in puzzel-solving makes it stand out a bit from other RPGs I think. The lost age was also very non-liner.
Character importation isn't a unique feature by a long shot: several classic RPG series, including Bard's Tale, Wizardry, Ultima, and Might & Magic, allowed you to import characters from one game to the next.

The Djinn mechanics are interesting, but I'm not sure that any individual element of them is substantially unique either.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7252
Profile #32
quote:
Originally written by Yama Toman?:

Azuma, can you say what, precisely, is unique about Legend of Dragoon's spellcasting? The Wikipedia entry doesn't make it sound at all unusual. (And transforming in the middle of battle is not uncommon, either.)
Not that part..actually..LOD doesn't have spells..exceptions in Dragoon Form..you have to buy consumable magic items to actually cast magic..plus the part you have to continually mash the X button to get full power..and I really do mean mashing..

quote:

There must be other games that tie enemy level to PC level. FF Tactics Advance, for one. I suppose FF8 is unique, though, for its extremely sucktastic draw-junction system.
Don't forget FFTA's predescessor..FFT..it's job system is quite nifty..thought not unique enough to mention.. :P

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Humans fight to enter insanity.
You ain't evil until you hear this!
Posts: 732 | Registered: Saturday, June 24 2006 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #33
quote:
Originally written by Azuma:

Not that part..actually..LOD doesn't have spells..exceptions in Dragoon Form..you have to buy consumable magic items to actually cast magic..plus the part you have to continually mash the X button to get full power..and I really do mean mashing..
The "need consumable items to cast magic" mechanic was done in the Ultima series (among others), and the "mash button to empower special attack" mechanic was done in Super Mario RPG (and probably in other games that don't come to mind right now).

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7252
Profile #34
LOD combines them both.. :P

Does all magic in the Ultima series do that?

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Humans fight to enter insanity.
You ain't evil until you hear this!
Posts: 732 | Registered: Saturday, June 24 2006 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #35
quote:
Originally written by Azuma:

LOD combines them both.. :P

Does all magic in the Ultima series do that?

Yup. It's not exactly the same system (each spell corresponds to a specific combination of reagents, rather than one item corresponding to one spell), but it's the same principle.

Also, I don't really think the fact that a mechanic is used to the exclusion of other mechanics, or combined in an unusual way with other mechanics, makes it unique in itself. It may make the game unique, but not the mechanic.

[ Wednesday, November 07, 2007 03:41: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7252
Profile #36
What make's a game unique?

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Humans fight to enter insanity.
You ain't evil until you hear this!
Posts: 732 | Registered: Saturday, June 24 2006 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #37
quote:
Originally written by Azuma:

What make's a game unique?
Well, every game is unique in the sense that no other game is exactly identical to it (if it were, they'd be the same game). But that's not interesting, which is why we're looking for unique mechanics instead of unique games.

[ Wednesday, November 07, 2007 04:29: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Shaper
Member # 32
Profile #38
It's just a weighted average of everyone's opinion.

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Lt. Sullust
Quaere verum
Posts: 2462 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7252
Profile #39
quote:
Originally written by Lt. Sullust:

It's just a weighted average of everyone's opinion.
Amen..

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Humans fight to enter insanity.
You ain't evil until you hear this!
Posts: 732 | Registered: Saturday, June 24 2006 07:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #40
Importing a party is indeed not unique to Golden Sun. Party or character importation has been an option as long ago as the original Gold Box Games, the Quest for Glory series, and more recently as a part of the BG "trilogy."

Although it was kind of aped in Chrono Cross, the combat system in Xenogears, where you had a certain number of action points in combat and from that could deliver a combination of heavy, medium, and light hits was (at the time) pretty unique.

Also, how about the Saga series generally? I can't begin to pick out everything about those games that (a) was distinctive and consequently (b) made the games pretty much unplayable for me.

EDIT: Ooo. Also, the consequence of moral (light v. dark) choices in the KOTOR series, and how this would affect your interactions with the world, your CNPCs, and your powers.

[ Wednesday, November 07, 2007 06:04: Message edited by: Drew ]

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In today’s America, there are more World of Warcraft players than farmers.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #41
Some kind of good/evil, light/darkness, or other foo/bar meter is fairly common. Does KotOR even restrict dialogue and actions based on your "alignment" besides giving you different power costs and a few equipment limitations?

