Author Topic: Game Design redirect  (Read 327 times)

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Game Design redirect
« on: (16:14:32/09-28-17) »
A discussion deviated from the original topic. I've started an appropriate thread for the discussion.

For reference, here is its "start".
Yeah, TMs got thrown in the cell with Bubba the Love Troll and sandpaper for lube.
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Marcus

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Re: Game Design redirect
« Reply #1 on: (20:08:37/09-28-17) »
I do plan to get back to this but I have interview and flight at far to early in the morning to follow up on the last post tonight. 

Sphinx

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Re: Game Design redirect
« Reply #2 on: (11:05:33/09-29-17) »
I've always thought that the Matrix rules should follow the same mechanics as Magic:
  • Magic attribute = Matrix attribute (Resonance for TMs)
  • Astral perception (assensing) = Augmented reality (e-sensing?)
  • Astral projection = Virtual reality
  • Astral space = Cyberspace
  • Spirits = Agents/ICE (Sprites for TMs)
  • Spells = Programs (Complex Forms for TMs)
Your cyberdeck gives you a Matrix attribute, cyberprograms work like spells (e.g., Invisibility to Cameras, Open Maglock, False Identity, Encrypt File, Data Spike, Blackhammer), "drain" applies to the Matrix condition monitor (don't overload your deck), there are dice pool penalties for sustaining effects, and so on.

Riggers would be like the physical adepts of the Matrix, gaining their Matrix attribute from a Control Rig, along with a number of machine interface enhancements equivalent to adept powers (e.g., increased reaction, improved handling, enhanced pilot skills, extended senses, multitasking, improved targeting).

It seems like it would fit so neatly into the core SR mechanics, I don't get why they didn't do it this way from the beginning.

Beta-Max

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Re: Game Design redirect
« Reply #3 on: (11:35:01/09-29-17) »
I think my biggest issue is that in 4e the matrix made "thought sense" in terms of understanding. In 4e the TM's were powerful hackers and their power set made them that way. It was the later tricks from the splat books, the echoes especially that made them feel like they had unique abiliities within the matrix as opposed to the SUPER HACKER powers they used to have: IE: If they didn't have the programs needed, they could MAKE it. If they needed to boost the strength, they could. Now in 5e, yes they have a unique power set, and it feels like they do have a special relationship with the code itself with the resonance powers. But you would think that there would be more resonance powers that would allow them to be BETTER hackers and this is where i feel this is short-sticking.

Sorry if this seems a little rambly i'm at the office. I'll be happy to expound on this discussion as it goes.

Mirikon

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Re: Game Design redirect
« Reply #4 on: (11:48:44/09-29-17) »
Sphinx, it isn't like that in part because the Matrix doesn't work like Magic, from a ground up perspective, starting with the lore. More importantly, the way the Matrix interacts with the world, both the online and offline worlds, is a fundamentally different method than how magic interacts with the world. Magic does NOT like tech, for instance, but it can still influence it indirectly. But the matrix is all about tech, but cannot affect magic at all, except through the brutest of brute force (drones shooting mages).

The triad of Shadowrun has always been Man, Matrix, and Magic. Making two parts of that triad simply reskinned versions of the other (like in WoW where you go to a new area and those boars look exactly like the ones you saw elsewhere, but with new colors) cheapens all of it, and ignores the lore.
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Jack_Spade

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Re: Game Design redirect
« Reply #5 on: (12:15:12/09-29-17) »
@Mirikon
While what you write is true, it doesn't change the fact that the mechanical rules system could benefit from copying existing mechanisms for better playability.

Playing a mage in SR5 is by far easier than playing a decker (and needs by and large fewer actions to achieve what you want).

Of course, it helps that magic doesn't have to adhere to any expectations from reality and therefore has much more freedom in regard to what seems plausible.

I like Sphinx' idea and think there is a lot of potential for a smoother gameplay experience
talk think matrix

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Mirikon

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Re: Game Design redirect
« Reply #6 on: (13:16:18/09-29-17) »
@Jack_Spade
Matrix and Magic should feel different. The reason SR5 deckers aren't as easy to play as mages isn't because they are different, but because mages are largely unchanged from 4th, while they got a sever case of nostalgia for nostalgia's sake, and utterly screwed up the Matrix.

As I said in the other thread, 'simple' isn't always good. Training wheels makes riding a bike simple, for instance.

If they had kept 5th's Matrix rules to be more like 4th's, then they wouldn't have had half the problems they do now. Hell, part of the reason that 4th ed TMs worked was because they played like other Matrix users, not like mages. They had some things they could do differently, and some things they weren't as good at, but they were matrix users, first and foremost, not reskinned mages. And because all the matrix users (hackers, riggers, and TMs) worked the same, it made it much simpler for everyone, since a GM didn't need to memorize three rulesets. Even better, a player who had done a hacker in the past could start a TM or Rigger for their new character, and something like 80-90% of the in-game mechanics would be roughly the same, so there was a lot flatter learning curve. Like how someone who has played D&D 3.X knows 80-90% of the mechanics for any game based on the d20 system.

The 4E matrix was far more solidly built and much MUCH more workable than the steaming pile of dung that we have in 5th.
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Jack_Spade

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Re: Game Design redirect
« Reply #7 on: (13:49:58/09-29-17) »
And again I agree with you - 4th had a way more in dept matrix system with a lot more options and less restrictions.

But with the edition change they decided to revamp the matrix again, taking a leap towards the magic system (especially in regard to the technos) but didn't take it far enough. Now he have a system that you are very hard pressed to make any sense of with a bunch of mechanics that don't actually do what their fluff promises they do.

