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Author Topic: The state of roleplaying games  (Read 1410 times)
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vagabond
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« on: November 22, 2004, 11:01:29 AM »

I have noticed what I consider a worrisome trend in roleplaying games. The "old style" roleplaying games, like wizardry, might and magic, ultima allowed you much to total freedom of movement. Letting you go where you wanted and progress in the story at your own pace. The "new style" games drag you around by your nose, you go where it wants you to. There is virtually none to no exploration. They severely limit your equipment, by not allowing you buy or recieve anything at any given point in the game more powerful than they wish. This is an effort to make the game more "challenging" but they are never actually more challenging. Just restrictive. Part of the fun of the old style games was fighting over your level to go someplace or defeat something and obtain a weapon or armor that would greatly enhance your abilities. Now you get spoon fed small increases at intervals the designers choose. Baiten Kaitos might be the worst of these so far. They don't allow you to actually "heal" in combat by restricting it so severely. You cannot "rest" and gain back your health, you must actually buy healing that must be used even when you are not in combat. However, at the stores you cannot just buy a bunch of them. There will be 3 or 4 and you buy those and the store doesn't sell them anymore.  It is quite possible since the stuff respawns behind you that you might fight your way in someplace but will be unable to fight your way back out again. This isn't "challenging" in anyway, it is just frustrating and not any fun. The beauty of Morrowind was it returned to the freeform style in movement and quest advancement, but it also had the worst combat system ever. I don't even see any of these freeform games on the horizon. Why has this change been made? Am I the only person that doesn't like it?
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Gratch
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2004, 12:50:58 PM »

The problem I have with most free-form RPG's is the "Where do I go next" syndrome.  Many of these games don't point the way enough (or at all) and leave the player to wander around for hours trying to figure out what they are supposed to be doing.  Given the choice between the two, I'd rather have the game lead me by the nose.  I hate having to try and guess what the designers were thinking to try and figure out the next course of action.
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vagabond
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2004, 01:27:46 PM »

Quote from: "Gratch"
The problem I have with most free-form RPG's is the "Where do I go next" syndrome.  Many of these games don't point the way enough (or at all) and leave the player to wander around for hours trying to figure out what they are supposed to be doing.  Given the choice between the two, I'd rather have the game lead me by the nose.  I hate having to try and guess what the designers were thinking to try and figure out the next course of action.


This CAN happen, but normally the game gives you clues as to where you should go next, just doesn't leave it out of the question for you to go elsewhere. Also if you try to go someplace and you get your ass handed to you, pretty good clue you should try a different place. biggrin
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rshetts
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2004, 02:34:33 PM »

Unfortunately, these "rpg lite" games have more mass appeal than hardcore RPG's.  Sales figures for games like Diablo, Baldurs Gate (console versions) etc.  have sold in huge numbers when compared to games like Might and Magic or Wizardry.  Obviously Morrowind has been the exception as far as consoles go but I dont see the rpg lite trend ending anytime soon.  The sad truth is that people want to be lead around by their noses.  They want the escapism without having to work at it.  Plug in sword A and armour B and then go kill stuff.  Wash, rinse, repeat.
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2004, 02:37:55 PM »

More linear RPG's allow the developers to tell a tighter story.  Some people appreciate that in an RPG.  Some people aren't hooked by open-ended gameplay.
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EddieA
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2004, 08:01:01 PM »

This is the main difference between console and PC RPGs.  There have been very few console RPGs that aren't linear, while most PC RPGs allow more freedom.  Actual non-linearity is very hard to pull off, though.  It doesn't really do any good to allow the player to go anywhere if they're not strong enough to defeat the monsters in anyplace other than where they're supposed to go.  

KoTOR was a great bridge between console and PC RPGs in many ways, including linearity.  Scalable difficulty allowed you to go wherever you chose, and still be able to defeat the enemies there, while the story (which usually suffers with nonlinear games) held up throughout the game.  Generally, I prefer linearity in my RPGs, as a large part of why I play them is for the stories.  If other developers can pull off what Bioware did with KoTOR, though, then we could have both freedom and a well-told story.
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Sepiche
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2004, 08:08:27 PM »

I don't think it's a PC/Console divide honestly.  There are great examples of both styles on console and PC going way back.  I think it's just two design philosophies being developed out of what was once one solid genre.

I enjoy both styles personally and like a little of both in my game schedule, but it's pretty clear that more linear games tend to have more appeal to those mortals who claim to be gamers. smile

I think both types are still alive and well, linear a little more so not only because they tend to be easier to pick up, but they are also a lot easier to design IMHO.

s
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vagabond
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2004, 09:57:47 PM »

Quote from: "Sepiche"
I don't think it's a PC/Console divide honestly.  There are great examples of both styles on console and PC going way back.  I think it's just two design philosophies being developed out of what was once one solid genre.

I enjoy both styles personally and like a little of both in my game schedule, but it's pretty clear that more linear games tend to have more appeal to those mortals who claim to be gamers. smile

I think both types are still alive and well, linear a little more so not only because they tend to be easier to pick up, but they are also a lot easier to design IMHO.

s



I have liked both styles, but it just seems to me the great majority these days are the linear style. I miss the freedom. I don't see how you think KOTOR wasn't linear. It was a great game but you were dragged around by the nose in that game too. Although some will give the illusion you have more control than you do. The skill system in FF-X made you feel as though you could control the characters abilities when in actuality you were being taken along a very restrictive path. That path just happened to go around in nice circles. biggrin  But most games these days the characters level and you have no control at all over what skills they get or how their stats go up or anything else.  Which to me removes much of the strategy.
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olaf
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2004, 10:26:27 PM »

KOTOR was linear compared to Morrowind.  But if you compare it to the average japanese console RPG, where there is usually just a single 'location' available with new content at any one time, it was not.

olaf
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Jack Burton
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2004, 10:36:10 PM »

They should make more Fallout games.
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vagabond
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2004, 12:41:16 AM »

Quote from: "olaf"
KOTOR was linear compared to Morrowind.  But if you compare it to the average japanese console RPG, where there is usually just a single 'location' available with new content at any one time, it was not.

olaf



When you get the ship only place you can go is Dantooine. It then lets you go different places for the star pieces but, it's just letting you do the same thing in a different order. Not really non-linear in any way. That is like saying a new town is non-linear because it lets you go to the shop or the inn, doesn't make any difference or change the game any.
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Tebunker
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« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2004, 01:38:57 AM »

Bioware is very good at making their games seem like something that they're clearly not. Which is fine, they make enjoyable games, but they are masters of illusion...
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Chrisoc13
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« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2004, 05:50:40 AM »

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Bah. We should have beat you  :wink: . Im a cougar, just saw your sig and couldnt resist  biggrin . Good luck though, seriously. Hope you win your bowl.

Back to the subject at hand. I love free playing RPGs, but I do think soemtimes they dont give you enough direction, and I simply wonder what I should do enxt. Its fun, but I still feel a little lost and confused. Of course too many games do just hold your hand, which im not a huge fan of either. I would much rather have something free playing, but still know what to do. Is this too much to ask?  smile
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vagabond
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« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2004, 06:20:55 AM »

Quote from: "Chrisoc13"
Back to the subject at hand. I love free playing RPGs, but I do think soemtimes they dont give you enough direction, and I simply wonder what I should do enxt. Its fun, but I still feel a little lost and confused. Of course too many games do just hold your hand, which im not a huge fan of either. I would much rather have something free playing, but still know what to do. Is this too much to ask?  smile



Naah, course not. I used to love having some tough creature barring the way to an area and then finally being able to fight your way past.
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