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Author Topic: Random encounter frustration  (Read 1834 times)
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Clay
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« on: January 03, 2006, 05:25:15 PM »

Random encounters annoy me when I cannot see them coming.  I've been playing DQ VIII for a little while, and it totally prevents me from proper 'suspension of disbelief' when I am walking along a clear path and am suddenly in battle.

That is not to say that I am against the idea of being ambushed while travelling around in a game -- but PLEASE show some graphical representation of creatures bum-rushing me.  

I thought that Tales of Symphonia did this well.  On the world level, there are at least indications of the encounters one may have.  Of course, to properly advance in the game, it is necessary for you to have your party enter these encounters to gain experience.  If you choose to avoid them all of the time, you cannot proceed.  That becomes obvious soon after beginning the game.  Sometimes, the 'random encounters' in ToS charge you and you cannot get away.  That's fine too.

Why, then, can other games not do something similar and at least make the world represent the danger that is there?  I think that DQ VIII would be better for it.  In fact, this is one of the gripes that I had with FF X, too.

I came to a point in FFX where I was within sight of a save point.  I had been playing for an hour or so since the previous save point and was desperate to save.  Yet, a very strong 'random' encounter happened as I approached the save point and killed me.  So I rebooted.  The exact same thing happened again and again.  After 4-5 attempts, I gave up.  

Are the people in my party so stupid and lacking senses and peripheral vision that they cannot see a giant dangerous party of monsters approaching???  

Blargh.

Does this bother anybody else?
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farley2k
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2006, 05:45:44 PM »

Sometimes this bothers me but mostly I just don't care.  The encounters in DQ8 are so much fun that I don't really care.  

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Are the people in my party so stupid and lacking senses and peripheral vision that they cannot see a giant dangerous party of monsters approaching???



Are they so dumb they can't hack at a door when they have swords, or that they can't jump over a simple low wall?  There are dozens of artifical things in games.  I don't see this as being any bigger or worse than any other.
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2006, 05:52:54 PM »

I'm with you completely Clay.  This is exactly what killed Suikoden IV for me.  It was just a string of never ending random encounters.
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2006, 05:54:47 PM »

Quote from: "farley2k"
The encounters in DQ8 are so much fun that I don't really care.

Agreed.  For the first time in a long while I actually look forward to random battles in DQ8.  I love it each time I fight a new monster.
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Big Jake
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2006, 06:48:37 PM »

You didn't like random encounters in DQVIII? Lord help you if you play any Shin Megami Tensei games...
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Clay
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« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2006, 06:56:47 PM »

It's not that I don't like the encounters once I'm in them... I just would like some sort of indication that they are coming.  I think that it would increase the immersiveness.

It's not like being unable to hack through a wooden door because you can see the wooden door.  Not being able to jump over a wall is annoying, but would be even more so if you couldn't see the wall.
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2006, 07:07:10 PM »

If I remember Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne correctly, the more you walked the stronger a meter/light/something would flash in the corner indicating you were steadily increasing your chances of having a random battle.  That might be one way to tell you were going to have a battle.

The biggest thing for me though is to make the battles (random or not) fun and quick.  I'd rather have a zillion fast and fun battles than 10 slow, boring ones (I'm looking at you Wizardry 8  :shock: ).
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Devil
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2006, 07:17:38 PM »

I'm with you!

This is THE reason I can't play RPGs. ToS was great for that reason!
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Farscry
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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2006, 09:16:17 PM »

I guess I'm just used to random encounters and don't find them all that frustrating, especially since in the Dragon Quest series you can always use a Holy Water (or equivalent spell) to avoid encountering monsters that are weaker than you.  There've been lots of times in the game when I just want to explore and find stuff in areas that are weaker than my characters, so I just chug a Holy Water and VOILA! no more random encounters.  slywink

But to me, it makes no difference if you can see the enemies or not, an encounter is an encounter, and unless this is a strategic game like the Infinity Engine games where positioning prior to an encounter is important, it doesn't matter to me one whit if I can see some representation of the monsters on the screen before the encounter screen pops open.

I think it's just a personal preference matter.  I know some guys who absolutely prefer the random encounter method, since that's more "old school".  *shrugs*
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Nth Power
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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2006, 09:25:47 PM »

I think I've just taken it as a staple in JRPGs and as long as I'm accomplishing something (getting loot, leveling) it doesn't bother me much.  DQVIII has done it better than most with interesting monsters to fight and hitting the right frequency between too much and too little.  

I do agree that it puts a little damper on the exploration side of things.  With DQVIII, it's such a big world, I'd like to explore sometimes without getting into random battles.
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EddieA
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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2006, 09:30:30 PM »

I don't mind random encounters, but I prefer visible enemies, and I like it even better when you can interact with the enemies, such as hitting them first to gain an advantage in games like Grandia and Magna Carta.  I think the reason random encounters are still around is due mostly to tradition, although it seems to be on its way out, especially with a big game like FF12 doing away with them.
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« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2006, 09:46:59 PM »

Quote from: "Nth Power"
I do agree that it puts a little damper on the exploration side of things.  With DQVIII, it's such a big world, I'd like to explore sometimes without getting into random battles.


Use the Holy Water!  biggrin

And as for FFXII, I'm incredibly stoked about that game's story and direction (this one's director is the same guy who directed Vagrant Story, which had a great story and direction).

