Friday, September 05, 2008

What's so great about real-time...?

I never really understood the fuss when suddenly the focus on strategy games went to making them real-time. Maybe I need slower action so my dinosaur-like brain impulses can keep up, but I'm a big fan of turn-based games. This is prompted by me replaying The Temple of Elemental Evil at the moment, which is as close to a D&D 3e similation as you can imagine. And I'm really enjoying it, after the arcade-ified action of NWN2. It's great to be able to move the party with proper strategy, place those fireballs where you want, split your magic missiles amongst enemies - and my personal favourite - give a DEX based warrior a spiked chain and the combat reflexes feat, and let the enemy run into their own death. Some of my favorite games have been turn-based - XCOM, Fallout series... It's FUN to actually use tactics, something many of the real-time games make it harder for me to enjoy (although admittedly, I did like the Dawn of War series). Keen to see how Fallout 3 handles things with the VATS combat, and got my copy on pre-order already.

As you might have guessed, I'm playing more than building at the moment. The toolset doesn't always leave much time for playing, and I'm enjoying the break. Still working on what is now dubbed my HalloWyreen area for the BouncyRock Globetrotter All-Stars, but I'll keep most of that under wraps for now...

.. other than to say "Hail to the King, baby"


Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Wyrin,

I agree. :) I also like (and miss) the fun behind true turn-based games. I even went as far as designing turn-based combat within NWN1.

However, realtime appears to be the way of game design nowadays.


Amraphael said...

Old XCOM, that brings back memories.
Like you I need slower games than FPSs and other action like. I use to say that I'm too old for them but it have always been like that. Even tetris made me give up :) too much action for a slow brain. That's probably why I got into playing interactive fiction games long after the graphical games evolved. I was skeptical to the first adventure games like Kings Quest, Dungeon Master and Indiana Jones not forgetting Myst.

For me turned based computer games never did the thing. There's a few exceptions, Fallout 1, XCOM and a DnD Boardgame clone on some web site. For me turned based is about sitting with friends around the table. Therefore I was happy to find Baldur's Gate one day long ago. The (almost) perfect compromise - faked real time. The pause button became my friend. Then came IWD, BGII, NWN and I almost never needed to buy another game ever.

Oh, long comment. The bottom line is. I think TB and Semi-TB(as NWN) are the dinosaurs, and it's kind of sad. I think Dragon Age will be a road sign for the RPG fork. It may say Dead End or That Way.

BTW the alchemist fire is in place. 4 of them. Too much? If there anything else just give me a shout.

Jazhara7 said...

I second that. While I do play some real time strategy games, mainly because I don't pay attention to what they are if I do, since most of my strategy games I got a chance to sample before buying (usually at a friend's place). I usually play building strategy games (Pharaoh [read: Caesar in Egypt. :P ], and "Settlers 2" [Be it the 10th Anniversary re-make released recently, or the original, which is again possible due to a compatible version being delivered with the Anniversary remake limited edition.]), but they do contain other elements of strategy at time.

I personally wouldn't look forward to real time strategy games when playing against someone. I like to play at a more comfortable pace, because it's just relaxing. I play as entertainment, not as a job. I would still be able to win in real time when I want to, but why do that when I can as well play turn based?

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Delak said...

I fall in the same boat as Wyrin. I love the turn based games and wish they had more.

Some of my favorits have been the gold box seires of D&D from SSI. Love XCOM (still play it once and awhile). I also enjoyed greatly the Temple of Elemental Evil.

Sadly I have not played any of the Fallout other then the Brother hood of steel squad game.

Does anyone have any recommendations for current or even past Turn based games that can be found?

Starwars said...

delak, while I still find Fallouts combat pretty fun (I actually enjoy it quite a bit more than most systems out there, but that's more due to RPGs being mostly rather suck in the combat department I guess), it's not the highlight of the game.

I will recommend Jagged Alliance 2 if you want some good turnbased combat, it's very good.

I can certainly enjoy more actionbased games, but there's a rather large shift towards those. I just miss the slower paced type of gaming. It's pretty funny how Temple of Elemental Evil is my most replayed D&D game despite all the huge and numerous flaws in the game. The combat just feels so much more right.

I think you can still create fun encounters in the "realtime w pause" systems, but for me they have never reached the satisfaction of a good turnbased system. You suddenly realize just how clear things can be instead of (like Wyrin said) tossing Fireballs a bit randomly not quite knowing what they're gonna hit and so on.

So yes, I certainly agree with Wyrin.

Something hopefully cool (and turnbased) that will be released this month is a remake of the old game Colonization. It has been remade in the Civ4 engine, should be good fun though it's not a RPG.

Jazhara7 said...

One thing I loved about Fallout was that you could go through the entire game without firing a single shot. Of course, you needed good diplomacy stats for that, for example. But it was possible.

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