Kirzan Oct 7, 2012 @ 1:08am
Feature Suggestion: Rewarding Skill
TL;DR
The Pause option makes little place for player skill. The game is based around stats and the game decides when you get them (or just doesn't). Reward the user for not using Pause in battle with extra loot/scrap/usables to give value to player skill.

Something that really gets me going, when it comes to Rogue likes, is how one can get the worst possible game, in terms of randomization, and still get pretty darn far. You've died so many times, that you've become THAT good at the game and could beat it without even getting any items. FTL doesn't work like that. FTL is 100% based around stats, not player skill. The game decides which stats you'll get, therefore the game decides if you win or lose.

I understand the game seems to be casual friendly, due to the Pause system. Now don't get me wrong, I like the Pause system. What I dislike, however, is how the Pause system virtually removes any kind of player skill. Of course, this is assuming past the general knowledge of the game's mechanics. I mean physically, the player has very little options if the game decided to screw with his loot a bit too much.

What I suggest, is a reward system based around the usage of the Pause option. A "reward for risk" if you will. Grant the player bonus rewards for not using Pause in a battle. That way, if you're at the 7th sector and the game never gave you loot, you can risk it all, get that brain activity going and micro the crap out of the battle to have a chance at more loot.
Last edited by Kirzan; Oct 7, 2012 @ 1:10am
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hghwolf, killed the bird Oct 7, 2012 @ 5:26am 
If the battles were faster paced this would be a decent idea. As it stands weapon fire interval is too long for the pause function to give any real advantage beyond comfort, and hitting and missing is simply a numbers game. I`ve tried playing without pause a couple of times and it`s not really any harder, unless I need to coordinate three beams at once. A real roguelike is turn based anyway, a perpetual pause if you will.

And "skill" in a roguelike isn`t like "skill" in a RTS or FPS. It`s about knowing the capabilities of your character and the problem at hand, carefully taking actions, taking calculated risks and minimizing the need to do so. That`s something FTL does have, although luck plays a greater factor than it should.
goliath Oct 7, 2012 @ 6:00am 
You want to "micro the crap out of the battle"?
Play StarCraft
Crossbow Oct 7, 2012 @ 10:50am 
I agree with hghwolf.
Kirzan Oct 7, 2012 @ 1:58pm 
Originally posted by goliath:
You want to "micro the crap out of the battle"?
Play StarCraft

I want "the option to". Since FTL is clearly an RTS game, with a pause option and rogue-like elements.



Originally posted by hghwolf:
And "skill" in a roguelike isn`t like "skill" in a RTS or FPS. It`s about knowing the capabilities of your character and the problem at hand, carefully taking actions, taking calculated risks and minimizing the need to do so. That`s something FTL does have, although luck plays a greater factor than it should.

I beg to differ, when your Rogue-like has A LOT more than just "attack" and "move", it strays from "your typical roguelike". I find that there is a lot more room for improvement in FTL when it comes to rewarding the player as there are a lot more actions required.

Managing being boarded, an attack drone setting fires all over and an enemy ship with 3 weapons, without pause? Yeah I'd like to be thrown a bone for that. Not all battles in FTL are about shooting the other guy's weapon systems and watching the battle unfold.
Biz Oct 7, 2012 @ 2:30pm 
resource management, planning, weighing risk vs reward is the real skill

micromanagement... is just micromanagement. it a menial task
Kirzan Oct 7, 2012 @ 3:20pm 
What risk? That's what I want to know. If you have infinite time to plan everything, then there is no risk. That's why exams have time limits, lol.
hghwolf, killed the bird Oct 7, 2012 @ 3:45pm 
Originally posted by Kirzan:


I beg to differ, when your Rogue-like has A LOT more than just "attack" and "move", it strays from "your typical roguelike". I find that there is a lot more room for improvement in FTL when it comes to rewarding the player as there are a lot more actions required.

Managing being boarded, an attack drone setting fires all over and an enemy ship with 3 weapons, without pause? Yeah I'd like to be thrown a bone for that. Not all battles in FTL are about shooting the other guy's weapon systems and watching the battle unfold.

You`ve never played a "modern" roguelike ever have you ? There is a hell of a lot more options in your typical roguelike than "Fight or Flight". You have to manage your hunger clock, carry weight, resistances, skill development, and equipment. You need to keep your deity happy, decide what if any magic you need/want, wether it`s worth it to use that potion of haste now or if you`d better save it and a million other choices.
Your reward for skill in FTL is not blowing up. A self imposed challenge isn`t something the game cares about.


Originally posted by Kirzan:
What risk? That's what I want to know. If you have infinite time to plan everything, then there is no risk. That's why exams have time limits, lol.

