Author Topic: Rogue-like without combat  (Read 7957 times)

AquaTsar17

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Rogue-like without combat
« on: April 02, 2012, 02:27:37 PM »
The idea of a roguelike without combat has been discussed in many places before, but I am curious about something. What do you think of a roguelike where combat, and all it's associated stats + inventory mechanics, were included in a game where combat is not the point?

In other words, a game where you could fight all sorts of people but the point is actually to say travel between towns acting as a merchant. Or something similar to Rune Factory, where you need to farm but you can also fight stuff. (Though Rune Factory does still have a combat emphasis, since you can't win or end the game without fighting.)

Any thoughts on this? Clearly the fun of a game would depend on what else you do, but do you think it would be bad to include combat mechanics in an otherwise non-combat game?

Hi

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Re: Rogue-like without combat
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2012, 04:46:55 PM »
If fighting it not the point, bump to attack should only be the default for hostile creatures, the vast majority of creatures would be neutral or friendly. 

kraflab

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Re: Rogue-like without combat
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2012, 08:19:48 PM »
You can definitely make a game like this and still keep the fun factor.  One example that springs to mind is penumbra: overture.  The game is the best horror-atmospheric game I've ever played and I highly recommend it.  You can fight the creatures that you come across, and even kill them, but it is dangerous and not necessary.  This might not be the best example, but it's the one I thought of.  I do think though if you really want to make combat not the point, it should be possible (although maybe challenging) to avoid it entirely.  Keeping with my example, there are stealth sequences where you are trying to avoid these patrolling demonic hounds.  If you screw up it isn't game over though, as you can survive a fight with them.  The idea is that the fight is a risk not worth intentionally taking.  This can be seen in roguelikes where the enemies are actually intelligent and you might have to decide if it's really worth fighting a particularly powerful monster.  You could extend this idea to encompass all combat.

In my opinion, I find that combat gets boring if there is no visible gain for me as a player.  I like to see the exp bar go up, or to see rare loot get dropped.  So if there is a LOT of combat, I think it needs some kind of reward (or it just needs to be really entertaining, but then that would make the game more about combat!)  I don't know how you would have everything like a roguelike but still not have combat as the point.  If I get stats and items, how are they not important to gameplay, but still important to combat (which apparently exists in some sense because there is a reason I am increasing my stats)?  I guess another option would be to make the actual combat stats very minimal in comparison to other stats (for example horseback riding in your merchant example, to enable faster travel)

jasonpickering

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Re: Rogue-like without combat
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2012, 07:54:03 PM »
I think this could work, but I would say that combat should be a means to the end. think about stealth games where you can kill an enemy, but your main goal is to not do that. I would say you need to think of a reason for combat to be the less optimal route. perhaps if a corpse is found more enemies spawn.

yam655

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Re: Rogue-like without combat
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2012, 05:00:07 PM »
Check out Cataclysm. <http://whalesdev.com/>

It was reviewed on Roguelike Radio <http://roguelikeradio.blogspot.com/2012/01/episode-20-cataclysm.html> where they talked about it.

Of note: While there are a variety of creatures, most of them will easily kill you, and you gain no experience for killing them.

Of course, I could see a game take a mixed approach, where you can win the game without combat but you do gain skills by killing things -- they're just exclusively skills related to killing, maiming and torture...

Cheers,
Steven

Omnomnom

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Re: Rogue-like without combat
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2012, 07:23:14 PM »
Quote
What do you think of a roguelike where combat, and all it's associated stats + inventory mechanics, were included in a game where combat is not the point?

I hope it works because that's sort of what I plan for the roguelike I am making. I don't plan on having XP in the game so there's no point killing monsters, except for survival, or for food, or other practical reasons.

One of the recent 7 day roguelikes was similar. I can't remember the name. In that game you landed on a planet with limited ammo and had to destroy a transmitter and get back to the ship. Aliens would attack you. You didn't want to kill them you just wanted to complete the objective. I don't think there was any XP in that game either. It worked anyway.

Quendus

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Re: Rogue-like without combat
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2012, 11:22:33 AM »
Just for the record, that was Mutant Aliens! (RT thread, github downloads). While the combat "isn't the point", on any difficulty above 4 you're pretty much forced to do some killing, even though fleeing is a better strategy in most cases.