Complexity in ARPGs going too far

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03/17/2019 02:52 PMPosted by KiWeN
Complexity is not a bad thing, it's merely a bad thing if you need it to complete a game. Sure players like to strive and achieve, but when you hit a level where in order to complete a FPS, you should only make headshots you loose the sense of fun.


This is a good point, but I wouldn't call headshots 'Complexity', I would call it 'Skill' since it is about execution of techniques. The skill in ARPGs is a tricky subject: how much skill should be involved? From my experience, skill is less necessary in ARPGs because there isn't as much precision required, which results in a lower skill cap. Some may enjoy that, and some may not.
03/18/2019 01:35 PMPosted by Cptcrunch
The skill in ARPGs is a tricky subject: how much skill should be involved? From my experience, skill is less necessary in ARPGs because there isn't as much precision required, which results in a lower skill cap. Some may enjoy that, and some may not.


I don't see it as less, I see it as different. in ARPG you should have to learn which mobs to kill first, which to CC, which to prep your defenses. You should watch for which mobs have the elemental attacks you're weak against and which have stronger defenses against your attacks.

The skill comes in quick decisions and knowledge on what you're currently facing, not necessarily the speed of your reflexes.
03/18/2019 02:12 PMPosted by Zeddicuus
03/18/2019 01:35 PMPosted by Cptcrunch
The skill in ARPGs is a tricky subject: how much skill should be involved? From my experience, skill is less necessary in ARPGs because there isn't as much precision required, which results in a lower skill cap. Some may enjoy that, and some may not.


I don't see it as less, I see it as different. in ARPG you should have to learn which mobs to kill first, which to CC, which to prep your defenses. You should watch for which mobs have the elemental attacks you're weak against and which have stronger defenses against your attacks.

The skill comes in quick decisions and knowledge on what you're currently facing, not necessarily the speed of your reflexes.

I was about to say the same thing. ARPG is more about strategy and combos rather than hand eye coordination.

It was just the easier illustration to make in terms of how complexity transfers into something simple, and decrease the "fun-factor". I don't mind a challenge, and I bet most don't, but we also want to have fun, especially in ARPGs. The thing with the loot system and difficulty scale is that it forces certain builds and meta's to be effective, playing none effectively is basically a waste that ends up reducing the fun factor as you get tired really really quickly.
03/18/2019 01:35 PMPosted by Cptcrunch
skill is less necessary in ARPGs because there isn't as much precision required
You can have an aRPG skill game without any precision involved at all (without playing yourself) - D2 MF routing is such type of a game, in which you make routes that the macro follows. Making and optimizing these routes involves a knowledge skill.

We can separate the skill in aRPGs in 4 different categories:
1) Precision
2) Knowledge
3) Theorycrafting
4) Efficiency

Efficiency is based on 1), 2) and 3), and is often used as a synonym for skill in aRPGs by many players although as you can see there is more to this.

Personally I would consider an aRPG flawlessly designed when:
- Precision and efficiency are important and the game progression depends on them
- All the knowledge could be acquired with playing the game ITSELF
- Theorycrafting is advanced/sophisticated and could be done completely without the need of Math

The itemization I have in mind complies with the above.
03/18/2019 02:54 PMPosted by Skelos

The itemization I have in mind complies with the above.
Quit talking about it and tell us about it lol.

I'd like to condense that into three skills of ARPGs. Knowledge and theorycrafting is one thing, this can be looked up to get a good skill set and attribute combination. The next part of knowledge and theorycrafting overlaps with efficiency... knowing what items that drop are useful or not when you have an itemization system better than D3 - meaning its not just one set that goes with your build, you might have a couple sets which could be mixed, legendaries might replace any of those slots, and rare/magic type items are still valuable but you are forced into this tier anyway because of the rariety of set and legendary items.

Then there is precision. That is quickly recognizing the what is moving in on you from the corner and knowing what they do and how vulnerable you are to it and how to counter it either by using skills or timing potion or buff or simply moving.
03/18/2019 06:03 PMPosted by UngivenFame
Knowledge and theorycrafting is one thing
Nah, they are quite different, involving completely different brain processes.

Knowledge is based on the ability to remember - it is the information your brain stores and applies in needed situations about the game. Theorycrafting on the other side is based on cognition (how you acquire knowledge) - the ability to deduce/think analytically. These two both depend on each other, but are different.

