Should being able to revive party members in battles be removed?

#21SilentSerphPosted 2/16/2013 4:43:21 PM
I like the idea of making it more difficult to revive somebody in combat. Not as difficult as, say, FF1 or Baldur's Gate, it shouldn't make you walk all the way back to town and pay through the nose to revive a character. But maybe, it's very hard to revive a character in combat, but then after combat characters come back with 1hp.

You wouldn't have to make it harder to die, at all. Except, you couldn't design battles around insta-killing you over and over.

Combat could be balanced to put even more pressure to think quickly and make smarter decisions about defense and healing.
#22ParominPosted 2/16/2013 7:00:59 PM
Generally, no.

It'll make games harder to have reasonable difficulty. If a party member is out of commission then the overall party strength drops. And if the boss was able to kill someone when the party was at full strength then it'll be a downhill battle now that the party is permanently impaired (as far as that battle is concerned) Might as well reset and reload if someone dies. Which is why I'm not a big fan of FE's perma death system. But since I never ran out of usable characters yet (I don't reset if someone dies, unless it's a Lord death obviously) I don't mind it that much.

Putting some restriction like a casting time works as the solution would be to put the rest of the party into full defense while the healer is reviving the dead party member. Limited but reasonable revives also work
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Playing: Fire Emblem Awakening
Waiting for: SRW 3DS, Project Cross Zone (US)
#23KrisenaPosted 2/17/2013 5:23:52 AM
It's an interesting question, because on one hand I want a death to mean something, and on the other hand, if you walk the perma death road a lot of players will feel cheated and restart the game, resulting in bad game design, since you break the "rules" of the game when you reset to revive the character.

So I want to ask another question: Is it possible to incorporate death (not KO) into a game while preserving both 1) the feeling of risk that follows it and 2) a good game design around it.

It is seemingly paradoxical, but let's face it, most RPG journeys are hard and filled with anxiety on the heroes' part, but for the player, there is never any real risk, making it a lot harder to relate to the heroes' inner troubles and the story overall. I often feel that RPG characters get a lot of pepper for overreacting in certain situations, but I think this in many cases is because the player fails to actually empathize and put themselves in someone else's shoes, because for them, this is just a game and they don't want no melodrama.
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Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
#24SilentSerphPosted 2/17/2013 7:41:17 AM(edited)
Permadeath of characters from dying in combat only works if they're replaceable generics. Plot character permadeath, based on losing in combat, would only work if it's a short say 5-10 hour game designed to be played over and over.

But I think preventing in-battle revival and then just having characters revive out of battle could make for some really great battle mechanics and really increase the adrenaline factor.
#25KrisenaPosted 2/17/2013 10:36:45 AM(edited)
SilentSerph posted...
Permadeath of characters from dying in combat only works if they're replaceable generics. Plot character permadeath, based on losing in combat, would only work if it's a short say 5-10 hour game designed to be played over and over.

While I'm asking the question, I might as point out an example (just to challenge you :) ). In Valkyrie Profile, you basically perma kill your party members for bonuses that help you in battle, so that in some way or another, the loss of a party member is weighed up for.

More generally, if it fits the story, it could be a possibility that if a party member dies, they become a sort of saint or guardian angel for the party that

1) could maybe interwene in dire situations (if the story is religiously themed) or
2) fortify the party's Resolve (an undefined stat brought up for the sake of the argument) or
3) become dead souls that is basically a summon Final Fantasy style: Your summons are your dead party members in the form of a beast that reflects their personality and feelings as they died.

I think this quick outline of a systems that I made up just now shows that there are possibilities to explore in this area, for those interested.

By the way, in hindsight, Valkyrie Profile is a startingly original game. I'm amazed!
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Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
#26ParominPosted 2/17/2013 6:46:44 PM(edited)
1) could maybe interwene in dire situations (if the story is religiously themed) or

No. Not unless a character comes in and replaces the one you lost. Last thing I want is a character I use heavily to get killed off out of the blue and now I'm stuck needing to find a replacement, not to mention any progress I lose because I used that character heavily.

2) fortify the party's Resolve (an undefined stat brought up for the sake of the argument) or

This does nothing if you're doing deaths for the story aspect, all this'll lead to is players deciding which character is the most worthless and sacrificing them. Meaning the ones that get killed will be the ones the players don't give a **** about. Making their deaths feel even more cheap.

Speaking of Valkyrie Profile, this is where that game falls under. Sure maybe the first few characters you send off might make an impact, but at some point it'll degrade to the player sending away whoever they don't give a **** about.

3) become dead souls that is basically a summon Final Fantasy style: Your summons are your dead party members in the form of a beast that reflects their personality and feelings as they died.

See #2, except this time not as "worthless", but the deaths will be just as cheap stat/personal preferences influenced decisions.

