Why do people enjoy RTwP (Real-Time with Pause) combat ?

Which combat (timing) system do you prefer?

  • Turn-based

    Votes: 17 54.8%
  • Real-time

    Votes: 3 9.7%
  • Real-Time with Pause

    Votes: 7 22.6%
  • I don't care, they're all fun!

    Votes: 2 6.5%
  • I hate combat. Give me an adventure game now!

    Votes: 2 6.5%

  • Total voters
    31

Pladio

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Hello all,

I just bought NWN and NWN2 Complete on GOG on sale.
I have also played through KOTOR and KOTOR2 and around 10 hours of Mass Effect.

I do not understand why people enjoy RTwP.
It's a complete immersion breaker for me.

Why wouldn't you just have it turn based or real time.

It's not real time because all I do is pause every five seconds to change orders to all of my characters (e.g. you enlarge Bevil, Bevil attack dwarf, main char fire arrow).

It's not turn based, because I can't see who is playing next.

I got through KOTOR and KOTOR 2 because I really liked the rest of the game, but combat was a low-point for me.


I am not sure I want to go through NWN2, because of it though.

So, what combat (timing) system do you guys prefer ?
 
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Because it's better than real time without pause, as 99% of games are these days?

Also, once you have your orders you can unpause and watch a pretty quick fight that looks realistic. Pure turn based loses a bit when you can walk around the enemy attacking it, while it just stands there like a statue.

If you queue the commands in KOTOR you can sit back and watch an awesome light sabre show. Would lose a bit in pace and effects if you gave it a ponderous chess tempo.

Though I agree tactical depth suffers with real time, and it becomes more reflex-based, so overall I prefer TB.
 
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Didn't we have this poll just a few weeks ago? ;)

To me, it depends on the game.

For multiplayer, I need real-time combat or the game breaks down. I consider the pause option a bonus - but I can do without it if I must.

The exception to this rule would be Divinity Original Sin - because it's two-player only. That makes the flow workable in turn-based and is actually really wonderful. But with 4+ players, it would be too slow to be enjoyable at length.

For singleplayer, it depends on the kind of game we're talking about.

For party based games, I definitely prefer turn-based. It lends itself well to nuanced tactical decision making - and it makes me feel like I'm in control. Every single real-time combat system I've tried (with or without pause) has made me feel out of control to an extent, and I always feel like I'm struggling to make my characters do exactly what I want.

In theory, it should be possible to create a real-time combat system with a sufficiently sophisticated AI - which would enable me to give precise commands and expect my party members to follow them to the letter, but I've never seen it actually work.

If it's a game like Skyrim or System Shock - immersion is key and must take precedence over everything else, and turn-based combat breaks immersion for me in that kind of game. I need a visceral real-time combat system in this case, but I don't think pause is needed - and it would sort of break the flow.

An example of this is Fallout 3, with the VATS system - which I almost never use. Precisely because it breaks the flow.
 
Well, there is one game series which kind of solved this problem, and I am planning to use the same for my game more or less, and that is might & magic. You can either do real-time or turn-based, and switch between them, so if you feel comfortable you'll win just switch to real-time and watch the show... and if you see things start getting rough just switch to turn-based.

The big draw-back of turn-based is easy battles or big battles or such which might take forever to finish. But for tough battles and boss battles and such, the RTwP is really not good, also KOTOR has extremly bad and simplistic combat, so it is possibly one of the worst examples.
 
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I get that turn based offers more tactical options and is all around better option for strategic combat, but real time with pause just *flows* better.

One of the most memorable moments in baldur's gate for me was when my party swept through Xvart village effortlessly drowning the village in blood. During that moment I really sensed how powerfull my party had become. Those little buggers kept just coming from all directions, heck they even summoned a cave bear for help, but they had no chance. At some point they all began running away in sheer terror, but minc's and kiwan's arrows knew no mercy. :)

Bg 1 has couple of similar situations like the gnoll stronghold… turn based combat couldn't deliver that kind of excitement. It was a joy to see how effortlessly my experienced bunch adventures admistered justice for the sword coast :)

And when combat encounters become be more difficult later on, you can easilly change the pace and take your time. I love those mage battles in bg2 :)

Edit: I'm not saying every game must be designed like that, but each system has it's merits. Divinity orginal sin combat was so much fun even if it was turn based. Larian some how managed to make it feel very immersive. I forgot entirely that there were rounds between combat.

Then again i prefer real time combat, when there is no party, like gothic 2 or skyrim.
 
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I like Dez's explanation.

My beef, among all combat systems, is with realtime combat - I've never yet found a game that felt solid and satisfying in terms of melee combat. To me, games like skyrim still feel like swatting at paper dolls. I think that hand to hand combat is not something that has yet been well-simulated, and is fairly immersion-breaking in itself.
 
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I hate NWN. No point explaining why.

In Kotor games it's IMO well done and I had no problems with immersion or whatever there.
But only in Mass Effect you may see it's full glory by playing on hard. You don't really need to use it in easy or normal setting except in just a few battles where you can't rely on AI but really have to micromanage sidekicks. Then again, sidekicks AI in ME is far superior than AI in NWN.

To be honest, I don't really care what combat system is used in a game. If it's designed well, I'm enjoying any type.

