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The Death of the Turn Based Battle System: What are you're thoughts?
After reading an article on "RPG Fans Mourn The Death of Turn-Based"
(Link: http://www.psxextreme.com/feature/422.html)
It got me thinking about the decline in Turn-Based combat in almost all modern RPG's that are pretty much now just action games with leveling up systems and character development. I would agree and say that back in the day the distinction between an RPG and an Action-Adventure where clear. For me Turn-Based combat was a crucial factor in determining RPG combat from Action games.
Lets face it though, Action games are the most dominant in the industry and almost all other game genres have been forced to go "next-gen". 3d graphics however are more suited to real-time combat because of the depth and control you have in the players collision. For example in 2d you can only shoot in a flat spacial dimension along (x and y only) but in 3d games there is a lot more depth, you can shoot in (almost) any direction, with height, length and depth creating a more real and fun approach to real-time combat.
However I miss Turn-Based RPG Battle systems, they have an air of sophistication and even maturity, you are forced to conserve resources, to utilize your strengths and defend your weaknesses, to manage a party that adds even more strategy and team-work, battles are more about strategy and careful thought. When you slay a boss you feel accomplished, you fought fair and square and outsmarted your enemy by managing your resources more carefully and practically.
You cant do the same with button smash combat, everything is forced on you, you dont outsmart the enemy you just outlast them. Sure you still need to manage you're resources and watch your MP/Stamina and HP e.t.c but there is little time left to truly plan an attack and feel proud of yourself for outsmarting you're foe. Also no matter how good the AI is, Turn-Based AI is always a lot more sinister in terms of intelligence. One last thing that I miss the most is how you're on your own in real-time, You're party members can assist you in real-time but most times their AI feels a lot more Kamikaze and primitive without some sort of command system and even then you cant really issue carefully considered commands while engaged in real-time combat.

What are you're thoughts, do you feel that Turn-Based combat has no chance against the next-gen?
Is a Turn-Based battle system even important to you in an RPG?

Lets mourn or celebrate together.
  • Last Edit: July 17, 2013, 06:11:18 am by Xenso

  • Radnen
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Re: The Death of the Turn Based Battle System: What are you're thoughts?
Reply #1
Companies run the numbers, people who think like you and I do are really in the minority. It's just that back in the day they could get a lot of people interested in turn based since the gaming community was so small and niche compared to today.

I don't think it "died" per se; it's just not mainstream like rock music used to be. It's the same as saying pixel art has died. In indie games you see a resurgence in pixel art. So no, I completely disagree with that article you must look elsewhere for the goods, not the limelight. :)

That said I am developing an action RPG called Blockman. Lord English however is making a really sweet turn based game engine.
If you use code to help you code you can use less code to code. Also, I have approximate knowledge of many things.

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  • DaVince
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Re: The Death of the Turn Based Battle System: What are you're thoughts?
Reply #2
I'll open with this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8YNi6-pF80&t=24s

For me, turn-based has never defined whether something is an RPG or not. That's because I've grown up with a variety of RPGs - Lufia 2 was the first one, which had a kind of system where you decide what the entire party does beforehand. Then there was Illusion of Time, which is very much an RPG, but obviously action-oriented. Then there was FF6 and Chrono Trigger, which still very much have time pass as you make your decisions.

Even the leveling system doesn't really determine whether or not something is an RPG - there are action games with leveling and there are RPGs without (like Zelda). So the main distinction of what is an RPG comes down to the "role playing" bit I think. Or maybe not even that, because in action games you tend to take the role of another character to begin with!

As for strategy and careful thought in planning a battle, you're partially right. Some games really have a heavy focus on using strategy in battle. But more often than not you can win by just wailing, and it becomes a repetitive pattern of mashing "attack" to win the battle. Many RPGs suffered from this and I think what happened is that a lot of companies decided that going action-based was the solution to this rather than better planning. (Luckily there ARE RPGs out there where you never have to grind! :))

Quote
For example in 2d you can only shoot in a flat spacial dimension along (x and y only) but in 3d games there is a lot more depth, you can shoot in (almost) any direction, with height, length and depth creating a more real and fun approach to real-time combat.

Whether a game is 2D or 3D doesn't really matter for the battle style, I think. You can still give a turn-based RPG have really right, smooth timing. There are RPGs out there where you have to perform actions during your attack (Mario & Luigi, or to pick a 3D example, using a GF in FF8 and mashing the square button while the summon animation is happening).