You can't expect players to just separate the game from the story.

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Playing: Fire Emblem Awakening
Waiting for: SRW 3DS, Project Cross Zone (US)
#27KrisenaPosted 2/18/2013 1:28:07 AM
Paromin posted...
You can't expect players to just separate the game from the story.

I think you misunderstand me! The whole point of me bringing this up is to make a convincing symbiotic relationship between the narrative and the gameplay.

As it stands now, there's no JRPG where you're in danger of dying in battle, only in cinematic cutscenes. Isn't that a bit artificial? Shouldn't an important theme such as death be interactive and not be written off to the movie parts of the game? At least that's my opinion, that when you make a game, whatever genre, it should be as game as possible.

So what I want is simply to explore the possibilities of death in video games, especially in JRPGs, that used to be the genre most focused on narrative (although I think other genres do that just as well now, if not better).

You criticizing my 2 minute ideas is okay, I just used them to show that there exists unploughed soil, and that the whole possibility of death being interactive shouldn't be written off before you've actually gone into depth about it. So basically, we're on the same side, but hey, at least I'm trying.
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Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
#28Armor King 108Posted 2/18/2013 2:10:00 AM
Krisena, it's not quite the same thing at all, but your ideas reminded me of Tactics Ogre: Knight of Lodis:

Ummm...gameplay spoilers? Maybe?
How, if a characters dies in battle, there are 5 different outcomes:
1. Don't revive them: Oops, the battle finishes, and they're gone for good.
2. Revive them: The most normal result, revive them, they are fine, yay! (this has a bonus side effect too!)
3. Necromancy: Revive them as an undead ghost, which aren't too strong but have some uniqueness to them.
4. Lich: If a character is "Chaotic" and dies with a special ring, they auto-revive as a powerful Lich, an undead spellcaster.
5. Angelic Transmigration: If a character was revived at least once, and they are Lawful, they may auto-revie as an Angel Knight, a holy flying warrior.

It's really interesting...I thought about incorporating some ideas from that into one of my own RPGs, like...maybe some weird crossover...

So picture this in an RPG:
Whenever a party member is killed in battle, if you don't revive them soon enough, it's too late! BUT, their soul persists. You can resurrect their soul as a ghost using necromancy. Or, if they were virtuous they will soon resurrect as an Angel (or maybe you can do some trial), and if they were already adept in dark arts themselves, they will return as some kind of Lich or something. (maybe you can get their original bodies back, by finding a philosop- er... I mean, some kind of trial, some type of super spell, or sometihng of the sort)
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"Ha! They locked us up in a house made of candy." Gibari, Baten Kaitos
#29ParominPosted 2/18/2013 3:02:21 AM(edited)
I think you misunderstand me! The whole point of me bringing this up is to make a convincing symbiotic relationship between the narrative and the gameplay.

Shouldn't an important theme such as death be interactive and not be written off to the movie parts of the game? At least that's my opinion, that when you make a game, whatever genre, it should be as game as possible.

I don't understand how you achieve this by implementing death. By tying in gameplay elements into story death all the more players aren't normally going to achieve the connection to characters that would give that death meaning.

"Why would I care about Character A? He's just a video game character and now I find out that either he or Character B is going to die? Character B is sooooo useful in battle. Oh well. bye bye A."

Or...

"I need to sacrifice a character and Character C deals the least damage, has crappy stats, doesn't do anything useful. I don't even use that character unless I need to. Guess we know who's going to die now!"

Those are the situations that tying in gameplay and story are going to bring about.

The more you tie in the gameplay of an RPG, which is heavily stat based, into the story then the more those stats are going to be what'll govern how the player views that aspect of the plot.

As it stands now, there's no JRPG where you're in danger of dying in battle, only in cinematic cutscenes. Isn't that a bit artificial?

That's what difficulty is for. And while, yes, permadeath is a way to introduce difficulty, I haven't seen a good implementation of that.

It's artificial because, like you said, it's just a game. At the back of everyone's heads each character is still a collection of stats. Each boss is a number that needs to be overcome.

If you want tension, make that number harder to overcome but don't make it cheap. This is where good gameplay design comes in.

Having the story do the job and the gameplay stringing along is almost as cheap as giving the boss a random instant death attack.

If you want to have death hit the player hard then don't overload them. Valkyrie Profile might have been awesome because of all the warriors you need to send away, but not because of the emotional connection but because it was a pretty interesting gameplay system, which made players all the more feel that each character was just a sheet of numbers.

There comes a point when players stop feeling sad and start worrying that their dwindling party will be enough to fight the next boss. By that time, if another party member dies, all you'll end up with is a player who gets annoyed that another of his character sheets got burned up by the story.

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Playing: Fire Emblem Awakening
Waiting for: SRW 3DS, Project Cross Zone (US)