However, at least from the demo, the battle system is very underwhelming.  Very non-user-friendly.  I'm sorry, I love my old-fashioned turn-based battle systems in FF games!  Even the ATB system isn't too bad (though I preferred the truly turn-based systems in FF1, FF2, and FFX).  This seems like an evolution of the system from Vagrant Story (semi-active/semi-TB), though, so it could grow on me and get more comfortable like that game's system did.
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« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2006, 11:47:30 PM »

I liked Chrono Chross because  I didn't have to fight random battles-I could actually see the monsters coming after me.
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Big Jake
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« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2006, 11:53:04 PM »

Yes warning, nocturne did have that feature - but they did not include it in Digital Devil Saga series.  It gets Brutal.  biggrin

Didn't Xenosaga also have the visible enemies?
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2006, 12:40:31 AM »

Quote from: "Big Jake"
Didn't Xenosaga also have the visible enemies?


Yep.

And I agree with Eddie- invisible enemies is definitely a trend that is dying off and I expect to see it even less next gen.  Wouldn't ever expect Dragon Quest to change though- that series has been far more resistant to change than any other long running franchise.
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« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2006, 02:07:51 AM »

I am 50-50 on random encounters. If done correctly, I do not mind them at all and find them no more of an annoyance than games with visible monsters. However, if done poorly (see: Shin Megami Tensei games-unplayable due to this for me, see also: Skies of Arcadia-one of the most fun games I've never finished because of random encounter rate), then random encounters can be perhaps the must frustrating part of any RPG.
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« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2006, 02:14:57 AM »

Quote from: "Calvin"
Skies of Arcadia-one of the most fun games I've never finished because of random encounter rate


That game...arg...so...frustrating.  Such a good game, but such an insane rate of stupid, pointless random encounters.

Hey, level 30 party, here's a level 1 random monster encounter!  Ooh that's fun, right!  Well...here's another.  And another.  And guess, what?  That's right, another!
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2006, 02:59:05 AM »

I wish more games would employ the Xenosaga I method of battles, whereby each battle allowed you to multiply your experience by 5 or 10 times depending upon how you played that particular encounter.  I always made sure I was getting the experience bonuses, and then I could skip a bunch of unwanted combat.
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« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2006, 03:03:41 AM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
Wouldn't ever expect Dragon Quest to change though- that series has been far more resistant to change than any other long running franchise.

And that's one of the reasons I love the series - I loved how the game was back in the NES days, so why change it? I didn't see much wrong with it then, nor do I now.
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« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2006, 03:30:48 AM »

Quote from: "EddieA"
I don't mind random encounters, but I prefer visible enemies, and I like it even better when you can interact with the enemies, such as hitting them first to gain an advantage in games like Grandia and Magna Carta.  I think the reason random encounters are still around is due mostly to tradition, although it seems to be on its way out, especially with a big game like FF12 doing away with them.


same here. obviously, the origin of invisible enemies comes from a time of smaller memory & simpler programming, & is understandably still harder to incorporate in 'wide open' environments (dqviii) than 'limited' ones (so3, radiata, mc), but i can't help but think the era of invisible enemies is slowly but surely coming to a close, & rightly so...

that said, i've had no problem getting into ffiv advance, because i think, for me, it's not so much a matter of the number of random encounters (visible or not) so much as the ratio of encounters to story development - if enough actual story is inserted here'n'there, i'm fine - it's definitely a personal call, but if the balance is good (& it's left up to me to run around power-leveling if i like rather than pretty much being forced to), i can have a good time with just about any rpg...
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« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2006, 05:04:28 AM »

to like RPGs you have to not be bothered by random encounters like that.  I actually sort of dislike it when you can see the monsters randomly running around until they see you.  I guess it just sort of fits for the type of game I feel.  If I can see the enemy coming up, I want to be able to just start attacking (or them casting a magic spell at me from a distance without me knowing), I don't want them to run into me like we are playing tag, and then  transform into a battle scene.

I can understand the frustration, but I feel it sort of comes along with the type of game itself, but that is my opinion.  I remember Legend of Dragoon on Ps1, you had sort of a "traffic light" which would be green, then turn yellow when you were getting close to entering a battle and then turn red.  Its helpful, but it is also annoying cause you know exactly when it is coming.
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Clay
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« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2006, 02:43:44 PM »

So why is it that this type of random encounter is accepted so widely for a game like DQ VIII, when I can only imagine that random encounters by invisible enemies in World of Warcraft would drive people crazy?
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« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2006, 02:58:28 PM »

Quote from: "Clay"
So why is it that this type of random encounter is accepted so widely for a game like DQ VIII, when I can only imagine that random encounters by invisible enemies in World of Warcraft would drive people crazy?


Partially its the battle system itself.  These types of encounters only work in a game that uses a separate battle screen so it wouldn't work for Word of Warcraft.
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farley2k
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« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2006, 03:01:03 PM »

Quote from: "Clay"
So why is it that this type of random encounter is accepted so widely for a game like DQ VIII, when I can only imagine that random encounters by invisible enemies in World of Warcraft would drive people crazy?


I don't know.  I guess for the same reason I accept the hookey answers in Star Trek and stuff like that.  

I love the genre and the goods out weigh the bads.  

Sure, I prefer games with visible enemies but I love the genre enough that I put up with some stuff which I don't like.
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« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2006, 03:19:36 PM »

Quote from: "Clay"
So why is it that this type of random encounter is accepted so widely for a game like DQ VIII, when I can only imagine that random encounters by invisible enemies in World of Warcraft would drive people crazy?


Probably for the same reason that it's okay to have your players wearing ice skates in an NHL game, but it would be ludicrous to have your players wearing ice skates in a Madden title.  Same genre, completely different systems of play.
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« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2006, 11:08:48 AM »

Random encounters are one of a handful of reasons I have never finished a console style RPG.

There are always too many for my tastes.

olaf
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