Quote
However I miss Turn-Based RPG Battle systems, they have an air of sophistication and even maturity, you are forced to conserve resources, to utilize your strengths and defend your weaknesses, to manage a party that adds even more strategy and team-work, battles are more about strategy and careful thought. When you slay a boss you feel accomplished, you fought fair and square and outsmarted your enemy by managing your resources more carefully and practically.

On the other hand, you have plenty of action games that have really well thought out bosses, so it becomes a matter of observing to determine not only what you should be attacking with, but also when. There's certainly stategy involved in those games. (As an example, the boss battles in BrĂ¼tal Legend require some strategy. In the video shown, you see some wailing going on, but you can only do it after you found out how and when to get it down...)

In the end, what makes an RPG is whether it *feels* like an RPG, I think. Are you a person or a team of people determined to go right some wrongs in the world? Does it feel like a big adventure where you travel around and converse with many characters in order to progress through it all? Do you progressively get stronger throughout the ordeal, taking on bigger and bigger enemies? And do you have to think carefully about how to beat them with the skillset you have? A combination of a few of these *might* make an RPG. A lot of what I just said is present in Half-Life 2 though, which is obviously not an RPG.

Then again, if you go for top-down talk-to-people random-encounters turn-based-battle, you've definitely got an RPG. One that adheres to some fixed rules. There's plenty you can still do to make it unique, of course. I mean, even in turn-based battles there's plenty you can do.

I've started ranting so I'll leave it at that.

  • Fat Cerberus
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Re: The Death of the Turn Based Battle System: What are you're thoughts?
Reply #3

I'll open with this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8YNi6-pF80&t=24s


Haha, Homestar Runner, those were the days.  Shame the creators moved on to other things and the site doesn't update anymore. :(
miniSphere 5.2.7 - Cell compiler - SSj debugger - thread | on GitHub
For the sake of our continued health I very much hope that Fat Cerberus does not become skilled enough at whatever arcane art it would require to cause computers to spawn enourmous man eating pigs ~Rhuan

Re: The Death of the Turn Based Battle System: What are you're thoughts?
Reply #4
If turn-based is "shunned" by corporate's now and seen as too niche, us indies have the opportunity to turn junk to gold with new innovative ways to mix turn-based combat with engaging game-play or something fresh. People are getting bored with button-smash, God of War cut scene, "same old schema game-play" and Corporate always follow the Indies, we are the pioneers that get less pay and code in our bedrooms at 3 AM but we do it out of love and respect for video-games.
I would like to see Turn-based re-invented though, I'm sure it had a crucial role in the RPG scene and a lot of potential. Xenogears, Chronos Trigger, Dragon Warrior, man you just cant compare a good battle system even one thats technically real-time to a full out button-smash brawl. Even though bosses have smart AI and all that in real time, I want to feel like I am a strategist again. Real time is too high-fly and die. Its excitement but without pace it becomes frustration. I do hate forced level grind though just the same but there is a middle between high-fly action and paced strategy that I am craving for.

:-X Maybe I should just shut my mouth and go re-play Metal Gear Solid. Or read this article:
12 ways to Improve your RPG Battle System ( without being a sellout and going button-smash action )
http://sinisterdesign.net/12-ways-to-improve-turn-based-rpg-combat-systems/
  • Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 02:54:55 pm by Xenso

Re: The Death of the Turn Based Battle System: What are you're thoughts?
Reply #5
Don't understand the obsession, as I'm very open to whatever comes down the pipeline to tell the truth.
If I hate, I don't buy it. And if I want it really bad, I'll try to make it, within the realms of possibility.
Really these publishing companies are essentially becoming Hollywood.
Solely my observations here, so feel free to take with a grain of salt.

[INDUSTRIES UNITED: Film & Gaming]
Dive off into the world of film, and most critics will tell you that classics will always be more innovative and superior to the majority of that's produced nowadays.
The exact same goes for the world of gaming, where we are now presently is akin to the world of film in modern day, which is selling and producing franchises.
Both industries have become a realm of risk investment agencies, where they trade and dump cash into whatever is presumed to earn them the most profit.
(SideNote: EA, Ubisoft, Blizzard, among others are icons for publicly traded companies)

With new products gaining momentum within their own little world, they'll attempt to restylize and copy it.
For example: ESV-Skyrim. Almost every publishing company in the gaming business is looking to release the next open world RPG.
It's like our comic book phenomenon. Not only do we now have the technology with the capability to do so,
but with the amazing sales release, everyone agrees that open-world and sandbox gaming is where the risk is worth the investment.