I'd define efficiency more in the context of multitasking - how one manages to do X number of things in the game for certain amount of time. The more precise and better execution you have, the more efficient you will be, but you can also be the most precise gamer and the lack of knowledge and good theorycrafting will make you super inefficient. Efficiency also includes how well you do under stress, when there is a lot to do, but time is ticking fast.

An aRPG game may involve any of these concepts and its playerbase may enjoy the different aspects of the skill categories differently. That is why the optimal case would be to deliver gameplay systems, which make a skill check for each of these components individually and as a group of 2, 3 and all 4.

If we relate D3 to the above it makes a check for all 4, but if you use a 3rd party website it may solve the knowledge and theorycrafting for you. This is why an optimal itemization and skill system have to be so complex that it will be hard to solve it by a 3rd party program/website, while at the same time keeping Math away will be a requirement in order the new players to learn everything fast and enjoy solving it by themselves as much as they can.
well some people like me, like the depth of games like PoE where you constantly learn, try out and explore new things........and then there are people which like braindead, repeating gameplay in contentless games. Diablo is a place for them, so everyone is happy i guess?
03/19/2019 03:01 AMPosted by Skelos
If we relate D3 to the above it makes a check for all 4, but if you use a 3rd party website it may solve the knowledge and theorycrafting for you. This is why an optimal itemization and skill system have to be so complex that it will be hard to solve it by a 3rd party program/website, while at the same time keeping Math away will be a requirement in order the new players to learn everything fast and enjoy solving it by themselves as much as they can.


I don't think that you would be able to make things too tough for really great players. The ones that can do the theorycrafting math. They would in time find the most optimal and efficient builds, along with everything else under the sun. I think that they would do it faster than what you think possible. That is unless you wanting a Mensa level (high IQ). Where only the top IQ's of the world would be able to play it. But doing that would mean that your game wouldn't sell well at all.
I love how people make Poe sound so complicated. While it looks overwhelming its actually fairly simple. The tree is simply do you want more life and defense or more damage. Pick a route. Can’t find something there is a search button and it highlights it al for you. There is almost no wrong way of pathing in Poe. Except when you spell cast vs melee abilities and such. You take what you want to build around.

Another thing is any class can do any spell/ability. With minor exceptions with their ascendancy which may favor a certain play style. But each class has 3 of them for diversity.

People want a simply arpg to play and made d3 that way and made it super stale. There is almost no gear grind these days. Even at season start it doesn’t take long to gear up in ancient gear.
03/19/2019 05:50 AMPosted by ShadowAegis
The ones that can do the theorycrafting math.
Theorycrafting and Math are two different things. I already said Math has to stay in the past and theorycrafting has to be sophisticated without any Math involved at all.
03/19/2019 06:24 AMPosted by Dmoney
I love how people make Poe sound so complicated. While it looks overwhelming its actually fairly simple. The tree is simply do you want more life and defense or more damage. Pick a route. Can’t find something there is a search button and it highlights it al for you. There is almost no wrong way of pathing in Poe. Except when you spell cast vs melee abilities and such. You take what you want to build around.

Another thing is any class can do any spell/ability. With minor exceptions with their ascendancy which may favor a certain play style. But each class has 3 of them for diversity.

People want a simply arpg to play and made d3 that way and made it super stale. There is almost no gear grind these days. Even at season start it doesn’t take long to gear up in ancient gear.

I think it's just a matter of striking a balance. D3 and PoE are both extremes. PoE isn't necessarily complicated, but there's a needlessly large amount of little things to micromanage that ultimately renders the game overwhelming for a lot of people. Having 3948567029 types of currency on top of 3908750 affixes and 490876567 skill/support gems on top of 398475938 types of items seems rather overkill. Complexity for it's own sake isn't really a great thing, and a lot of PoE's systems appear to be nothing more than needless padding designed to monopolize you entire game time hoping to keep you stuck studying and ultimately, lead you to make a really overpriced purchase in their mtx store.

The core gameplay isn't really that complex, though. The passive skill tree certainly isn't when you realize it's a matter of understanding how to combine keystones and finding the most optimized path to them within your build, but there's a metric ton of fat to trim all around the game. It just seems every new update they just build more fat which simply isn't needed to deliver a compelling experience. I can appreciate them coming up with new things, but a lot of it just feels bloated, and there's only so much time one can dedicate to a single game, which is a factor GGG doesn't seem to care much for.