A roguelike takes place in turns. There is nothing strange about that. FTL is not a roguelike. BoI is not a roguelike. They are respectively a real time space RPG and a real time dual stick mindtrip. Having permadeath does not make a game a roguelike. Being able to carefully plan your next move is an element of roguelikes, and it is an element that FTL decided to incorporate. And it is really just a comfort thing, playing without pause barely ever gets hectic or problematic.
And risk ? Well your weapon is either going to hit or miss, regardless of wether you targeted it in pause mode or not. A encounter with giant alien spiders is still going to kill a crewmember 33% of the time, no matter how long you took to decide. That is the risk management.
Kirzan Oct 7, 2012 @ 4:49pm 
I'm sorry but you're completely wrong. You're saying a Rogue-like is a strategy game, when it clearly isn't. The turn based aspect is not what defines a Rogue-like. It is the complete randomization of everything, and the permadeath. No matter the gameplay. The problem with FTL, is that the game's completion success is absolutely 100% based around said randomization and stats/dicerolls.

Items have too much of an impact on how the game turns out. There is simply no structure. You can get 2 new weapons in your first sector the same way you can loot none in 6 sectors. Thing is, those 2 weapons will allow you to blow through the game. Looting zero items for 6 sectors means you're barely alive, and you couldn't / can't do anything about it. "Carefully planning" or "Planning your next move like a pro" just won't save you. The enemy difficulty progresses in a structured manner but your own progression doesn't.

I was merely suggesting a way to balance the experience without affecting the likes that don't care. You like Pause? Then pause. You like to be rewarded for your quick thinking? Then don't Pause. Either way, the game only gets better for a few people and doesn't change for others.

Win win.

The Binding of Isaac had it 100% right. My best games have been with the worst possible items. Why? Because I was good at the game. The same way some of my worst games were with the best items. Why? Because I got cocky and/or the game decided to throw harder mini-bosses and level layouts early to balance the good stuff.
hghwolf, killed the bird Oct 7, 2012 @ 5:22pm 
Originally posted by Kirzan:
I'm sorry but you're completely wrong. You're saying a Rogue-like is a strategy game, when it clearly isn't. The turn based aspect is not what defines a Rogue-like. It is the complete randomization of everything, and the permadeath. No matter the gameplay. The problem with FTL, is that the game's completion success is absolutely 100% based around said randomization and stats/dicerolls.

Items have too much of an impact on how the game turns out. There is simply no structure. You can get 2 new weapons in your first sector the same way you can loot none in 6 sectors. Thing is, those 2 weapons will allow you to blow through the game. Looting zero items for 6 sectors means you're barely alive, and you couldn't / can't do anything about it. "Carefully planning" or "Planning your next move like a pro" just won't save you. The enemy difficulty progresses in a structured manner but your own progression doesn't.

I was merely suggesting a way to balance the experience without affecting the likes that don't care. You like Pause? Then pause. You like to be rewarded for your quick thinking? Then don't Pause. Either way, the game only gets better for a few people and doesn't change for others.

Win win.

The Binding of Isaac had it 100% right. My best games have been with the worst possible items. Why? Because I was good at the game. The same way some of my worst games were with the best items. Why? Because I got cocky and/or the game decided to throw harder mini-bosses and level layouts early to balance the good stuff.

The definition of a Roguelike is right there in the name : Like Rogue. Rogue was a turn based, tile based fantasy RPG with permadeath and a random dungeon. Being very similar to how Rogue was defines the Roguelike genre.
The Binding of Isaac, while a superb game can not be compared to a "real" roguelike like Nethack and it`s own variants or DCSS. Quick thinking and twitch refelxes simply are not part of the genre, much as sorting through loot is not part of an FPS.
I`m in complete agreement that luck is too big a factor in FTL right now, and in a "real" roguelike bad luck can be somewhat balanced by knowledge and skill. Not playing the game as intended however is not part of that. There would be little reason to pause, ever, were it to reduce the amount of scrap/loot gained. It is not that fast paced a game.
To be honest I`m not sure why I`m arguing genre conventions of roguelikes with you when FTL is decidedly not a roguelike, and the chance of your idea being implemented as a mandatory part of the game is slim to none.
Let`s just agree to disagree and get back to the game Ok ?
retrox Oct 7, 2012 @ 5:28pm 
Borderlands strongly disagrees with that metaphor. :D

FTL is a roguelike-like. So it's twice-removed from the genre. I think.
hghwolf, killed the bird Oct 7, 2012 @ 6:02pm 
Originally posted by retrox:
Borderlands strongly disagrees with that metaphor. :D

FTL is a roguelike-like. So it's twice-removed from the genre. I think.

Right I`m gonna argue genre with you now. FTL is a space sim RPG with permadeath and randomly generated levels. It has `Elements` of roguelikes. It`s not even a roguelike-like, Diablo (The original one) is a roguelike-like, but that`s awkward to say so we call it a dungeon crawler
But with modern games, especially the AAA releases, becoming all very similar and samey, genre has become blurred. RPG elements are so endemic to FPS games now that Quake and Duke 3D seem simple in comparison.
Also, because I can`t sleep at night without my daily dose of pedantry a roguelike-like would be once removed from the genre, twice from the actual game Rogue.
And the less said of my opinion of Borderlands the better.
(Please don`t take any of this overly serious. Except the pedantry I guess...)
Biz Oct 7, 2012 @ 6:22pm 
Originally posted by Kirzan:
I'm sorry but you're completely wrong. You're saying a Rogue-like is a strategy game, when it clearly isn't. The turn based aspect is not what defines a Rogue-like. It is the complete randomization of everything, and the permadeath. No matter the gameplay. The problem with FTL, is that the game's completion success is absolutely 100% based around said randomization and stats/dicerolls.