[REASON OF ABSENCE: Facts of the Market]
For many, there's recognition of a low dosage in quality and quantity for the Turn-Based genre of RPG gaming.
Final Fantasy has gone Anime-crazy (another industry solely lacking today) and is now throwing its chips into Action gaming,
while other valued franchises like Chrono Trigger have been remaining absent for years now.

One example of Turn-Based gaming not dying however, but just remaining out of the spotlight, is Pokemon.
A franchise built around and chokes itself with Turn-based gaming that is still celebrated to this day in some extent.
This has to do more so with Nintendo and their shining example of reluctance in altering their franchises out of risk investment.
They've gained a reputation for these games (Mario, Smash Bros, etc) that now they want to milk the cow until its utters give out.
The reason for the absence and diminishing existence of Turn-based rpgs in the corporate world is because of the risk investment.
With Final Fantasy (Turn-Based gaming's most cherished icon) losing money due to their stupendous amount of stupidness in gambling on low quality MMORPGs betting their reputation will uphold its profit margin (competing with Blizzard's WOW), and pooling ridiculous dollars into a failed FF13 package hoping it would be the next FF7 with fanservice, I think its safe to say that the market reflects itself.
That until a quality Turn-Based Rpg arrives to revamp the scene, no one is going to want to risk their investments on making the next TB-RPG.


[HONEST CONCLUSION: A Marketing Philosophy]
As for your point about this:
Quote
us indies have the opportunity to turn junk to gold with new innovative ways to mix turn-based combat with engaging game-play or something fresh. People are getting bored with button-smash, God of War cut scene, "same old schema game-play" and Corporate always follow the Indies, we are the pioneers that get less pay and code in our bedrooms at 3 AM but we do it out of love and respect for video-games.


It's the same for the movie industry.
Indies try to come up with something innovative, fun, and fresh while Big Business attempt to thrive on the success of their ventures.
That philosophy goes for lots of starups/private vs Big-Business/public companies.
The lack of realization is that Gaming has now gained enough attraction to begin competing on the entertainment market amongst Hollywood companies and etc.
Microsoft recognizes this, and it's the sole purposes for their "Watching TV on your TV" feature for the new XBox, along with Netflix for the PS4 and PS3.
Most nostalgia for 90's gaming seems to glance over the fact that these companies were small and doing all kinds of risk investments to remain in the market, much like the 50's-70's era for film.

Just my two cents on the matter.
So if you feel there's a lack of Turn-Based RPGs being produced,
it's up to you to make them or wait for the next person to create them.
The way that I see it.


[Edit:] Broken rant up into parts for readability. :p
  • Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 04:23:34 pm by Vakinox

  • Radnen
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
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  • Wise Warrior
Re: The Death of the Turn Based Battle System: What are you're thoughts?
Reply #6
I think the gaming companies have just gotten too big. They need to mainstream everything to gather the most users just so that they can stay afloat. A smaller company can afford to work towards their audience (like CDProject Red). So a small company good at one thing is always better than a big company trying everything under the sun. Look at the new tomb raider reboot, it didn't do too well in the market even though it is itself a great game. A lot of people these days aren't familiar with the tomb raider title and only older fans of the series would understand. That's a game that got a big-budget/audience mismatch and more games are going to go down that path.

Don't hate on corporations and their games, it's as if you want them to change but that won't happen. They've gone done off doing their own thing, no point in bringing them back to "fans" of older franchises. Indie companies are where it's at. So many people want to see their genre shine or see a game mechanic shine (read: hit it big), even if it's good. Trust me, I want rock music to be mainstream again rather than these dumb pop music bands. Basically you want to feel like you are fitting in. Just accept you have a better taste for quality games than everyone else and move on.

I love pixel art games, l love them. But my brother won't understand (uh "3D is where it's at bro"). To me that's just dumb, or he'll say "uh "painterly graphics or HD sprites are "in" man"). No damn it! I want my freaking 8 bit back! But no matter how hard I try I do not see EA or Activision creating a game with pixel art. And there is no point besides a marketing one why 3D is better. I thought Chrono Trigger had a much better story and gameplay than any 3D games made in the last 10 years. If people knew better and opened their damn eyes then we'd have pixel art games going toe to toe with the latest and greatest 3D game. Also indie games aren't always doing pixel art and if they are they aren't putting the big budgets into them that FF6 and Chrono Trigger had. I want to play a 40 hour epic all in pixel art again. Not these "30 minute" games in pixel art style.

