Stupid Gameplay Decisions

Discussion in 'Press Start' started by Aurora, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. Aurora

    Aurora VincerĂ²!

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    I like The Elder Scrolls. You know that much.
    But I also like strategy games. A lot.
    So I found Rome: Total War 2. Which is a great strategy game. It's also a competent tactics game but that vanishes into the background the more your empire grows. Anyway...

    ... there is Civil War in the game. Meaning without warning, you'll lose about half your conquered provinces to... um, Senate Faithfuls. Or something. My own guys. This usually happens when you are in the middle of an extensive campaign somewhere else, preferably far away. Along with those provinces you'll lose some of your carefully built up super armies. I mean, you work for dozens of turns to basically create a few classical Death Stars - and suddenly they are gone. And because they are more or less unbeatable, they become very aggressive and happily go conquerin' your own places.

    This wouldn't be so bad if the game warned you. There are a lot of decisions to make in every turn. Tons of popups. But this? Not a word. Not one pretty info box. Nothing. Boom. Suddenly your remaining forces (that are in Afghanistan fighting mountain folk) are needed back home in Rome to fight Universal Soldier and his buddies to retake fuckin' Ostia. Which has been your core property for a millennium already.

    I get it. It's a challenge for players that are becoming so strong the game isn't any fun in the twisted minds of its creators. But HEY, I'm still playing! So maybe I do have fun without this shit! And the worst thing is: the game has a political element where you can shift around power. But according to the forums on the topic, whatever you do, it doesn't matter. Marry off all your daughters to a competing family, give cool jobs to your enemies - Civil War will come no matter what.

    Just venting because I had the evening to myself and played for a bit and was actually winning for the first time. WHAM. Two times in a row :rolleyes:

    What are your worst gameplay decisions you have no influence on?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. NAHTMMM

    NAHTMMM 902 and counting

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    MM6: Mandate of Heaven is just endlessly entertaining for me, but among the many bugs is the feature that is damage resistance.

    PCs get resistance too, I don't know how it works for your character getting hit. You can get over 100 easily by the end of the game so I have to think it works differently. But monsters are coded with resistance to each school of magic, in multiples of 5. Most early monsters get 0s with maybe a single 5, then they start showing resistance increases up until the dragon-level monsters get 90s or 95s across the board. And how damage reduction works is, when the attack hits, the computer generates a rand(1,100) or so and if the resistance beats that number, the damage is halved . . . and the monster rolls again to reduce the new damage by half. Which is great in principle, the monster can halve or quarter your damage and that's a little frustrating, but then the full damage goes through and that's just oh so satisfying. Except that, when you're fighting a passel of dragons or other endgame monsters, the full damage never gets through. Or half damage. All those magic schools you've been pouring skill points into are back to early-game effectiveness. You should occasionally be doing 200+ damage to that gold dragon with 1200+ HP that keeps trying to break your stuff (pet peeve) and you're lucky if you get 16 damage. I get that there has to be some design balance so that melee isn't totally outclassed by magic etc. etc., but this is a ham-fisted approach. I'd have the resistance drop by 5 points each time it iterates in halving damage of a given attack, so that there would be a better spread of damage values. Something like that. It's not like melee isn't largely outclassed in the final product anyway.

    Those high resistances also mean that the status effect spells don't do squat against the monsters I want to use them against. Partly that's my playstyle of preferring to just kill the monster, but by the time you get Dark magic and pour ~100 skill points into it so that Finger of Death has a respectable chance of killing the target, the target's hugely resistant to it. I could just throw a Finger at that >1000 HP Titan and get on with my life, but no, it shifts its weight around and looks at me like "Was that supposed to hurt?"

    And it gets worse in 7. In 6, Implosion is an Air spell, but it does physical damage (you have to figure this out yourself or find out online). (And Water has a couple of poison spells that do Body damage, but so many high-tier monsters are immune to the Self magic schools that it counts as another design flaw. Let me punch some of these jerks with my flying fist, doggone it.) So that opens up some tactical variation for the alert player: when the monster resists all your magical magic, try throwing Implosion at it. Well, for all that 7 is more complex, the magic system was simplified so that if it's in the XYZ school, it does XYZ damage. Ugh.


    7 also removes the gloriously exploitable useful Ring of Fire spell in exchange for one that doesn't even seem to do anything. Maybe I'm supposed to get right up against that huge monster to do DoT while it whales on me, I don't know. :rolleyes: Aiming is also broken, but that can be a rant for another time.
  3. matthunter

    matthunter I Don't Like Mondays

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    I miss the ways you could fuck with the game in earlier Elder Scrolls (Midlife Crisis Scrolls?) games. Morrowind was fantastic. You could raid the Redoran treasury by closing a door on an NPC so they couldn't see you stealing the vault key, then waltz in and load yourself up with shitloads of stuff - OK, you couldn't move for the weight but you could use a Recall spell to teleport to your house (there's a "free" abandoned one you can use) and dump the heist into containers. Take it out bit by bit and sell it to the Mudcrab Merchant for tens of thousands.

    Plus you could easily steal a loaded Grand Soul Gem and put a permanent low-level Levitation spell on a ring, meaning you could fly about at walking pace - not fast, but you could easily escape monsters that had no ranged attacks and fly past dangerous routes to get where you needed to go.

    All gone in the new games - though Elder Scrolls: Online gives you Recall to any house you own.
  4. Aurora

    Aurora VincerĂ²!

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    I do wonder if such things were planted by the developers. Cool for the fanatics who find such details. Doesn't matter for everyone else.
  5. NAHTMMM

    NAHTMMM 902 and counting

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    I saw a tweet from a game dev recently to the effect that if an exploit is resource-intensive to fix and won't be found by 99% of players, the devs will often leave it in.
  6. matthunter

    matthunter I Don't Like Mondays

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    Yeah, thing is that Redoran treasury exploit was all over the message boards back in the day under "Top ten ways to never run out of cash in Morrowind".

    There used to be ridiculous stuff with Enchanting/Alchemy allowing you to make/brew items that buffed your ability to make/brew items, so you could ramp the end results of enchants/potions out of the atmosphere by progressively buffing, making a stronger buff, buffing again etc until you got to the point you wanted, then make the actual potion/magic item you were after.