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 Figure It Out Yourself

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JayMoyles
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PostSubject: Figure It Out Yourself   Tue 24 Apr 2018 - 23:05

I'm sure this has happened to you all before. Most modern video games have been pretty good at this, but I'm sure we've all played something over the years where a certain mechanic or feature is either barely explained or not mentioned at all, leaving you to figure it out yourself. It's often frustrating but can sometimes be a little bit satisfying when you do wrap your head around how to properly play a game despite its best efforts to befuddle you.

I've ran afoul of this in RPGs, usually with their levelling systems. Final Fantasy II and its bizarre levelling system is my most recent struggle - it's not like a conventional levelling up system where you get a bunch of stat ups after accumulating experience, but rather your characters become more proficient at certain things by doing them in battle. For example, taking lots of damage toughens them up and gives them more HP, and using certain weapons boosts proficiency with that weapon type. It sounds great on paper, but I'm stumped in working out exactly how it all fits together and it's making for a pretty frustrating experience so far. There's another RPG with a similarly annoying levelling system, but I've totally forgotten it!

What game mechanics have you had to piece together yourselves over the years?
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Muss
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PostSubject: Re: Figure It Out Yourself   Tue 24 Apr 2018 - 23:19

I think the old X-Com games did a similar thing. I don't know for sure as I have not played them, but in the spiritual successor, Xenonaughts, your troopers will become more resistant to psionic attacks after being exposed to psi attacks. As you say it makes a certain amount of sense on paper, but that game is tough as nails and exposing your troopers to the bad times normally kills them No

I'll have to have a proper think about this and come up with a few examples. American Sports games are probably the easiest shout though. Coming into Madden as a teenager who'd never watched a game before meant I had no idea what any of the rules were, and by 2007 EA were already gutting their instructions manuals. The game was intuitive for the most part, but there were certain penalties and Americanisms that'd leave me baffled.

More recently I picked up an NHL game and, knowing nothing about Ice Hockey, spent a lot of time either icing, fouling, starting (and losing) fights, and constantly being offside, until I eventually learnt the rules or at least heard the commentators describe how an icing or something worked.
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JayMoyles
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PostSubject: Re: Figure It Out Yourself   Tue 24 Apr 2018 - 23:32

Oof, I can't imagine going into a sports game without knowing the general rules for the sport itself. It's why I typically only touch football or tennis games.
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PostSubject: Re: Figure It Out Yourself   Wed 25 Apr 2018 - 4:05

This was a big part of the appeal in Dark Souls and earlier Monster Hunters, but those are boring answers.

Most of my experience with this sort of thing lately has been in Japanese arcades. Approaching a pretty looking rhythm game and having to figure out the utterly bizarre and arcane systems while also learning ridiculous J-Pop songs is a hell of an experience. Or climbing into a massive pod to play some ridiculous immersive Gundam game and barely knowing how to walk about, let alone fight an army of bad mechs.
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Athrun888
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PostSubject: Re: Figure It Out Yourself   Wed 25 Apr 2018 - 10:08

Speaking of arcade Gundam games the Gundam Vs games have a pretty steep learning curve.  Even when boosting and cancelling become second-nature there's so much emphasis on positioning yourself vs the opponents, keeping an eye on both of them at the same time (often requiring the ability to switch aim between them constantly and memorising what was happening in that brief instant), knowing when to help your teammate, and just plain managing to inflict sufficient damage on your foes, for newbies it can be extremely rough.   And the only way you ever learn is through practice too.

They're complete blasts though.

I'm pretty sure Xenoblade did teach the player how to utilise chain attacks, but I only learned the full potential of the system such as stacking same coloured attacks for damage multipliers in the last section of the game.  It was very rewarding and fun to suddenly go from struggling to going toe to toe with the game's toughest enemies.

Competitive Pokemon is a bit like this as well. Sure, the games teach you the basic mechanics, but when you step into the arena of full 6 v 6 team battles you're entering something the game didn't even hint at, and the only way to get better/good is to practice practice practice.
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JayMoyles
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PostSubject: Re: Figure It Out Yourself   Wed 25 Apr 2018 - 15:09

Pokémon is an interesting one as I don't think the game has ever explicitly talked about IVs or EVs, has it?
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PostSubject: Re: Figure It Out Yourself   Wed 25 Apr 2018 - 15:29

Indeed they haven't. They've come close to acknowledging EV's in gen 6, but stopped short of actually explaining them.

I really wish they'd just remove IV's entirely (at least on wi-fi), at the competitive level they ultimately make no difference because everyone has them maxed (besides Gyroball users minning speed).
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PostSubject: Re: Figure It Out Yourself   Wed 25 Apr 2018 - 16:26

It just seems like a bit of a pointless grind, all told. The obfuscation of how it all actually works doesn't entice me to get involved with that side of Pokémon at all, either.
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PostSubject: Re: Figure It Out Yourself   Wed 25 Apr 2018 - 17:13

I'm in the same S.S. Anne as you there Jay. I did pop some Pokémon esports onto Twitch while I studied a while ago though. Not a bad watch/listen in the end, it was interesting having the casters explain the various strategies.

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PostSubject: Re: Figure It Out Yourself   Wed 25 Apr 2018 - 19:02

And that long grind is why if I ever returned to the scene in the actual games I'd probably just sav some mons. Thankfully Showdown exists!
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PostSubject: Re: Figure It Out Yourself   Wed 25 Apr 2018 - 19:34

One of my regularly visited bookmarks is actually Smogon, home of competitive Pokémon.  I find the development of the various 'metagames' rather interesting.  I have no interest in playing it myself though, for the reasons y'all have touched on already.

Athrun888 wrote:
I'm pretty sure Xenoblade did teach the player how to utilise chain attacks, but I only learned the full potential of the system such as stacking same coloured attacks for damage multipliers in the last section of the game.  It was very rewarding and fun to suddenly go from struggling to going toe to toe with the game's toughest enemies.

The Xenoblade series on the whole was the one I was going to touch on.  Its battle systems are usually fairly understandable (still not sure about XCX's Overdrive mechanics), not that you'd know it from the tutorials.  I found myself needing to go online to get the most out of 2.  Once I realised that it went 'auto-attack, art, art, art, special, special, special, repeat until chain attack' I began to enjoy the fights, but my goodness the tutorials are unhelpful!
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