The old question: Turn-based or Real-time?

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Risewild, Mar 14, 2022.

Turn-based or Real-time?

  1. I prefer Turn-based

    6 vote(s)
  2. I prefer Real-time

    1 vote(s)
  3. I like both systems equally

    5 vote(s)
  1. Risewild

    Risewild Carbon Dated and Proud
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    I was going to reply to a post over at the Fallout: Yesterday thread. But after I typed a bit of my post I realized that this type of discussion shouldn't be clogging that thread, since it really doesn't have anything to do with that project. So I decided to make a new thread about this. And yes, I know this topic has already been asked a few times in the past. But I'm curious about what people think these days.

    I'm of the opposite opinion.
    I have seen what usually happens with fast real-time combat, or it turns a RPG into a twitch reflex game or it turns it into a mostly "use basic attacks" or a couple easy to use skills most of the time. It usually makes combat in RPGs worse, making the player take the path of least resistance, because of such short time to decide on what to do, it also has the disadvantage of usually making area attacks more useless, since in real-time enemies can rush the PCs and prevent the player from effectively use area attacks.

    Another thing is that it's pretty hard to manage a party of characters in any decent way in real-time.

    And I'm not the only one who thinks so, many people thought that when Owlcat introduced official turn-based into Pathfinder: Kingmaker, the game became better and you could enjoy and deploy tactics by being able to actually use many abilities, skills, special attacks, spells, etc. that were just not usable in real-time. It also made it impossible to cheese the enemies using cheap tactics. It made the game become more deep and fun since you could fully enjoy what the game had to offer.
    And to be honest, players were already saying that ever since the turn-based mod was made years before the official mode was made.

    We can also see a recent (7 months old) poll made in the Kingmaker's subreddit, asking if people prefer/play turn-based or real-time, and the vast majority voted "I only play Turn-Based" and the second highest voted was "I'm using both but I prefer turn-based":

    And remember, this is from the Pathfinder: Kingmaker fans. Which is a game that was released only in real-time (and never even mentioned the possibility of making an official turn-based system until years of being released). So one would be inclined to think that people who are into that game would prefer real-time too.

    Here's a poll made a couple of years ago over at RPGnet forums:

    And here's an old poll asking if the remake of Final Fantasy 7 should keep the turn-based combat or become real-time:

    And yet another poll (3 years ago) about what type of RPGs people prefer:

    Another poll, this one made last year. This poll was made at GameFAQs:

    And a 3 years old poll over at RPGCodex about if Baldur's Gate 3 should be real-time or turn-based (Baldur's Gate has always been a real-time with pause game series until this new game):

    Here's a PCGamer article about how bad Bardur's Gate 3 is because it's turn-based (or something like that). At the end of the article there's a poll about Turn-based vs Real-Time (with pause):

    And there's a study someone made about preferences in RPG battle systems (you can read it here if you want to):

    After searching the internet for hours, I couldn't find ANY poll where Real-time or Real-time with pause had more votes than Turn-based. Even in communities for games that are real-time. If anyone can find more polls, please share them here. Especially if the poll has more votes for Real-time than Turn-based.

    I'm inviting @Gizmojunk , @Lexx and @Cthulchu to continue their discussion from the Fallout: Yesterday thread in here.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2022
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 4
  2. Mr Fish

    Mr Fish Snug Rubber

    Sep 11, 2010
    Well obviously it's because realtime with pause is shit. :)

    Seriously though. I find real-time with pause to just be a clusterfuck of information, where in 1 ½ seconds two enemy spells and one crit hit suddenly happened and I'm left wondering what the fuck is even going on. Then there's the problem with how realtime with pause works in terms of "rounds" or when something will be used. Some abilities seem faster than others so having to worry about the timing of up to 6 different characters isn't fun. It's anxiety inducing. Real-time with pause as an option is good when you're at a higher level and don't want to bother with the slow pace of turn-based for minor enemies, which is why I think both should be in the game if you have time for them.

    But the vast majority of the time I want to make calculated informed decisions, not watch a zerg rush. So TB all the way. Honestly, after PoE I don't think I'll ever buy a RTwP only game ever again.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  3. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Carbon Dated and Proud

    Nov 26, 2007
    It always depends upon the intent of the game.

