incentives to use all party members

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jack1974
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Re: incentives to use all party members

Post by jack1974 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:12 pm

Yes though I won't require to use both Althea/Shea. Only the one chosen as main character, but if you want you can leave the sibling out (though would be weird!).
Also in SOTW there are the character personal quests in the main storyline, so you will level them up all during those :)

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Re: incentives to use all party members

Post by candesco » Sat May 17, 2014 12:48 pm

I don't like the idea of being forced to swap party members. I play games for the fun and wanted to take deciscions on my own, how i wanted to play it.
I've played some partybased games, like drakensang, icewind dale, neverwinter nights 2, to name a few and i was free to form my own party as i see fit. In my opinion it also doesn't work to force you to use every partymember.
Partymembers which aren't used in your baseparty can be used in an other way, just as that was the case in Drakensang: The Dark Eye. I liked that idea more.
Last edited by candesco on Tue May 20, 2014 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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fabulaparva
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Re: incentives to use all party members

Post by fabulaparva » Mon May 19, 2014 6:41 pm

Ahem, I like being forced to use all possible party members. It's very annoying if a game advertises that there are N playable characters, but when I play the game, I have no incentive to use anything but my A team, which would be like 20% or less of all of them. :P

Most commonly used incentives that I've encountered are like the one used in Loren @Hammerhands, where the party splits up. Similar solutions have been used, eg, in Aldorlea's Book of Legends, where at the Boss fights, the heroes are attacked from several sides at the same time, and thus the party needs to be balanced out to anything from 2 to 4 different teams. A more creative solution would be something like the one used in Deadly Sin 2, where the melee members of the party storm the tower where no magic can be used and the mages go up the tower where melee attacks are of no use. Another exercise in this happens in Laxius Force III where the characters are divided into groups by the element they represent. If the player chooses, say, an air-aligned character to go into a water cave, the character's HP will be squished and it'll fight really slowly.

So, one way to force people to fight with different combinations, would be to add a storyline quest, which can be completed only with a group of thieves, and other quests than can be completed only with mages and so on, but not with a combined group. Or there could be a storyline quest that requires eg. speed above certain level. Not that this method is very innovative, it has been done several times before, but in my opinion, it does work. EDIT: Also, one of those weaker, "annoying" characters could have nice money or equipment stealing skills, etc, that would benefit the player if they used the character during fights.

To force using different characters through required rest is an interesting idea. However, I do agree with the comment said here earlier, that on Easy difficulty, a player should be able to lean mainly on their most favourite bunch, at least without too much of a hassle.

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Re: incentives to use all party members

Post by Troyen » Fri Oct 31, 2014 8:26 am

I think the split party in Loren Chapter 4 or the occasional story-driven pairings (like during Nutt's dwarves) are good ways to "force" using other party members...as long as those mechanics are used sparingly.

Alternatively, instead of forcing it, you could just remove one of the disadvantages of not using characters for a while:

At the start of a fight, I have 8 party members present, but I can only choose six to fight. Presumably, the two left out aren't sitting on the sidelines cheering, but helping off-screen (or fighting other enemies). Why not give battle experience to all characters in your current party? This also prevents characters from falling "too far behind", as it's much more difficult to bring in a character three levels lower than the average, so they just keep getting sat. Now you'd have characters all around the same-ish level, so it's easier to voluntarily swap as desired or for specific fights.

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Re: incentives to use all party members

Post by Taleweaver » Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:48 pm

In SotW (with fewer characters to begin with), I made a point of including a few quests where certain characters are not available. So it's very hard to entirely skip out a character entirely.

Effect
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Re: incentives to use all party members

Post by Effect » Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:26 pm

jack1974 wrote:
An idea I had, but of course need a lot of testing/planning, is that your characters carry over damage/mana used for a certain amount of time.
For example, every time you lose HP, you can still heal etc, but after a fight depending on how much damage you sustained, your MAX HP is temporarily lowered by a %. This until you reach a specific checkpoint of the game
the problem with a system like this is it would really promote meta-gaming imo as playing organically could end up with you spending to much time holding of your favourite/most powerful party in order to fight bosses. Not to mention some people just prefer to play with a cast of there own characters.

