Combat without EXP – controversial discussion

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Stonne 3 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #627
    Darkmoon
    Darkmoon
    Participant

    I am playing the indie RPG Dead State and in this game you don’t get EXP for combat. This may sound strange but it does work extremely well in the game.
    Combat gets a totally different meaning if you cannot get EXP from killing enemies. This way you don’t engage every enemy you encounter, you tactically decide if it is worth attacking or not. This changes the whole dynamics of combat.
    Resources and healing are very scarce in the game. So if you get hurt in combat this can have severe consequences. You would either have to rest and use some of the food or you would need to be healed and use medicine. Food and medicine are very rare and there may be some situations up later, when you might them. But on the other hand enemies might carry important stuff or they might guard some sites that you need to visit or which might contain important items. So you have to decide if it is worth attacking the enemies or not. Of course you can still be ambushed and combat cannot be avoided entirely.
    This makes combat much more exciting, intense and tactical.
    Also, not getting EXP from combat means that there is no grinding in the game – which I think is a very good thing as I am not a friend of grinding at all.

    So could this be something that could work in Seven Dragon Saga, too?
    What do you think? Do you think combat in which you don’t get EXP is interesting or is it vital for your game experience that you get EXP from combat?

    #628

    TSI Support
    Keymaster

    We’re currently reviewing different ways for the player to accrue EXP without relying strictly on that type of formula. So this is definitely interesting feedback that you like the way it is handled in Dead State!

    #629

    Dorateen
    Participant

    Character development/advancement is the heart and soul of a role-playing game, and XP is the currency to achieve that. I prefer a system that handles experience points the way it is tradtionally done, awarding the bonus for various means of accomplishing an objective from solving riddles, picking locks, and including combat.

    As far as combat specifically, I think it matters if the Seven Dragon Saga ruleset assigns an XP value to its creatures and characters. How much is defeating a kobold worth, versus an ogre versus an elemental, and so on.

    #630

    TSI Support
    Keymaster

    Absolutely. The key is balancing rewards for accomplishments and avoid any feel of grinding.

    #703

    Zombra
    Participant

    I am definitely not married to the old way that incentivizes xp grinding in every game, but for a title like Seven Dragon Saga I think it’s appropriate.

    I do think it would be nice to see diminishing returns against a particular repeated encounter. The first time you clean out a goblin cave, full XP. The second time, full XP. The third time, half XP. The fourth time, no XP. You could still do it to collect copper coins, but you couldn’t raise your party to level 50 just by running around in circles in the starter area fighting random goblins.

    Perhaps it could be keyed off of levels like in an MMO – once you’re a certain level, weaker enemies provide reduced XP or none at all.

    Another way to discourage low level grinding might be to exponentially increase XP rewards with encounter levels. A level 1 goblin might provide 5xp, a level 2 skeleton 500xp, and a level 3 orc chief 50000xp. So players could still choose to grind low levels for xp if they really really wanted to, but it would be more profitable to challenge themselves with the strongest targets available. In fact this is my favorite idea as players still have the “freedom” to earn rewards how they wish, but sends a powerful incentive to move on from boring no-risk fights.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by  Zombra.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by  Zombra.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by  Zombra.
    #718
    Woolfe
    Woolfe
    Participant

    I have played Dead State and agree its system works well. BUT it is a very different style of game. With more “strategic” elements to it.

    I think removing the emphasis from “combat” is not a bad idea. But how do you manage it. If there is no XP for combat at all then your combat oriented characters suffer. If you get equal XP for avoiding combat(diplomacy stealth etc), how do you then account for dealing with the same group multiple times?
    How do you even define having avoided combat by stealth?

    #719

    TSI Support
    Keymaster

    This is terrific feedback. We’re very much looking forward to compiling a list of key questions that we can address as Updates during the campaign. Understanding the XP system is a great example.

    #728

    Zombra
    Participant

    Glad if my thoughts helped 🙂

    Another issue to be considered is different XP rates for different party members.

    Since it’s already been stated that different characters may be rewarded at different rates for quest resolutions (due to Motivations), it may be worthwhile to examine individual rewards for the rest of the game as well. This is far trickier to balance than “Your party killed 10 goblins, everyone gets 100xp”, but much more interesting.

    The question then becomes, when do individual rewards occur, and how do we ensure that every character has significant opportunities to earn individual XP.

    I bring this up because, assuming that all XP is not shared, it seems to me that a “Rogue” character (good at picking locks and so forth) is sacrificing his Specialty for the good of the party, so he should get individual XP for locks picked and so forth that the others cannot share. By the same token, though, a Tough or Deadly character devotes his Specialty towards combat, and should receive a greater share of combat XP, perhaps with shares assigned based on damage done, damage received, damage healed, buffs applied, etc. A character who just runs and hides in a corner shouldn’t get as much combat XP (though he should still get some; it’s still dangerous just to be there).

