So yesterday I complained in this Path of Exile thread that I didn't enjoy the art style of the game. Art style isn't the end of the world and I decided to sink more time into my Hardcore character. Around the 25-30 hour mark I ran into a desync when I entered a room, and died to mobs that I didn't see. Not the end of the world, it was in fact Hardcore and desyncing is just a fact of life with this sort of game. Instead of starting a race again, I thought I would sit down here and talk about where I'd like to see this genre go in. Totems seem to be all the rage in Path of Exile. Enough that they had to nerf it. Which I see no problem with, these sorts of balance changes are inevitable but I think it illustrates of underlying problem that hasn't been addressed in the genre to this point. The builds in these games that are overwhelmingly popular to most people who play them, which I'm only talking about hardcore because let's be honest if you're not playing hardcore what's the fucking point, right? Anyways the builds that are overwhelmingly popular to those that play them are the safe builds. Builds with a lot of AoE, stun, freeze, health regen, vitality, speed, etc. Now this is a product of people playing with the fear of death but I think it is also in part due to the fog of war or lack of visibility of what's around the other corner. I believe that these games would be better if they incorporated RTS mechanics with a wider field of view.
Now Krater was a game that tried to incorporate RTS mechanics, but it's not exactly what I'm talking about. The camera was no more panned out and the mobs were no where near as large as it should have been. The game had issues but it tried to do interesting things but overall was rather underwhelming in content. I still enjoyed myself but the way it got panned by critics was justified. There were a lot of other games that came before Krater that tried to do this, Homeworld, Demigod and Spellforce but these aren't exactly what I'm talking about either. Path of Exile tries to do a lot of interesting things in it's own way, none of which I will go into here but I'm sure if you read that thread in the beginning I linked to you'll get the point. How long until we get a game where you can control your summons? Or better yet how about the ability to have a party instead of just one main controllable character? Now I understand why this may not have come about yet. Diablo-isometric style action RPGs require a sense of community/economy and taking away the need for roles when playing co-op. It also adds a layer of complexity to the game which segments the potential playerbase. These negatives are probably why this model hasn't come about yet in a real way but I think it could work and there are games potentially on the horizon.
The Wildman project on Kickstarter is probably the most intriguing to me, which bums me out considering that is barely raised over 400k on kickstarter and Project Eternity of the same ilk raised and far less interesting raised 4 million. If there was a way for me to have a 4 or 5 sized party in one of these games accompanied with the skill tree of a game like Path of Exile, having skill compliment each other and just allowing for more variety in play style. Another problem that would come about by incorporating RTS mechanics into ARPGs would be the inevitable simplification of the dungeon layouts. Most maps would be a straight shot and/or geometrically equal from end to end, which doesn't seem like a big problem to me due to the fact that let's be honest with ourselves for a second. The maps that players farm the most tend to be end to end maps that already exist. The maps in Diablo III that have you backtracking are just a waste of the players time and nobody played them. I'd like to make this an open topic, there are a lot more ideas floating around in my head, but I'd like to see what you guys think about what I already think. What do you think about the RTS/ARPG hybrid?