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Old 2013-07-10, 14:58   Link #1
Akuma Kinomoto
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Age: 23
RPG fans: self-contained battles or continuous survival?

A self-contained battle means your character(s) HP, MP, and whatever else are automatically fully restored after each fight while status ailments are cured. It looks like an easy concept to play with but I've noticed the fights have higher difficulty, sometimes to the point where each encounter should be treated like a boss fight. The restoration to stats is a benefit when each encounter can otherwise leave your character(s) with less than half HP, among other things.

Continuous survival means your HP, MP, and status ailments don't recover after every fight. You decide whether you want to use that potion to heal yourself because you're not only thinking about this fight but the one after that. And usually, ultimately, how much resources you have for the boss. The difficulty is from each fight wearing you down instead of a difficult battle itself.

What kind of battle among these two do you like more in your RPGs?
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Old 2013-07-10, 15:09   Link #2
ArchmageXin
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I rather take self-contained battle. It used to be for old school D&D to keep a tight read over spells/HP/Aliment and people has to conserve their resources, but now days even D&D fights are "5 Min workdays" then rest 8 hours.

So why the hassle? Continuous survival is a relic from last century.
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Old 2013-07-10, 15:10   Link #3
SilverSyko
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I don't think I've ever played an RPG with the former "self-contained" functions unless the characters have an ability that lets them regenerate fully after a battle is active.

Any examples of games with that sort of mechanic as the norm?
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Old 2013-07-10, 15:36   Link #4
ArchmageXin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSyko View Post
I don't think I've ever played an RPG with the former "self-contained" functions unless the characters have an ability that lets them regenerate fully after a battle is active.

Any examples of games with that sort of mechanic as the norm?
Dragon Age.

Drake Riders-Square Enix Game.

Last Ramendant-Square Enix.


And a early version, Chrono Trigger (Your mana/HP don't keep but aliment and KO condition reset after battle)
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Old 2013-07-10, 15:39   Link #5
Kaisos Erranon
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Both are good, and whichever one works depends entirely on the approach the game takes to combat; if you're forced to fight enemies constantly, don't have the characters regenerate HP. It's boring.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSyko View Post
I don't think I've ever played an RPG with the former "self-contained" functions unless the characters have an ability that lets them regenerate fully after a battle is active.
The World Ends With You.
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Old 2013-07-10, 15:47   Link #6
ArchmageXin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaisos Erranon View Post
Both are good, and whichever one works depends entirely on the approach the game takes to combat; if you're forced to fight enemies constantly, don't have the characters regenerate HP. It's boring.

The World Ends With You.
Why? It is boring. Only people who use "constant battles" are the 90s double dragon side scroller or games that artificially increase league by "random battling" (Such as Final Fantasy)
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Old 2013-07-10, 15:58   Link #7
RWBladewing
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For me, the number of battles is a big factor in determining which of these I prefer. My absolute ideal is a self-contained system with a small to medium number of enemy encounters with high difficulty so that each battle really feels like it matters and I don't have to deal with the often annoying upkeep of having to go through item or spell menus to heal after every battle.

However, if the battle rate is high, I much prefer continuous survival with lower difficulty or less time required per battle. Being forced to grind tons of battles that can take a very long time is my absolute most hated thing in RPGs and is why I will never play another Record of Agarest War game.
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Old 2013-07-10, 16:03   Link #8
shadow1296
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i think its more of what a game item system determines, self contained battles should be used where an item system only allows yous to carry a limited number of items or of a certain items its really annoying using up the healing items you need for a boss of the level before ever getting, while where an item system allows to carry a unlimited amount should be continuous survival because you don't have to worry about using the healing items before getting to the boss because if you use ten you probably have like thirty still in reserve
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Old 2013-07-10, 16:07   Link #9
Flying Dagger
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Like both.
Self contained battles can place more restrictions onto skill sets, item usage, etc. It can also be very tightly tuned or form some sort of a puzzle.

Continuous battles often allow you to min/max so much that the game becomes trivial.
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Old 2013-07-10, 16:29   Link #10
SilverSyko
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I can probably say after those few examples I prefer "continuous survival" then. I tend to like action RPG's the most so the former type of battle wouldn't particularly work in real-time combat.

