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War RPG
Jakkar
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March 16, 2011 - 8:15 am
Member Since: February 11, 2011
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... Why hasn't there been a War RPG yet? By this I mean a cRPG in the fashion of anything from Baldur's Gate to Deus Ex, set in an active war zone in which you interact with the belligerants and influence the outcome of battles by your choices and achievements in completing tasks, and your involvement in the conflict itself.

Ideally, one focused on trench warfare, which provides a fantastic basis for an achievable design, naturally limited by the deadly risks of leaving the trench zone.

Has there been one and I've simply missed it? I've written a few designs for such things in the past but nothing beyond personal wishfulness. I recall a few of the fantasy RPGs like Neverwinter Nights dipped briefly into battlefield scenarios, but the indulgence was woefully brief.

It strikes me as strange because I can think of no neater fit for the bizarre 'tiny zones packed with important quests, fetch tasks and murderings' gameplay cliche than running messages, logistics and special operations missions in a trench war.

...

Yes, I'm playing Men of War -.-

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Steerpike
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March 16, 2011 - 9:20 am
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So you're thinking small unit tactics, maybe phased real time like they had in UFO: Aftershock, but also characters and a storyline? As opposed to whole-army commanding on a strategic-RPG level?

 

There isn't much that I can think of. You might try Nival's Silent Storm, which was a pretty good WW2 tactical game with many story and quest elements. Recruiting characters and stuff from personnel files, personalities on the battlefield, tough challenge. It's from around 2002 I think.

 

World in Conflict isn't an RPG but has a rich story and focuses on those small-squad tactics. I loved it.

 

On the PS3 there's Valkyria Chronicles, which is just fantastic provided you don't mind the anime style and storyline.

 

Games like Shining Force are beloved. It's odd you don't see more, especially in a more realistic setting.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

Jakkar
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March 16, 2011 - 10:12 am
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Aware of all those mentioned, and I see your interpretation, but you're not quite nailing what I mean. I'm wondering why there are no RPGs, and by that I mean full on plot, quest, inventory managing, rich story, dialogue tree and multiple choices in most situations, that style of game, applied to a dedicated wartime setting. We have post-apocalyptic wastelands, we have dystopic future cities, we have fantasy countrysides full of small towns, but we don't have a wartime campaign with a rich plot and a freeform gameplay style. Consider the PS2/Xbox open world war sandbox 'Mercenaries' – and consider playing a similar role in a game emphasising plot and depth rather than over the top action.

Imagine playing a skilled specialist mercenary or black-ops trooper stuck on the front lines after a failed mission, freelancing for various competing colonels and captains on one side who each have their own perspective on the war and their own personal goals – treachery and honour, assassinations and message running, fire support and reconaissance. Perhaps even defecting, or playing double-agent, or simply playing both sides off against one another if you found a way to cross no-man's land without getting shot by either side.

.. YUMMY!

Edit: Sleepy Jakkar man recognises, in his current state of emotional corpsitude, that he may have sounded rather unfriendly there. He is however far too tired to correct it, and hopes the Steerpike man knows the Jakkar has a great respect for him and enjoys his feedback much. Aha. Hahaha. Hah. *headdesksnore*

Jarrod
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March 16, 2011 - 10:44 pm
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I guess one problem might be that a lot of MMOs don't seem to have persistant winners etc, so wars are always eternal with neither side being the decisive winner.  Against the backdrop of a war that is bound to have no winners, maybe it would be pretty boring?  That's the drawback with MMO's - you go to great lengths to kill the main villain, you get a great cinematic (if you're lucky), and then the villain is back there the next respawn, waiting for the next raid to come and kill him/her/it.

 

Incidentally, and partially de-railingly, I see that there's a Transformers MMO on the cards, which is rather thrilling to TF fans like myself - which will presumably be set against the backdrop of a war.  However, I don't know which continuity it'll follow (G1 or War Within PLEASE!), or what RPG elements it will have.  What I'd like to see would be that your character actually increases in size as you increase in level - so you could compete with the Unicrons and Trypticons and Metroplexes of the story.

 

Actually, maybe that would suck, as about 6 months into it, everyone would be mega huge.  Maybe just increase from Rumble size to Soundwave size.  That would work.

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

Jakkar
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March 17, 2011 - 12:04 am
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Jarrod: I'm actually suggesting/discussing a solely singleplayer, or at most party-multiplayer co-operative RPG =) A trench MMO would be an entirely different prospect, one I'd be happy to discuss seperately but.. Nah, this is just about story-rich RPG gameplay ^^

As for the TF MMO... I don't see any way it can work comfortable unless it's set during the Golden Age of Cybertron, when there were thousands of weak, faceless little robots quietly splitting into two factions as the civil war began. It's the only period in Transformers that has the scale and anonymity necessary for an MMO. If it isn't set this way, I'll be.. even more disappointed than I think I already will be. Or would, if I had any hope for it =D

Increasing in size is a notion that makes me uncomfortable - most of them never really changed, or did it just once (i.e. in a million years or whatever Optimus goes from his little midgety Orion Pax incarnation to Optimus Prime and stays that way - or Hotrod ascending to Rodimus just the once with the direct aid of the Matrix - key events that shouldn't be reduced a sequence of repeated upgrades).

Thinking about it, I imagine it will be very City of Heroes, assembling your character from a set of predefined archetypes with a toybox of powers and themes. There'll be a lot of helicopters, to say the least. I hope decepticons will be granted superior flight powers. Ideally I'd want action heavy combat mirroring the 1980s animated movie, where every colossal warrior still uses cover cautiously, and rips apart their environment in battle.

OOH, and lots of melee!

*injects himself with the excitement-quashers D:*

Jarrod
Brisbane, Australia
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March 17, 2011 - 10:33 pm
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Man, sorry, don't know why I thought we were talking about wartime MMO RPGs...

 

I guess the thing about RPGs is that you get to make yourself unique, but being in a war you're kinda just one of the relatively faceless grunts, so maybe it seems a little counter-intuitive.  As far as I know, you're not really encouraged to be unique and go your own way in armies, but I could be mistaken.  Also, I don't know what role-playing elements you could include during a war - one thinks you'd just be cast in your one specialist role (if you have a specialist role) until the conclusion of the war.

 

Anyway, they are just some excuses.  I'd like to think that good designers would look at those assumptions etc, and want to take them on and show how creatively they can bypass all of them.  Kind of like when you say something can't be done, there's always someone who wants to try it.  Maybe we'll see something pop up soon.

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

Jakkar
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March 18, 2011 - 5:34 am
Member Since: February 11, 2011
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Perhaps I'll get around to it oneday =)

Like I said above - ideally one would be playing a military consultant - i.e. a mercenary of sorts. Or a 'blackops' type soldier abandoned by a failed mission, under no-one's command and not able to be formally assimilated due to the deniability of his existence, but keep to contribute something.

A warzone is one of the few places active enough to support the cliched degree of constant combat action the modern RPG demands..

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