The problem with 3D games is that you dip into a territory where you are no longer playing a game. Or it just doesn't feel "gamey". You are either watching an interactive movie or you are simulating some real-world dynamics. In either case you don't get to feel like you are abstracted from reality: they indeed are too close to reality. Now I love 3D cel shaded games: that's like the essence of what pixel art is in 3D space. :)

And oh my god don't get me started on the topic of people calling minecrafts graphics as bad. "Graphics" and "visual fidelity" are to way different things. One is a powerhouse in crafting the most intriguing and absorbing games ever and the other is "visual fidelity". :P
  • Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 04:35:06 pm by Radnen
If you use code to help you code you can use less code to code. Also, I have approximate knowledge of many things.

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Sphere Studio editor here

Re: The Death of the Turn Based Battle System: What are you're thoughts?
Reply #7
Quote

The problem with 3D games is that you dip into a territory where you are no longer playing a game. Or it just doesn't feel "gamey". You are either watching an interactive movie or you are simulating some real-world dynamics. In either case you don't get to feel like you are abstracted from reality: they indeed are too close to reality. Now I love 3D cel shaded games: that's like the essence of what pixel art is in 3D space. :)


I love 3d cell shaded games too, like Borderlands, for the exact same reason. When I play a game I want to escape from reality. I want something with character and style, cartooning and abstraction from "reality" is always more appealing to the imagination and that urge I have to escape than realism. Its just like reading a novel and then watching the movie, sometimes you want your imagination to create its own interpretation of the abstract world and environment in which you escape in without having some real world actors ruin your own idea of what the characters and settings look like and even what they mean to you.

Quote

With new products gaining momentum within their own little world, they'll attempt to restylize and copy it.
For example: ESV-Skyrim. Almost every publishing company in the gaming business is looking to release the next open world RPG.
It's like our comic book phenomenon. Not only do we now have the technology with the capability to do so,
but with the amazing sales release, everyone agrees that open-world and sandbox gaming is where the risk is worth the investment.


I see this happening way too fast too, What these guys may fail to understand is that ESV Skyrim was not a one-time hit becuase it was open world, thats just on the surface. The Elder Scrolls Series is very old and the mainstream only started to mildly care about it from Elder Scrolls III Morrowind before that it was just some nerdy p.c game that a few people really cared about. I could vaugely say the same for Final Fantasy which really hit the mainstream with FF6-FF7 before that it was still popular but not as much in the mainstream. Only true fans knew what it was about, same goes for Tomb Radar that I agree has forgotten its roots in the pursue for the big cash. I find it all pathetic though, but like you say no one is going to want to risk their investments and with a huge sized company even if you are aware of all this and truly want to stay true to your fans you are forced to consider cashing big as opposed to trying something new otherwise heads will be rolled.

Indie games are really growing these days really fast, you can actually make a decent living making games for ipad and mobile, I just hope we don't get sucked into the mainstream, then we will have nothing left anymore. As Indies at least we have to fight for our freedom. And yes I guess I'll just go ahead and make a fresh TB-RPG.


  • Rukiri
  • [*]
Re: The Death of the Turn Based Battle System: What are you're thoughts?
Reply #8

Don't understand the obsession, as I'm very open to whatever comes down the pipeline to tell the truth.
If I hate, I don't buy it. And if I want it really bad, I'll try to make it, within the realms of possibility.
Really these publishing companies are essentially becoming Hollywood.
Solely my observations here, so feel free to take with a grain of salt.

[INDUSTRIES UNITED: Film & Gaming]
Dive off into the world of film, and most critics will tell you that classics will always be more innovative and superior to the majority of that's produced nowadays.
The exact same goes for the world of gaming, where we are now presently is akin to the world of film in modern day, which is selling and producing franchises.
Both industries have become a realm of risk investment agencies, where they trade and dump cash into whatever is presumed to earn them the most profit.
(SideNote: EA, Ubisoft, Blizzard, among others are icons for publicly traded companies)

With new products gaining momentum within their own little world, they'll attempt to restylize and copy it.
For example: ESV-Skyrim. Almost every publishing company in the gaming business is looking to release the next open world RPG.
It's like our comic book phenomenon. Not only do we now have the technology with the capability to do so,
but with the amazing sales release, everyone agrees that open-world and sandbox gaming is where the risk is worth the investment.


[REASON OF ABSENCE: Facts of the Market]
For many, there's recognition of a low dosage in quality and quantity for the Turn-Based genre of RPG gaming.
Final Fantasy has gone Anime-crazy (another industry solely lacking today) and is now throwing its chips into Action gaming,
while other valued franchises like Chrono Trigger have been remaining absent for years now.