D3, on the other hand, is a game that's scared to loose the training wheels. Everything is overly streamlined to the point where very little player agency is involved, no doubt to cater to a wider audience. If PoE's an overbloated morbidly obese being, D3 is the chronically anorexic counterpart, if you know what I mean. There's still some room to try stuff, but it's an exercise that's inevitably trivialized by massive set-imposed multipliers that render experimentation virtually pointless simply because the design team behind it was always obsessed with control.

Regardless, both games still hold great value for different reasons, but none really manage to hold my interest for long. PoE for expecting to overstay it's welcome far too much, and D3 because it gets boring too fast.
OP is the perfect customer for Diablo Immortal
03/19/2019 07:29 AMPosted by Blashyrkh
I think it's just a matter of striking a balance. D3 and PoE are both extremes.

I love your entire post.

What do you think of Warframe? While D3 and PoE are all about preparation and knowledge, there seems to be less of an emphasis on execution. I don't feel like I'm developing a skill when I play them. Conversely, Warframe does feel like it involves a lot of skill when you consider aiming and movement.
03/19/2019 06:58 AMPosted by Skelos
Theorycrafting and Math are two different things. I already said Math has to stay in the past and theorycrafting has to be sophisticated without any Math involved at all.


This is where Diablo 3 had potential with the rune setup back in V1.00. They altered how the game played(As well as elemental type for that skill), without going deep into numbers. There was a lot of ways to mix and max skills for a wide range of theory crafting without being forced to bust out a scientific calculator. I loved this fact with D3. They really needed legendary/set gear to support the skill/rune system and it would have turned out great. Legendary/sets would have been chosen based on the skills you want to use.

Instead, we have the opposite with how things developed.
03/19/2019 06:58 AMPosted by Skelos
03/19/2019 05:50 AMPosted by ShadowAegis
The ones that can do the theorycrafting math.
Theorycrafting and Math are two different things. I already said Math has to stay in the past and theorycrafting has to be sophisticated without any Math involved at all.


There are people that love to crunch the numbers to see which way is better path A or path B. Games will always deal with numbers so there will always be math in games.
03/19/2019 09:10 AMPosted by ShadowAegis
Games will always deal with numbers so there will always be math in games.
Math is ok, as long as all the Math in the game could be done by 95% of the players with the minimum age the game is designed for. In other words - simple Math like 2+2 is ok, complex one like differential equations and statistics to find out best builds is not.

03/19/2019 08:39 AMPosted by Cptcrunch
I don't feel like I'm developing a skill when I play them.
Try Bastion. The skill check you are looking for is there.

03/19/2019 09:07 AMPosted by Zeddicuus
This is where Diablo 3 had potential with the rune setup back in V1.00.
They changed a lot, yes. Right now I am looking forward Torchlight Frontiers to see how the guys there develop their itemization.
03/19/2019 08:37 AMPosted by Howdypardner
OP is the perfect customer for Diablo Immortal


That's the sad reality of the situation.
Embrace simplicity, and that's exactly what you will get.
03/19/2019 10:15 AMPosted by Shurgosa
Embrace simplicity
Simplicity is beautiful. Soccer is a game with simple rules, yet the most played one on planet Earth.
03/19/2019 06:24 AMPosted by Dmoney
I love how people make Poe sound so complicated. While it looks overwhelming its actually fairly simple. The tree is simply do you want more life and defense or more damage. Pick a route.

A better term to describe PoE might be, that the passive tree is unnecessarily complex/confusing.

As I said in an earlier post, they simply should have clumped up all nodal-points (or whatever they are called) of the same type together and alow people to put points into them. So instead of having twenty "+10 Dexterity" nodal-points spread across the tree, there should just be a single "+10 Dexterity per point" attribute in which you can spend points and so on. The larger nodal points could be separate in one way of form.
03/19/2019 10:44 AMPosted by clueso
03/19/2019 06:24 AMPosted by Dmoney
I love how people make Poe sound so complicated. While it looks overwhelming its actually fairly simple. The tree is simply do you want more life and defense or more damage. Pick a route.

A better term to describe PoE might be, that the passive tree is unnecessarily complex/confusing.

As I said in an earlier post, they simply should have clumped up all nodal-points (or whatever they are called) of the same type together and alow people to put points into them. So instead of having twenty "+10 Dexterity" nodal-points spread across the tree, there should just be a single "+10 Dexterity per point" attribute in which you can spend points and so on. The larger nodal points could be separate in one way of form.


No, that'd be dumb because it would make it too easy for all classes to access all skills on the board. The points serve a purpose to keep distance between different skills. Your "solution" would only cause problems that the game has already taken measures to avoid.

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