You want to turn back to 4th - which is legitimate, the devil you know... - but Sphinx' idea does have some major benefits. For one thing you can have a few simple mechanics and still get complex gameplay out of it. At the moment the matrix uses a lot of simple mechanics that add up to a complicated clusterfuck. 
talk think matrix

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Mirikon

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Re: Game Design redirect
« Reply #8 on: (14:13:19/09-29-17) »
The change to make the Matrix more like Magic is one of the core problems with 5th. Sphinx's suggestion is like saying, "Well, we've already got a BTL addiction, so you know what? Let's go with MORE BTLs!"
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Sphinx

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Re: Game Design redirect
« Reply #9 on: (14:22:25/09-29-17) »
The change to make the Matrix more like Magic is one of the core problems with 5th. Sphinx's suggestion is like saying, "Well, we've already got a BTL addiction, so you know what? Let's go with MORE BTLs!"

I'm saying the rules for magic work, while the rules for the Matrix never quite did, so why not take the proven framework for one and use it for both? They can remain completely incompatible systems, but function like two sides of the same coin.

Mirikon

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Re: Game Design redirect
« Reply #10 on: (15:11:11/09-29-17) »
4e Matrix rules worked fairly well, actually. I played a few hackers, riggers, and TMs, and never had problems. There were parts that got complicated, but that usually didn't come up until you were into several splatbooks, and you had things people hadn't considered working quite that way. Most of the time, it was problems between people who wanted more anime-style matrix-fu, where you could hack everyone's eyes on the fly to hide your team, and people who tried to make themselves as 'hack-proof' as possible.

The Magic rules are formulated and created with a certain style in mind. That style is not compatible with how the Matrix has always been portrayed, whether in rules or in lore, and would be a fundamental change that cheapens the whole thing. It is like trying to say that the Ryu in the alternate colors is really not the same damn thing as the regular Ryu that player 1 gets when you're doing Street Fighter. What it needs is detox and rehab, not another kilo of novacoke.
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Spooky

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Re: Game Design redirect
« Reply #11 on: (15:19:20/09-29-17) »
I can see Sphinx' point. The first question I ask a player that wants to make a character is "Do you want magic or tech?" If the character creation rules can handle the dichotomy, why can't the rest of the game rules?
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Ghost Rigger

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Re: Game Design redirect
« Reply #12 on: (17:51:02/09-29-17) »
As I said in the other thread, 'simple' isn't always good. Training wheels makes riding a bike simple, for instance.
Counterpoint: regardless of simplicity or complexity, usability is always good unless the point of it is to be a challenge. Training wheels make a bike less usable to adults by reducing agility, but to small children it's the only thing that makes a bike usable at all. This might be anecdotal evidence, but I've heard of campaigns being run where all the Matrix stuff is abstracted and left to NPCs, while I've never heard of a campaign where another major subsystem was similarly omitted. If people actively avoid using the Matrix to the point of cutting it out entirely, then it's not a very usable subsystem.

Reaver

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Re: Game Design redirect
« Reply #13 on: (18:51:49/09-29-17) »
Ah the matrix.

The most 'broken' part of shadowrun for 5 editions 😀
(You would have had to play all 5 editions to get that joke)

So let's take a little stroll through SR history....

Before 4e, the matrix was the domain of 3 entities: Deckers, AI   (npcs st this time), and Otaku (made semi playable in 3e... But most complained they were broken). And the Matrix was made up of things called 'nodes'. A matrix user hopped from node to node along access lines, often requiring 3 to 15 node jumps to get to something good (like a door command, or camera, or datastore)... with an opposed test made at each node...

So in 1 - 3e  a matrix user saying "I hack the door" turned into a matrix mini game of up to 50 rolls while the rest of the team sat there with a thumb up their collective asses while they waited for the door....

Which lead to many groups cutting the matrix all together, or shuffling it off on Npcs.

4e tried to fix this, and for the most part it did. But opened up other problems. Thanks to the way the rules in 4e were built, you didn't need a techno or a hacker! Just a link and a few programs  (aka 'scripting'). So unless you really wanted to play a hacker or techno, Mungo with his link and agent and 1s in mental state was all you needed to bypass everything!
So, many players shuffled off the matrix to mods again. After all why invest in being a matrix user when Mungo is just as good??


So here we are, 5e... and deckers are back and needed again
 But the system fucks over Toms. But at least Mungo isn't the group's matrix guy anymore.

Edit: (fucking hate fucking spellchecker!! Changing correct words to other fucking words cause it's thinks I want THAT word.. No you fucking phone I want the fucking word I typed in correctly 6 fucking times - yet you changed it every time!! Why am I swearing so much? I'm not! But the fucking phone is changing D A F F Y to fucking. Every. Time! )
« Last Edit: (18:57:44/09-29-17) by Reaver »
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DeathStrobe

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Re: Game Design redirect
« Reply #14 on: (22:03:11/09-29-17) »
4E's Matrix sucked. It was so slow! I roll 2-4 times to get past the firewall. I roll a few extra times to get admin privileges. I roll to find what I'm looking for. I roll to look at the thing I'm looking for and play 20 questions to make sure it won't kill me. I roll to disarm data bomb. I roll to decrypt which takes a few turns. I roll to copy. I roll for the sake of rolling.

THERE ARE TOO MANY DAMN ROLLS!

I like that 5E has tried to remove some of the ambiguity like the permission system, and abstracted encryption to just firewall, and that they've attempted to reduce the number of rolls needed to hack. But the MARK system is so slow still... The only upside is that you can gain multiple marks with a dice penalty, but it's also really hard to get dice bonuses in the Matrix. There are a lot of little correct steps they took, but I still don't think it's enough.