One example of Turn-Based gaming not dying however, but just remaining out of the spotlight, is Pokemon.
A franchise built around and chokes itself with Turn-based gaming that is still celebrated to this day in some extent.
This has to do more so with Nintendo and their shining example of reluctance in altering their franchises out of risk investment.
They've gained a reputation for these games (Mario, Smash Bros, etc) that now they want to milk the cow until its utters give out.
The reason for the absence and diminishing existence of Turn-based rpgs in the corporate world is because of the risk investment.
With Final Fantasy (Turn-Based gaming's most cherished icon) losing money due to their stupendous amount of stupidness in gambling on low quality MMORPGs betting their reputation will uphold its profit margin (competing with Blizzard's WOW), and pooling ridiculous dollars into a failed FF13 package hoping it would be the next FF7 with fanservice, I think its safe to say that the market reflects itself.
That until a quality Turn-Based Rpg arrives to revamp the scene, no one is going to want to risk their investments on making the next TB-RPG.


[HONEST CONCLUSION: A Marketing Philosophy]
As for your point about this:
Quote
us indies have the opportunity to turn junk to gold with new innovative ways to mix turn-based combat with engaging game-play or something fresh. People are getting bored with button-smash, God of War cut scene, "same old schema game-play" and Corporate always follow the Indies, we are the pioneers that get less pay and code in our bedrooms at 3 AM but we do it out of love and respect for video-games.


It's the same for the movie industry.
Indies try to come up with something innovative, fun, and fresh while Big Business attempt to thrive on the success of their ventures.
That philosophy goes for lots of starups/private vs Big-Business/public companies.
The lack of realization is that Gaming has now gained enough attraction to begin competing on the entertainment market amongst Hollywood companies and etc.
Microsoft recognizes this, and it's the sole purposes for their "Watching TV on your TV" feature for the new XBox, along with Netflix for the PS4 and PS3.
Most nostalgia for 90's gaming seems to glance over the fact that these companies were small and doing all kinds of risk investments to remain in the market, much like the 50's-70's era for film.

Just my two cents on the matter.
So if you feel there's a lack of Turn-Based RPGs being produced,
it's up to you to make them or wait for the next person to create them.
The way that I see it.


[Edit:] Broken rant up into parts for readability. :p


Pokemon X/Y may be real time due to the fact 3D is now in play, even though Pokemon Stadium 1 and 2 should have done this but thy were aiming at being 3D versions of Pokemon Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, and Crystal.  I think battle stadium was stadium 3 but that was never confirmed.

Re: The Death of the Turn Based Battle System: What are you're thoughts?
Reply #9
Pokemon using a real time battle engine  ???... gross
But I bet you the kids are hyped up about this one lol.
I don't want to be a hater or "outdated" but I think Pokemon should have stuck to the tried and tested formula even in 3D. Why because true Pokemon fans care and why fix whats not broken.
Someday they might be a game that breaks the odds then everyone follows suit and you get Turn-Based becoming mainstream then I'll write another thread venting on how real time battle systems are amazing....maybe I am a corporate hater after-all.
(<_<)

  • DaVince
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Re: The Death of the Turn Based Battle System: What are you're thoughts?
Reply #10
Quote
I think Pokemon should have stuck to the tried and tested formula

Please. They've been doing that for over a decade. There's so much they could have been doing, but every game has basically been the same game with a different environment. That game is stuck in lack of innovation, and there's plenty they could have done to battle that even when sticking to a turn-based system.

Re: The Death of the Turn Based Battle System: What are you're thoughts?
Reply #11
I for one don't mind pokemon switching. Mostly because I think the whole series peaked around Gold/Silver and Ruby/Saphire.

Re: The Death of the Turn Based Battle System: What are you're thoughts?
Reply #12
After Ruby/Sapphire, the franchise had a very bloated, watered-down feel to it.
In my opinion anyways, feel pretty much the same way.

It's like an old clown that died somewhere along the way of the traveling circus,
and they're still pulling in crowds for the dead man's performance,
who the management has now propped the bloated decomposing on sticks
covered up, with a little makeup.

My best description for it anyways, figuratively.

  • N E O
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  • Senior Administrator
Re: The Death of the Turn Based Battle System: What are you're thoughts?
Reply #13
I think the primary opponent of the TBS is the "player with little to no attention span," often misrepresented as "the casual gamer." Companies attempt to account for this in sequels and offshoots and often lose massive amounts of the original game audience that made up their core customer base.

A TBS can also possibly be indicative of a game designer's lack of faith in the player's ability to manage situations and make decisions on-the-fly in general instead of being seen as allowing the player to develop strategy without undue pressure. It's a very fine line between the two, indeed.