I don't know if it would be possible but I would promote party rotation through buffs rather then devaluing stats. Fresh faces in the party should get xp bonuses or something similar that way rotating your party would be beneficial but wouldn't force you into using characters you don't like

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Re: incentives to use all party members

Post by SweetLove » Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:03 pm

Indeed. The problem with attempting to force the rotation of characters for this issue is that when a player forms a party, it's formed based on specific roles in mind, and thus when character X is rotated in in place character Y, X merely becomes a replacement, or an inferior version of Y. But X has to fulfill the place of Y because of how the party is built, and you probably don't have enough characters with enough levels or equipment to replace and rebuild the party entirely. This actually hurts the immersion experience more in my opinion because it devalues them as individual characters.

Thus I prefer the technique of splitting up the party or some other method where different formations/parties can be run without overlapping or in conflict with each other. Other solutions that I found interesting was adding "support" roles to characters so they can all be useful in their own way without being in the main party, or making experience gain universal so that the player has more diversity in his or her actions throughout the game.

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Re: incentives to use all party members

Post by kadakithis » Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:07 am

I mean I like having a specific party member, sometimes for plot reasons. One time I played Loren, I thought it would be cool to play it with only the female characters due to the whole Amazon thing, and Dora was often dead weight to me, and goodness be that made some fights hard without certain characters. But unless made otherwise, that made it fun and kinda part of the experiance.

While SotW doesn't have too many characters, and it was easy to rotate, Loren had so many there were always a few that just couldn't keep up, especially when 2 slots were always taken by Loren and the PC. Mesphit, Dora, Apolishimo for some reason I have trouble keeping up to date usually.And when I had to use them it was always, Okay you die we will handle it. Due to the exp not meted out to the party a large cast eventually means taking someone along means dead weight or grinding them into oblivion. Myrth and Apolishimo have faught enough 2 on 2 mage battles to have hundreds of fame if it were allowed, lol.

Most of my need to grind is my demand for balance. I don't know how ridiculous I am for playing many hours grinding in SotW so that the characters would be even, purposefully leaving out the powerhouses, making fights harder, so that everyone was mostly on the same page.

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jack1974
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Re: incentives to use all party members

Post by jack1974 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:09 am

Yes the problem is mainly if the player DOESN'T rotate the "roster" and the XP is assigned only to the current active party, there are going to be some characters that inevitably fall behind in XP/level. Solutions could be:
- at specific key points of the plot, auto-advance all characters (I did that in SOTW if you play in Easy level at beginning of chapter 3 for example)
- add some mini/meta game. I don't remember which game it was, but I'm talking about 1990-something, but you could tell the unselected characters to do a job while you were adventuring with the selected party. I remember I had fun with that system because when I got back to the hometown, I would check the progress of the unselected characters, and was a nice minigame in itself :)
Probably there are also other solutions but those two are the ones that comes to mind to me...

kadakithis
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Re: incentives to use all party members

Post by kadakithis » Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:48 am

Both of those ideas sound great. And really giving them quest exp and staggering when you meet them has worked out great. Even characters I never used, actually did pretty well at the end of Loren, and I always play on Normal so sub par characters that have an exp that keeps them comparable to the monsters maybe IS the best shot.

Not quite the same, but my issue with balance was keeping the more powerful OUT of the fight,more than keeping the smaller members in. Rotating isn't too hard at all with 8 characters, but even being a stickler on it, 12 can be hard. Also there were relatively few battles say in Loren where the others could catch up to Loren/PC without them also increasing. My main problem when I played SotW was I got them at different levels, so I sat Vealis on the sidelines for a couple battles, and the twins caught up, then Riley had to sit out for a few more battles, I played half a season trying to use Krimm only as a last resort. Chalassa was difficult because exp on quests are given to everyone. I was more prepared by the time Rowinda and Jariel came around, but Spring was hard, trying to play with less than optimal fighters made me sweat even on normal.

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