Whether or not Escape Velocity counts as an RPG is debatable, but it and possibly EVE Online, about which I know nothing, give you a "character" who has no intrinsic traits or stats outside the plot. Everything you are depends on your ship, which in turn depends mostly on your wealth and how you use it. A new pilot tiny shuttle and a veteran whose immense warship just exploded violently are in the same position except for cash.

—Alorael, who feels like mentioning the slightly different (and very broken) Call Bead system in Secret of Evermore. The regular alchemy (read spell) system just relied on consumables, but Call Beads effectively gave one consumable used for any of a wide range of spells.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 1829
Profile #42
KotOR's alignments (And most of the games using the same rough engine, Jade Empire too in other words), don't really offer restrictions to the main plot. Though I think a few sidequests here and there are only accessible depending on how evil/good you are. Nothing will stop you from suddenly having a complete change of heart at the critical plot point which decides whether you're actually good or evil though.

Edit:

quote:
Originally written by Lt. Sullust:

There's something to be said about making the game harder when the party levels. I'd hope that the goblins would choose better tactics after I slaughtered a great deal of them.
It's a fairly good system if done well, which was the primary issue in how the fourth Elder Scrolls game did it really. It would've been more interesting if you faced larger amounts of goblins as you got more powerful, but instead you just face more powerful goblins who still fight and act exactly the same, with the only real difference being that they have a more expensive weapon now. It's a bit unsatisfying to be fully decked out in powerful artifacts and have all enemies you encounter be scaled up so that they still take the same basic time to kill as when you had nothing but a rusty dagger as weapon.

Also having random bandits plaguing the road in the most expensive armor and weapons you can think of is also just... Off.

[ Wednesday, November 07, 2007 07:52: Message edited by: Chicken ]
Posts: 206 | Registered: Tuesday, September 3 2002 07:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #43
Did Xenogears (like Chrono Cross) allow you to combine light medium and heavy attacks both within one PC's turn, and by switching around among characters? CC didn't really have turns per se -- just stamina and actions -- and that strikes me as pretty unique now that I think about it. Sort of incorporated the very limited choose-your-initiative mechanic from the 7th Saga.

Edit: What was broken about Call Beads? They didn't seem any more broken than the regular alchemy system, anyway.

[ Wednesday, November 07, 2007 07:59: Message edited by: Yama Toman? ]

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
"Making poorly-sourced claims is not the same as determining something."
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 2123
Profile #44
Baten Kaitos had the Magnus system. Every thing you did depends on the Magnus cards that you had. Fighting with Magnus fun because you use combos with the cards to deal out more dmg and these combos let special attacks take place.

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Rahhar...
Posts: 228 | Registered: Monday, October 21 2002 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #45
quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

Does all magic in the Ultima series do that?

Yup. It's not exactly the same system (each spell corresponds to a specific combination of reagents, rather than one item corresponding to one spell), but it's the same principle.

The earliest Ultima games didn't use reagents. They did have some items that were used for creating ladders in dungeons.

Ultima II had an in game game where you went through time to fly a spaceship in combat against enemy ships to become a space ace.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #46
quote:
Originally written by Yama Toman?:

Edit: What was broken about Call Beads? They didn't seem any more broken than the regular alchemy system, anyway.
Hypothetically, nothing. In practice, you could get an endless supply of them for free and cast full heal on both characters. You know, just in case the last fight wasn't easy enough for you.

—Alorael, who now can't recall any games besides Realmz that allow you to spend a variable amount on your spells to make them more or less powerful. He's sure the mechanic appears elsewhere, but it is actually a good one.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #47
quote:
Originally written by Down a Thousand Thousand Roads:

—Alorael, who now can't recall any games besides Realmz that allow you to spend a variable amount on your spells to make them more or less powerful. He's sure the mechanic appears elsewhere, but it is actually a good one.
The aforementioned Treasure of the Rudras pretty much lets you do this, given the large number of prefixes and suffixes of varying cost that increase the power of a spell.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #48
Wizardry 6 and up have that exact mechanic. I *think* Wizardry 6 predates Realmz, but I'm not sure. They were close.

Chrono Cross has something that approximates it as well, with the ability grid system. I'm sure there are other games as well.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
"Making poorly-sourced claims is not the same as determining something."
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00

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