    This observation is prompted by the unfortunate decision by Wasteland 2 to split all combat XP evenly, but to give individual XP for noncombat skill users such as locksmiths and computer scientists, meaning that a combat-focused character receives no individual XP and ends up lagging behind the group while the “skill monkeys” shoot farther ahead with every lock picked, since they enjoy full combat XP regardless of how little they contribute to a fight.

    Perhaps 7DS will adopt a simple system where all XP is shared equally except for Motivation bonuses on quest resolution, but I believe that this would be a missed opportunity. Individual XP awarded for all (meaningful) actions is a more intimate system that involves the player’s reward triggers more directly.

    #735

    CoarseDragon
    Participant

    I think that once the average party level is above a certain level creatures of a lower level than the party should present the option for auto-combat. Make some of the long treks to other places faster and easier. This was done quite well in the “Realms of Arkania” series, which had a tactical combat type on interface. Also the option to avoid combat with lower level creatures could be added – just scare them off.

    #736

    TSI Support
    Keymaster

    Now there’s a good poll question! Something like “How do you feel about Auto-resolving combat”?

    We purposely wanted to make a game where you control the party in turn based combat… and likely do away with most of that easy wandering monster stuff. That simply isn’t good game design these days. 😉

    #883
    zdsdead
    zdsdead
    Participant

    I love xp for combat, and POE, feels somehow “Hollow” to me for its very limited system, it employs

    #886
    Z0ner
    Z0ner
    Participant

    I haven’t got to POE yet, so I will have to see (busy with my son these days so I am a bit behind on games). Personally I don’t mind some random stuff, but it can get old and sometimes just feel cheap. I personally like in Divinity that once I clear a cave there are no mobs for me to go back and kill, which makes sense IMO.
    XP for finding things, for resolving things without fighting (sometimes even more XP for this since it might take more social skills with a character)

    #901
    Reddog000
    Reddog000
    Participant

    You gotta have an XP system for any traditional cRPG. It is at the very core of the game itself. I just cannot see a Pool of Radiance type game do without an XP and leveling system. It would just not feel right whatsoever!

    #984
    Roland of Yew
    Roland of Yew
    Participant

    I didn’t like it in Pillars when they tried that and I don’t fancy a system based on the idea in 7DS. I’m ready to invest in 7DS now I’m aware of the game and can only hope that the team reboot the gold box series without implementing too many so-called ‘modern’ adaptations that frankly ruin a gamers experience.
    Tbh, I think what a lot of gamers would like to see is a updated version of the TSI games that were so popular including support for 4k, scalable GUI and fonts and NOT developed using the UNITY engine which looks dreadful and ‘sameish’ apart from Ghost of A Tale. for some reason all Unity games look exactly the same so it feels like you are playing the same title again and again, what I’m hoping for is a dedicated, proprietary graphics engine that will bring the series into the 21st century.

    regards,

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by Roland of Yew Roland of Yew.
    #1010
    Metarou
    Metarou
    Participant

    combat experience should go to all as a party but could be balanced.
    since even non-damage dealer should have to act to survive the battle scene. and that’s the base income of experience from combat.

    aside from that, each profession sets the character how the character should be in role. and this is the point how i think its balanced.

    i.e. spell caster should gain plus individual balance of experience based on their professional skills. (even combat ends without casting, they would learn about magic related things in real combat.)
    while rogue or ranger could make their cunning/strategic skills to be preferable to allies so that gain individual balance, damage dealer gains based on physical combat skills. and so on.

    in this way, not only quest related experience also becomes very meaningful and deeper but also could apply to faction related progression or even to simple interaction to common NPCs. it might affect so called to “reputation” from surrounding people afterall.

    for example, after the party established good relation to one of faction, if the way of fulfilling the task was not desirable, the person who is directly negotiate to the party will be losing trust, and ultimately it can ruin the good relation and which gives good opportunity for hostile faction to make use. all in all, the way of act might cause total breakdown of power balance between rival factions. even worse, the party might be marked as “useless” or worse to all factions.
    good faith player, evil player, violent and short tempered player, manipulating player, thoughtful player. they all would receive the consequence and it changes the further choice and especially experience wise.

    this idea had been already realized in the line of Gold Box series to Baldur’s Gate series to some degree but it was not that dynamic. (Wasteland 2 was better but there was far less factions involved. its like simple but good old theme of good vs. evil.)
    i think there would be nice to have more live feeling and wider approach. with it, player can have strings to weave own story at last.
    today’s pc’s horse power should allow it.

    sorry for long post. but couldn’t help but expecting 7DS so much.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by Metarou Metarou.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by Metarou Metarou.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by Metarou Metarou.
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