Grinding or not grinding... that's the question

Games with combat, inventory, crafting and more beside a story and dating/life sim gameplay
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LittleMinnie
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Re: Grinding or not grinding... that's the question

Post by LittleMinnie »

I like grinding. In Loren it made the game easier for me to play, even though I was playing on easy. It also helped since Mesphit nearly creamed me when we battled in the forest. I'd personally hate it if it was gone, because it makes the game so much harder for me, and any game in general which is why I grind so much so I can get on with the story with ease and haste. In Planet Stronghold, I still cannot finish the game because even in very easy mode and easy, it was still TOO HARD. I couldn't even grind to help myself, because the time limits restricted me and annoyed me. In the final fight, I was planning to train my characters a bit, but then there was time limit so I couldn't even train and I had stop and never finish. I can't due without grinding, I like the story aspect much more and sometimes the fighting but less, but when I have limited time to do stuff or I can't grind, I can't play the game because I fail too much and grinding helps me finish the game easily.
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Jaeger
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Re: Grinding or not grinding... that's the question

Post by Jaeger »

^^^ Chapter 6 is the point of no return, thus any attempts at leveling and acquiring the best equipment must be done by the end of Chapter 5. Planning ahead is key the success to in Planet Stronghold. Since enemies have different types of defenses , I like swapping weapons of different damage types. Against heavily-armored enemies, having a character who can use Disrupt can make a difference between winning or losing.
Last edited by Jaeger on Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lonestar51
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Re: Grinding or not grinding... that's the question

Post by Lonestar51 »

@LittleMinnie
Some combat tips for Loren 1:
  • Get swords with different damage type. I remember there were some swords which were one or two points below the "best" but had different damage type. And then use the sword where the enemy is vulnerable (yes, you can change duuring the fight)
  • concentrate on one specific enemy at one time. Preferably a mage or a healer, if you can reach them
@jack1974
This desert looks so much ... deserted. Maybe I should go and build a nice town in it. :mrgreen:
at-a-glance
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Re: Grinding or not grinding... that's the question

Post by at-a-glance »

jack1974 wrote:I am not sure yet, but I might use a tool called Tiled (thanks to Aleema for telling me) to do isometric maps for the next RPGs:
Image
I managed to import the map in Ren'Py hacking the map file. Not perfect but works. Maybe when Anima is free from the PS2 framework I'll ask him to do a full parser :wink:
The advantage of using an external map editor is that is much faster than one built-in in the game, and even if we use it only for the terrain/background layer, it will still improve the map creation speed considerably :)
Is this for PS2 or all future RPGs?
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jack1974
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Re: Grinding or not grinding... that's the question

Post by jack1974 »

In PS2 for sure, but I'm thinking to use is also for Seasons Of The Wolf, since it would add a lot more gameplay and exploration (something that people asked for and that is hard to do with just backgrounds+sprites).
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LittleMinnie
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Re: Grinding or not grinding... that's the question

Post by LittleMinnie »

Jaeger wrote:^^^ Chapter 6 is the point of no return, thus any attempts at leveling and acquiring the best equipment must be done by the end of Chapter 5. Planning ahead is key the success to in Planet Stronghold. Since enemies have different types of defenses , I like swapping weapons of different damage types. Against heavily-armored enemies, having a character who can use Disrupt can make a difference between winning or losing.
Really? I don't remember the game saying that. I'd say the thing that held me back in the game the most is, psicons because all of my team was horrible, but I managed. problem is, I can't find a place to grind and I beat all the aliens on the map of each one. Funny thing is, in Loren the first time I played I didn't grind at all, and it was pretty smooth but I still can't get through PT.
Lonestar51 wrote:@LittleMinnie
Some combat tips for Loren 1:
  • Get swords with different damage type. I remember there were some swords which were one or two points below the "best" but had different damage type. And then use the sword where the enemy is vulnerable (yes, you can change duuring the fight)
  • concentrate on one specific enemy at one time. Preferably a mage or a healer, if you can reach them
@jack1974
This desert looks so much ... deserted. Maybe I should go and build a nice town in it. :mrgreen:
Loren was actually pretty easy for me, and the first time I didn't really even buy weapons and I didn't grind either. I actually found Loren's easy, easy, and Planet Stronghold, very easy, hard. I always kill the healers because they tend to annoy me and bring back everyone that I just killed. :evil:
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Jaeger
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Re: Grinding or not grinding... that's the question

Post by Jaeger »

LittleMinnie wrote: Really? I don't remember the game saying that. I'd say the thing that held me back in the game the most is, psicons because all of my team was horrible, but I managed. problem is, I can't find a place to grind and I beat all the aliens on the map of each one. Funny thing is, in Loren the first time I played I didn't grind at all, and it was pretty smooth but I still can't get through PT.
You must be playing an older version of the game since the game gives a fair warning before proceeding to Chapter 6. Also Very Easy mode doesn't exist in the later versions. If you complete every quest and clear out all enemies on the map, your main character will be able to do fine at level 15+. Unless you you distributed your skill points where it is not needed, your party should do okay without grinding any further. You can also stock up on grenades (especially ion grenades for the final battle) and lifegivers if still struggle.