    Compare Myth:TFL to BG1, and both to ToEE.

    Myth:TFL won't work with the mechanics of BG1 or ToEE. The game has named characters that level up, has fighters and spell casters, but the intent of the game is —quite truthfully— to play combat scenes like in the movie Braveheart. Combat/control is limited to primary and secondary actions.

    ToEE combat is about presenting the D&D combat system in a game; it's quite possibly the best example to date... Combat/control options fill a multi-level radial menu of various passive and active actions. Myth simply doesn't offer that—it can't, and certainly not with the time to select from it.​

    Baldur's Gate is a hybrid system based on D&D. IIRC each character has their own internalized combat rounds that all take place concurrently... while still respecting -attacks per round-. The player directs their actions, but the PCs get to it when they are next able, not immediately. It's what you might get by crudely combining aspects of Myth & ToEE.​

    Of these three games, Fallout seems most in common with ToEE, but not specifically because it is turn based; it is because both games seek to simulate a PnP combat system—even though Fallout lost the GURPS license late in development.

    So the merit of any system depends upon the intent of the game; no one combat system is a grand panacea that improves any game for using it. Often (as we have seen) changing systems just ruins the original intent.

    Realtime combat does not [cannot] simulate the PnP system inherent in (and integral to) the Fallout series. This makes it unsuitable.

    Last edited: Mar 15, 2022
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  4. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Not Gollum Staff Member Moderator

    Apr 1, 2005
    RTwP is fine in games like this.... 20220124041256_1.jpg

    Where you can switch to TB if you want.
  5. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    It really depends on the situation and how the designers are comfortable with both systems.
    I think that TB allows more combat depth, a more flexible pace, and can lead to situations in which many things can happen «At the same time», in different parts of the same map, or even in different maps if the game allows you to deploy several squads in different places during the same period of time, in a way that is both manageable, and epic, for the player.

    On the other hand, if the combat has little to no depth, features tons of generic enemies, and\or allows you to play only one character, the TB can be detrimental to the game experience.

    For army vs army games, it is a bit harder to define what factor make one mode better than the other.
  6. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Not Gollum Staff Member Moderator

    Apr 1, 2005
    You don't want to force it on the devs like with Fallout Tactics.
  7. eissa

    eissa Artanis "Altáriel" Nerwen Nos Finwe

    Jan 7, 2016
    Real time with pause, with ability to toggle between bird eye view of third person and first person. Like Call to Arms game. (Successor to Men of War series)

    Yeah i do think that maybe future "old school-style Fallout" should take more strategy element, akin to Fallout Tactic but not 100% contents being combat. But an interesting rpg that has equal great combat and noncombat sequences.

    But in the end, your character skills should matter more than your ability as gamer. It is a roleplaying game afterall.
  8. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Not Gollum Staff Member Moderator

    Apr 1, 2005
    You should roleplay a better gamer then innit?
  9. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Carbon Dated and Proud

    Nov 26, 2007
    I thought Fallout 3 should have had a camera system rather akin to Dungeon Keeper; and I said as much to Emil... before he started logging off when I would log in. :scratch:
  10. Ride For Crom

    Ride For Crom First time out of the vault

    Jun 9, 2022
    It depends very heavily on the context of the game in question, and the implementation of the combat system employed. I couldn’t imagine, for example, trying to play Diablo with TB combat as they originally wanted to do, and I don’t particularly care for the RT combat of modern Fallout games. RT with pause could, if done well, be a happy medium, but I don’t have a lot of experience with games that use that system. Generally speaking, if I’m expected to control an entire party, I prefer TB hands down, but if I’m only in control of my own character, I’ll often lean more towards real time, with Fallout 1/2 being notable exceptions, where the player has no control over companions, but the tactical nature of TB appeals more to me.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  11. Kohno

    Kohno Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Jul 30, 2009
    I'm not into loooooong explanations of things at this point anymore. Turnbased simulates a "realtime player controlled event" much better than a real time itself, or realtime with pause.

    Realtime itself denies the player the sort of senses he would otherwise have.
    Realtime with pause confuscates the action with the realtime component that is handled by AI, and it lacks options a TB scenario can have.

    That's that.