But still I'll vote for the last option although it's not really true. I don't hate combat.
While ME is 50:50 shooter:RPG, it contains for me the most important feature.
Puzzles. Minigames. Those are not hard really, but are there. And I adore minigames and cracking puzzles more than any type of combat.
And what are adventures known for? Puzzles.
 
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I like Dez's explanation.

My beef, among all combat systems, is with realtime combat - I've never yet found a game that felt solid and satisfying in terms of melee combat. To me, games like skyrim still feel like swatting at paper dolls. I think that hand to hand combat is not something that has yet been well-simulated, and is fairly immersion-breaking in itself.

Did you try dark-souls 1 or 2 ? very good melee combat...
 
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Did you try dark-souls 1 or 2 ? very good melee combat…

I did - many of friends said the same thing. Good games, but the combat didn't do it for me. Certainly an improvement on previous games, but not to the point where it felt satisfying and convincing to me.
 
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I agree with pretty much everything Gaxkang says. RTwP is just a good compromise between RT and TB, attempting to address the biggest negatives of both, hopefully, resulting in what Dez suggests is a better flow.

All three require properly getting used to and require specific skills and routines and it's normally the one that the player has most experience with that they feel most comfortable with. So Gothic's ideal of a system which could offer all three by option would be an interesting test at a please-all.
 
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A game that is real time, then full turn based for combat is far more of an immersion breaker for me
 
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well, I think immersion is driven mostly by the imagination anyway - there are very few games with zero abstraction between the player and the world so you're always having to forgive SOMETHING from intruding upon your play experience.

then again I have to admit that, both with games like Skryim and Baldur's Gate, combat is the part I least look forward to. the world shape is so good in the former and the dialogue is so good in the latter that it's hard not to see the combat as the break between the REAL good stuff!

essentially I agree with Joxer above that combat's a thing you look past to find all the puzzles :3
 
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RTwP vs. TB, the endless debate!

Personally, I like both systems. I thoroughly enjoyed Avadon 2 with it's TB combat, and I thoroughly enjoyed BG1 and 2 with the RTwP.

I think people like RTwP because it's something different. It's not as fast and "twitchy" as pure action combat, yet it's not completely slow and methodical as TB.

So, you kind of get the best of both worlds with RTwP. You can play some battles in full-on real-time, and you can pause and issue commands for the trickier battles.

I'll say this. Playing difficult encounters in BG2 was simply a joy for me. Same with the first game, really, but BG2 seemed to ramp up the difficulty even more, which was nice. But the combat system was such a joy to use, I really fell in love with RTwP by playing it in those games.

There's just something about pausing, issuing your commands, being very tactical and strategical, then unpausing to see how it all unfolds. When everything goes right and you start to sense the tide turning in your favor in those tricky battles, man, it's a thing of beauty!

So in all honesty, I actually prefer RTwP a bit to TB. Don't get me wrong, TB is great, too, but if I were designing my dream RPG, it would be a RTwP system most likely.
 
For me, real time with pause is pretty much the best of two worlds (for party-based games):
With pure real time, you can't really take your time, plan and give detailed orders to the party, and things that are not easily accessible right away don't get used much. This is for an example why I never bothered using any spells in Ultima 7, it meant digging through the spellbok in combat, and that was just annoying to do.

On the other hand, with turnbased, you need to constantly give orders to your characters, even if it's just "do what you did last turn". This can make fights rather tedious, where I just end up constantly giving the "attack" command to my party members.

With real time with pause, the game don't need to ask you when it's a characters turn, the characters will keep doing what you order them to do, until you give them a new order. And when you do want the characters to act a certain way (you want to tell them to cast certain spells, or position the party in a specific way), you can just pause the game and do it. Menu diving is also a lot less tedious when you don't need to worry about a pure real time element.
 
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This goes down the path that choosing the type of combat is just what it takes.
RTwP can be done poorly.
 
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For me, it's my least favorite system. I prefer tactical games with turn-based systems when you control a whole party, despite the occasional tedium. A turn-based system that allows you to accelerate trivial combat by making the character do the same thing as a previous turns is a big plus. Usually it's a simple spacebar input or such.

Now I agree sometimes it's fun to see what the AI will do when you let your party run without control in a real time with pause system. But more often than not the AI is so bad that they don't do very well unless they are incredibly overpowered. So lack of control usually results in frustration for me. I almost always pause and issue orders every turn or so. For example, I certainly could not have beat Drakensang: The River of Time + its expansion without pausing every turn for most battles. Only near the end did some battles become trivial enough that I could let the default melee behaviors free run.

Regarding real time action games, well those are different. If you care about simulation and immersion, then obviously real time is the way to go, and it's only really good for a party size of one. Which is why realtime "strategy" games can drive me crazy. :)
 
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turn based all the way, but I can play RTwP, as long as I have the same number of options that I have in turn based.
 
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I'm fine with whatever system as long as it's executed well. But if I really need to pick one, I would go with RtwP for the reasons explained by Fnord and Dez (plus, my favourite games are all RtwP = BG2, IWD1) :)

While I love playing D:OS, it just takes ages to complete one combat, to a point I don't feel like I've done much but it's already time to go back to house work or other stuff (I'm doing co-op with hubby). I also like playing Diablo 3, but essentially it's ARPG with nothing much but action, and I do get bored of it quite quick. It's really just fun when you don't have much time to really get into gaming.
 
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