A way of duplicating in videogames the increase in aiming stats you’d have in an RPG. Instead of the usual crosshairs, your onscreen aim marker is a circle, and your shot will land in a random point inside that circle. When you start out it’s a big circle, and as you progress and gain experience the circle gets smaller.
The original Deus Ex did this. The higher your firearms skill, the less spread your shots would have.
Kind of disconcerting the first time you play. Feels like the game’s physics are off, until you start putting points in the right skill, but overall I thought it was a neat mechanic.
Damn you ! That’s what I was going to say.
But yeah. In Deus Ex, unless you’ve spent points in your [weapon] stat, you’re not going to hit the broad side of an elephant with it, unless you’re sitting very very still for half an hour.
Vampire:Bloodlines also did this, but not as in depth. In Deus Ex you had a pistol skill, and a sniper skill, and a heavy weapon skill, and so forth. In Bloodlines, you have a firearms skill, which works with anything from pop guns to auto-shottys.
Also the underrated Alpha Protocol - you’ve got 4 kinds of weapons (pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, dual submachine guns) and one stat for each. Without any skill points, dual SMGs are worthless because so inaccurate for example, but they become pretty neat at the higher levels.
The first Mass Effect also had a similar mechanic.
Overall however, I think this mechanic fails. It ruins the feel of the combat and forces you to spend points to make the combat fun and responsive. A game should NEVER make you wait/spend point to make a game mechanic fun and responsive. fun and responsive should be a starting position.
The whole idea has been replaced by having skills enhance damage and impart extra abilities instead. A change for the better, IMHO.
It’s been a long time since I played, but did System Shock 2 have something like that?
I don’t think the mechanism is doomed to failure, as long as the proper context is provided. If the game is about an elite soldier sent on some mission, having to spend points on aiming is pretty silly. But if the game starts with Random Joe, it could add to the atmosphere to have Joe learn how to shoot properly. But the speed of improvement would have to be pretty dramatic because it would get pretty old pretty fast…
It’s been awhile too, and Google isn’t so helpful, but I think so. I don’t remember if it had a random spread or just missed. It also had the (ridiculously excessive) weapon decay mechanic to keep you on your toes.
Many modern games use a circle reticule, and firing will cause it to temporary increase in size. Shooting faster will make it grow faster, so it may be better to shoot semiautomatic.
I don’t know of any games where your shooting skills increase organically, based on usage and not adding points to the skills. There are some non-shooters, like the Elder Scrolls and Betrayal at Krondor that increase skills based on usage though.
Isn’t it the case in “Mount and blade” for archery?
Yeah–the first time I played, I went full-on sniper. I remember the surging music that played in my head when I finally achieved the mastery level on sniper, and that obnoxious swaying of the sniper rifle vanished. I didn’t know it would happen, and it totally changed the feel of the rifle.
Oh yeah, in Deus Ex: Human Revolution (the third one), upgrades are handled through Praxis kits, which can either be found or earned through experience. There are two affecting aim: one with two levels that reduces recoil (50%, zero recoil), although recoil is common in most shooters, next, there is one that reduces the targeting reticule growth (50%, zero), although only this growth that occurs when you are running-and-gunning, and standing still while shooting doesn’t have the growth at all.
clairobscur, yes I think so, and for other ranged weapons on a separate skill (crossbow etc.)
Fallout 3 and New Vegas don’t have a visible reticule, but do have a spread that decreases as your character’s relevant weapon skill increases.
In the latter-day Fallout incarnations, your guns skill both reduces the spread and increases damage. One of the more common things the “realism” mods do is make it so it only affects the spread, since the damage increasing with skill gets a little silly sometimes.
ETA: Curses… should have invested in “post speed” skill.
In Fallout I and II, didn’t your shots early in the game often spatter impotently around your intended target, while they went through a ‘dodge’ animation? Especially with the 9mm SMG? I don’t recall if you actually saw the shots miss, or you just heard the empty, hollow ‘miss’ shot sound and saw the dodge.
Yes, but the original Fallouts were pure RPGs. Whether your character hit or not was purely a matter of under-the-hood number crunching, and had nothing to do with the dexterity of the player. I’m understanding the OP to be asking about games where the players manual dexterity is modified by character stats.
My fault for regressing too far in the nostalgia trip
And while it’s not the same, I remember being ‘pretty cool’-ed when the aiming reticle in the old Call of Duty games changed depending on your stance/speed. Maybe another game did it before that, but it was the first time I had seen it.