krellen wrote:Where to stand and who to shoot is as complex as it needs to be.
I'm guessing this is exaggeration, but are you really going to be happy with an RPG that has even more limited combat than Fallout? I mean in Fallout you could decide whether to use aimed shots, to use area effect weapons like grenades, to use burst fire, to lock doors, to heal using stimpacks, to use drugs, to use AP ammo or hollow-points, to use tesla armour against energy attacks. If fallout is too complex for your standards, what tactical RPG isn't?
paultakeda wrote:I'm saying that if control of the character takes precedence over character skill set, it becomes an action game with you the player performing the action. Where you draw line is a subjective matter. Some believe Mass Effect is RPG-like but cannot be called an RPG because you are using a cross-hair to aim and shoot, others would call it an Action RPG and the other camp will cry out that there is no such thing.
Please, let’s not bring Mass Effect into this, we know that we’re not going to being aiming for the characters, or dodging enemy fire for them. There are plenty of tactical RPGs we can use as examples without bringing action RPGs into this.
paultakeda wrote:To me, putting a back against a wall and type of movement (e.g. crawl, crouch walk) is something I would rather be controlled by the character's skill set. Hence my examples earlier in this thread: If a character is on a tile next to a wall/barrel/some other sort of cover tile that blocks enemy fire, that character may or may not take advantage of cover depending on a skill roll. If a character is told to move from one tile to another under fire and fails a skill roll (or lacks a skill to roll) he will run wildly and there will be a chance of getting shot, even if you wanted him to crawl prone and avoid getting shot.
I guess I don’t see why we can’t have both. Allow the player to give these orders, but have them modified by character skill. The player can tell any character to hide behind a barrel, but how much protected they actually get is dependent on character skill. The player can tell a character to crawl quietly, but if they fail their morale roll they lose it and start running.
If you wanted to simplify the combat so that things like taking cover and stance weren’t there at all, I could understand, but it seems like you want to implement them but take them out of the player’s hands. If we follow this too far you wouldn’t even choose where to move or who to shoot (as krellen says) but would let your trained soldiers make that choice for you. After all, is your lab-monkey with no combat skills going to prioritise his targets rather than shooting the closest enemy, going to know to flank, know to stand near walls rather than in the open, know to retreat rather than charge forward?
I think it’s important to define the difference between player skill and player judgement. Whether I aim properly, or time my run to cover, or press the duck key quickly enough isn’t going to be an issue in Wasteland, because my skill isn’t being used, the character’s is. But giving me the option to say “duck now”, or “run here instead of crawling” isn’t using my skill either, it’s using my judgement.
paultakeda wrote:Let's talk tactics, but my position will always start with, "That sounds too complex for this game, convince me otherwise."
I think part of the problem I have with your position is that, just due to the way combat is being graphically represented, Wasteland 2’s combat is already closer to Fallout’s than Wasteland’s. Throw in the “team-based” and it’s closer to Fallout tactics. Building on Wasteland 1’s combat seems counter-productive.
One thing that strikes me is that your suggestions mirror Fargo’s examples of NPC behaviour pretty closely. He talks about NPCs bursting full clips of ammo, and that seems pretty close to what you’re talking about, with people not trained in combat not taking cover properly, or not going prone when they should. If they’re not soldiers or don’t have the training then yeah, the player giving them those orders could be unreasonable, because they wouldn’t do those things. I would argue, however, that the 4 core rangers in the party are all going to have basic military training, so they know when they should do these things. Giving them these orders should be valid, because it’s not going to be out of character for them. How well they actually execute them could be stat-based, but they should all have option of doing them.
So how about having NPCs using the stat-checks for actions that you are suggesting, while the 4 rangers do not? This way you could also attempt to improve the combat stats of NPCs, and see the results in game as they start to act appropriately. You could even take this further and have stat-thresholds or perks which, once attained, allow the player to give the NPC these orders directly rather than having them automated if they choose.
I will say that having rangers or NPCs take actions outside the player’s control could be very counterproductive if you’re trying to make combat less frustrating and tedious for the player. Accounting for poor AI and inscrutable NPC motives is, for me, always the most time-consuming and annoying part of combat. It can turn something which should be over incredibly quickly into an exercise in frustration when that civilian inexplicably stands directly between you and the enemies, or cowers in a doorway and refuses to move, trapping your squad in a building. Having your own characters do this too could be maddening.