And now that I think about it, I have played those "self-contained" games before, like Devil Survivor and Valkyria Chronicles. Only thing is I didn't really like any of them that much.
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Old 2013-07-10, 17:11   Link #11
FlareKnight
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I think both can work fine. The self-contained battles can definitely ramp up the difficulty since you have no reason to ration anything but items. While the continuous survival encounters make you pace yourself and not overuse things like spells.

Long as the people behind it handle it properly both can be fun. Kind of lean towards the continuous survival battles, but just a gut feeling on it.
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Old 2013-07-10, 17:34   Link #12
4Tran
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Unless the game is about constantly wearing your party down, don't both approaches come out to the same thing in the end? Most games have enough recovery items that you can be assured of fighting any major confrontation with full HP/MP anyways. An exception would be games like Etrian Odyssey where staying at full strength is one of the major challenges of the game - with life-draining floors, traps and lots of powerful enemies exist to drive up the difficulty.
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Old 2013-07-10, 20:44   Link #13
Akuma Kinomoto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Tran View Post
Unless the game is about constantly wearing your party down, don't both approaches come out to the same thing in the end? Most games have enough recovery items that you can be assured of fighting any major confrontation with full HP/MP anyways. An exception would be games like Etrian Odyssey where staying at full strength is one of the major challenges of the game - with life-draining floors, traps and lots of powerful enemies exist to drive up the difficulty.
It's usually the end game when that many recovery items are available but at that point not many things are dangerous regardless of battle format. It's about the different approaches to reach the same result, not the end itself.
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Old 2013-07-10, 21:21   Link #14
ArchmageXin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akito Kinomoto View Post
It's usually the end game when that many recovery items are available but at that point not many things are dangerous regardless of battle format. It's about the different approaches to reach the same result, not the end itself.
I mean it really depends on the game. Most games let u stack 99 potions then go to war, but then is tedious having that mage chick cast cure after every battle. Since you usually will juice your team back to the max anyway, why don't the gaming company just eliminate the potion/cast cure mechanic because it add nothing to the game.
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Old 2013-07-10, 21:25   Link #15
Kaisos Erranon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchmageXin View Post
Since you usually will juice your team back to the max anyway, why don't the gaming company just eliminate the potion/cast cure mechanic because it add nothing to the game.
Because, in some titles, that can that oversimplify the game, as well as make battles extremely boring?
I think resource management is a perfectly fine system, if the game is built around it.
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Old 2013-07-10, 21:30   Link #16
Von Himmel
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Self contained battle as long as they make the battles difficult. That makes us forced to think on how to beat the enemy instead of thinking the most efficient way to beat them.
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Old 2013-07-10, 21:47   Link #17
4Tran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akito Kinomoto View Post
It's usually the end game when that many recovery items are available but at that point not many things are dangerous regardless of battle format. It's about the different approaches to reach the same result, not the end itself.
Recovery items are usually generous enough that it's a non-issue for most RPGs. It's only really meaningful if there's a decent chance of a party wipe in regular encounters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaisos Erranon View Post
Because, in some titles, that can that oversimplify the game, as well as make battles extremely boring?
I think resource management is a perfectly fine system, if the game is built around it.
Out of curiosity, what games do you think features this well. I know of the Etrian Odysseys, but what else?
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Old 2013-07-10, 23:04   Link #18
Akuma Kinomoto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Tran View Post
Recovery items are usually generous enough that it's a non-issue for most RPGs. It's only really meaningful if there's a decent chance of a party wipe in regular encounters.
It only makes the self-contained fights more difficult since there's usually a good chance for a party wipe. I was calling them equally difficult through different means but it's not the same result when one format is trivialized.
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Old 2013-07-10, 23:28   Link #19
Kimidori
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSyko View Post
I don't think I've ever played an RPG with the former "self-contained" functions unless the characters have an ability that lets them regenerate fully after a battle is active.

Any examples of games with that sort of mechanic as the norm?
Riviera: The Promised Land
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Old 2013-07-11, 00:08   Link #20
Mahou
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Self-Contained: Lunar Silver Star Story for the PSP (I think) and Crimson Gem Saga: only after a level-up.

Anyway, IF the story is interesting enough, I'll take self-contained battles. Not interested in random challenging/frustrating encounters when I just want to see what happens next. For that, I have boss battles, although the frustrating attribute happens rarely. In most other cases, I don't mind the continuous battle-system that much as long as battles don't feel too dragged out or are of those annoying (feeling-wise) battles-after-every-second-step type.
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