Loren is definitely the easier game of the two.
Last edited by Jaeger on Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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jack1974
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Re: Grinding or not grinding... that's the question

Post by jack1974 »

Still I remember some Loren players getting ragequit at some encounters like Toobar battle :lol: but that was in the earlier versions.
As for PS1, the biggest problem was that there were many non-combat skill that weren't really needed/useful to finish the game. So in practice if you put all the skills in the battle skills, the game was easy enough, but if you put some also in the non-combat skills the game was much harder. This is something that won't happen in PS2 luckily :)
peregrin
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Re: Grinding or not grinding... that's the question

Post by peregrin »

Hi,

I like where you/Anima are going with the `grinding is useless after point X'. You have my axe. And my credit card number, probably.

Anyway, I just wanted to add my thoughts in grinding. Incorporating grinding (by which I mean `unlimited random encounters with unlimited benefits') IMO raises two concerns:
(a) annoying interruptions in the game flow because the game can't tell whether you're travelling because you want to grind or whether you're travelling because you want to get somewhere. FF solves this with airships, Ultima V/VI/VII solve it with a magic carpet, while many other games, such as QfG, solve it with running. Except for Ultima IV, where running from a fight is not virtuous and hence a bad idea.
(b) you can't tell how much you're supposed to have levelled up to proceed.

You're mostly addressing point (b) here. Please note that if grinding can have significant effect (including providing you with advanced equipment, which seems to be the plan), then there should always be a way to back off from an encounter to grind some more, if otherwise you might have no chance to win (at least if you prefer the LucasArts school of game design over the Sierra On-Line school of game design.) If that doesn't fit the story, one approach may be to disable save games while you're in such a `critical section' of the story.

Meanwhile, addressing concern (a) is also worthwhile-- perhaps you can re-use the hovercraft for that purpose? Note that FF VI had one random encounter on the airship, which was a special boss. That one was fun, because it was a one-time interruption. Multiple of those would be conceivable (e.g., 3 different one-time bosses that intercept the hovercraft, plus location-specific things).


As for Tiled: I'm not sure if you have noticed this, but you can also use Tiled to have multiple layers on top of each other (or at least that used to be possible). For example, you can have a ground layer (desert), then a rubble layer with optional rubble tiles, and then a cactus layer with optional cactus tiles. If you have 4 desert tiles, 4 rubble tiles, and 3 cactus tiles, that's 4*5*4=80 different combinations, leading to higher variation in your maps. (The Mana World (free/Open Source MMORPG with lots and lots and lots of grinding) used this to quite some effect, though most tmw maps were built with the older Java version of Tiled, which may have had a different feature set.)

BTW, since this has been brought up in this thread and not been deemed off-topic: the hardest difficulty level on PS was very appealing-- fights were challenging, which made them fun. Loren was easier in that respect, but then again, I spent a lot of time grinding in Loren. (Incidentally, that was also the point when I stopped playing Loren for a couple of months. In case you wanted another data point on this. :-)

-- peregrin
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jack1974
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Re: Grinding or not grinding... that's the question

Post by jack1974 »

peregrin wrote:You're mostly addressing point (b) here. Please note that if grinding can have significant effect (including providing you with advanced equipment, which seems to be the plan), then there should always be a way to back off from an encounter to grind some more, if otherwise you might have no chance to win (at least if you prefer the LucasArts school of game design over the Sierra On-Line school of game design.) If that doesn't fit the story, one approach may be to disable save games while you're in such a `critical section' of the story.
In PS1 I had the option to "retreat and reconsider your option" in most cases, but in some cases it won't fit the story (a sudden attack, ambush, etc). So not sure yet but very likely the approach will be similar, one thing is that the game will autosave before each mission so you can retry, and another thing is that there will still be the exploration part, so while in some cases there will be ambush where you can't spot the enemy before, in most cases you can spot an enemy and use the good old "save, try the encounter and if is too hard reload savegame" :mrgreen:
peregrin wrote:Meanwhile, addressing concern (a) is also worthwhile-- perhaps you can re-use the hovercraft for that purpose? Note that FF VI had one random encounter on the airship, which was a special boss. That one was fun, because it was a one-time interruption. Multiple of those would be conceivable (e.g., 3 different one-time bosses that intercept the hovercraft, plus location-specific things).
Well in this case will be easily solved because even the grinding will be under the form of "missions" (if you check PS2 thread there's a screenshot mockup). So in practice you specifically choose to do the extra grinding missions, you can't stumble on an enemy because you wanted to travel in another place :)
peregrin wrote:As for Tiled: I'm not sure if you have noticed this, but you can also use Tiled to have multiple layers on top of each other (or at least that used to be possible). For example, you can have a ground layer (desert), then a rubble layer with optional rubble tiles, and then a cactus layer with optional cactus tiles. If you have 4 desert tiles, 4 rubble tiles, and 3 cactus tiles, that's 4*5*4=80 different combinations, leading to higher variation in your maps. (The Mana World (free/Open Source MMORPG with lots and lots and lots of grinding) used this to quite some effect, though most tmw maps were built with the older Java version of Tiled, which may have had a different feature set.)
Yes I know you can have layers, but so far ahem I only made a quick importer in the tool I use (Ren'Py). Once Anima has some time I'll probably ask him to do a proper importer (there are even some pygame examples, but I can't figure them out). But for the use I plan to do now will be enough, not ready to transition to a full isometric game yet or use advanced features :oops:

About the difficulty, you stopped playing Loren for two months because you grinded too much? so you didn't finish the story? that is weird but interesting :lol:
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