Items have too much of an impact on how the game turns out. There is simply no structure. You can get 2 new weapons in your first sector the same way you can loot none in 6 sectors. Thing is, those 2 weapons will allow you to blow through the game. Looting zero items for 6 sectors means you're barely alive, and you couldn't / can't do anything about it. "Carefully planning" or "Planning your next move like a pro" just won't save you. The enemy difficulty progresses in a structured manner but your own progression doesn't.

I was merely suggesting a way to balance the experience without affecting the likes that don't care. You like Pause? Then pause. You like to be rewarded for your quick thinking? Then don't Pause. Either way, the game only gets better for a few people and doesn't change for others.

Win win.

The Binding of Isaac had it 100% right. My best games have been with the worst possible items. Why? Because I was good at the game. The same way some of my worst games were with the best items. Why? Because I got cocky and/or the game decided to throw harder mini-bosses and level layouts early to balance the good stuff.

what you don't understand is that being good at battles has almost nothing to do with being good at the game.

being good at the game means you can maximize your chance of victory based on making the best choices possible with the information you have and the opportunities that present themselves. if you play in order to win the game as much as possible, then FTL is a strategy game, not because roguelikes need to be strategy games, but because the developers made a game about resource management, planning, and tough decisions without requiring any RTS or action-oriented skill. yes there is some luck, but it doesn't make up for experience and actual skill. A newb will never win 5 games out of 10.
Kirzan Oct 7, 2012 @ 7:03pm 
Mandatory? No, no you read what I'm trying to say completely wrong. I suggested a small feature, an option, completely optional (keyword: option), which wouldn't affect anyone who just loves the game as it is. It was the solution I ended up with because it doesn't affect others.

Also, please don't say things like "the chance of your idea being implemented as a mandatory part of the game is slim to none". That's part of the reason why the industry stinks at the moment. Because no one voice their opinions and just bend over with the end result. Games can be patched and indie devs listen to their communities.

As previously stated, I like the game. I merely suggested something optional that would increase my personal gaming experience when playing said title. I'm ok with the fact that you don't agree, but it really didn't need to go this far.

God I wish I could lock my own threads.
retrox Oct 7, 2012 @ 7:28pm 
hghwolf: Haha! Okay, fair enough. If we're talking pure mechanics, FTL certainly has little in common with the roguelike genre.

It's more a matter of the roguelike-feeling I get from the game while I'm playing that justifies the tag for me. For instance, in Nethack, I'm a notorious scroll-reading, potion-drinking, wand-waving, sword-dipping fool until I stumble across that wand of wishing or that pair of +2 speed boots. I play both games very much by the seat of my britches until such time the RNG sees fit to bestow a worthy blessing upon my whimsical self. At that point, everything changes. There has to be a "holy crap, I could actually win this" moment for me to get serious and stop instantly quaffing every weird-looking potion I find.

Same thing with FTL. Jump three in Sector two: Giant spiders on a science station? Hell yeah, bring 'em on. I'm running on empty with a Laser Drone and a Mini-Beam. Put me in that same encounter with some decent equipment on my ship, though, and that poor station is on its own every time.
hghwolf, killed the bird Oct 7, 2012 @ 7:41pm 
Originally posted by retrox:
hghwolf: Haha! Okay, fair enough. If we're talking pure mechanics, FTL certainly has little in common with the roguelike genre.

It's more a matter of the roguelike-feeling I get from the game while I'm playing that justifies the tag for me. For instance, in Nethack, I'm a notorious scroll-reading, potion-drinking, wand-waving, sword-dipping fool until I stumble across that wand of wishing or that pair of +2 speed boots. I play both games very much by the seat of my britches until such time the RNG sees fit to bestow a worthy blessing upon my whimsical self. At that point, everything changes. There has to be a "holy crap, I could actually win this" moment for me to get serious and stop instantly quaffing every weird-looking potion I find.

Same thing with FTL. Jump three in Sector two: Giant spiders on a science station? Hell yeah, bring 'em on. I'm running on empty with a Laser Drone and a Mini-Beam. Put me in that same encounter with some decent equipment on my ship, though, and that poor station is on its own every time.

This is very much my playstyle. It`s the sunk costs I think. Do something that can blow up in your face hilariously when it would lose you at most 10 minutes, suddenly get very very cautious if you get a lucky find or make it past a certain depth.
I still tend to quaff and read ID pots/scrolls though, which lead to some hilariously gimped DCSS characters that suddenly started rapidly wasting away on D1 from an early mutation pot, or the reverse with the one run where I not only found a StDA but also a decent randart spear AND a potion of experience all before the temple.
Of course, neither of those even made it to Lair. Demonspawn are so hilariously random...

But I too get the same "roguelike" feeling with FTL. It`s mostly the permadeath I think.
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Date Posted: Oct 7, 2012 @ 1:08am
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