Fuck. You. Bioware.

Kerg3927

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My advice is to replay the 15 hours. It's not that much time in the grand scheme of things, and you're playing one of the best games ever made. Either that or use the save editor if that works, but I've never used it, so can't really comment about it.

Samara isn't one of my favorite characters, but her missions in both ME2 and ME3 are pretty good.

I know it sucks at the moment, but I'd bet that most of us have been there at some point in our gaming careers. The hard lesson learned is... don't go 15 hours between saves, because shit happens. I rarely have to go back and use them, but in games that allow it, I quicksave constantly and do a regular save at least every hour or so, because I know that pissed off feeling all too well.
 
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evilthecat said:
See, Dragon Age: Origins was one of my favourite games of all time for a while, and even I think it's extremely overrated. Particularly from a gameplay standpoint.

I can see why people got upset about DA2 because it's so, so close to being good (in many ways it already is better than DAO) and if it hadn't been forced out of the gate to capitalise on the unexpected success of DAO it could have been great.

That said, I enjoyed Inquisition. Yes, it's a completely different game and has those stupid little EAisms like forced online components and tacked on multiplayer, but it's oddly gentle and fun. I still find it very relaxing to play.

Basically, I don't get the hate and I certainly don't get the idea that there's been some kind of decline. Change, sure, but we can't all live in the same nostalgia bubble full of shittily balanced isometric RPGs forever.
I still rate DAO as my favourite game, but I agree that DA2's combat was a definite step up, and that DA2 despite its flaws had a lot of good things going for it; more dev time and resources, and it could have been really great. Inquisition, on the other hand, I fucking despised - the combat was ass (the party AI was basically non-existent), the story and characters were mostly boring, and the open world was mostly pointless filler. I've never been more disappointed by a game than I was by Inquisition.
 

Terminal Blue

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Addendum_Forthcoming said:
I get it, big studios need Oscar bait high profile movies in combination with more arthouse, more creative efforts. But when videogaming is dominated by Oscar bait by all the studios that regularly pump out material it inevitably looks the same, and takes no chances giving players actual complexity, there's a problem.
Sure, but I don't think we're in any danger of that right now. There are a lot of interesting and diverse RPGs out there, and the two you mentioned are both pretty good examples of games which don't follow the model of the hallowed RPG classics of yore word for word but are still pretty amazing.

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
I don't like D&D as much as other rolelaying games like O/WoD/CofD stuff ... but I still like pulling out a catfolk glasscannon melee bard 3.x stuff at least.
I'm both similar and completely different. I grew up on oWoD and a few other similar, story driven RPGs like Fading Suns (which pretty much had to be story driven because it had the jankiest rules, but the setting information was very well written). D&D just never interested me outside of video games, until I borrowed a friends 5th edition rulebook recently and found it nice, well written and remarkably free of all the wierd, inaccessible nonsense I'd come to associate with D&D.

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
3.5 is the epitome of shittily """balanced""" but that's part of the charm of catering to choice.
I mean, if you wanted to, you could certainly bend Vampire the Masquerade's legs behind its head. Celerity was absurd, for example, and a lot of the unique clan disciplines clearly weren't written with the intention of making them available to players, or had such vague rules that they could be easily abused. Obtenebration was probably the worst offender, but viccisitude had some baffling decisions and serpentis was.. just oddly powerful. Then there's Necromancy, a discipline which appeared absurdly weak unless you had a copy of the rules to Wraith the Oblivion, but if you did it was the best discipline in the game..

And you know what, to some extent I can accept the catering to choice argument with some of these because it's a story driven game. Sure, it's unfair that the Tremere gets to be a fuckin' wizard in exchange for a clan weakness which the storyteller will simply forget exists while the Nosferatu gets to look like beef jerky in exchange for one of the most generic sets of disciplines in the game. It's unfair in universe too.

In a video game though, this kind of choice excuse becomes less important because the player generally isn't trying to tell a story so much as solve a predetermined challenge set up by the developers, and in this regards Dragon Age: Origins was ridiculously designed.

To demonstrate this, I require only two words:

Mana
Clash

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
And we'll never get something like it again from the studios that have the money to produce a game worthy of that GTX1080 precisely because of examples like Bioware.
Yeah, that seems a little unfair.

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
I shouldn't need to remind you that it is fucking atrocious that I'm simply happy going into a modern rpg with actual complexity of character dev and customization.
Is it?

Is an RPG really just stats?

See, I didn't play Pillars of Eternity because it looked a bit too retro to me, but I did play Tyranny, and Tyranny was fun. It had a messed up, janky and pretty simple character system and mediocre combat, but I generally didn't care because that kind of wasn't the point. I found myself invested in the writing, and I appreciated that it was an original IP with a unique premise. I would say it was hugely preferable to just yet another D&D game.

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
This is not my idea of fun and I'll take isometric RPGs over it anyday if it means actual complexity of interaction...
Again though, do RPGs really just mean complexity of interaction? Is complexity of interaction the only valid measure of fun? If you can play a game half asleep or just have a chill time wandering through virtual landscapes, is it impossible that this could be as worthwhile experience as mashing your numbers against someone else's numbers to try and deplete their numbers before different numbers deplete your numbers, and making meaningful decisions like whether to wear the +10 pants of alacrity or the +10 pants of numinosity before giving up and just looking up some cookie cutter "meta build" on the internet.
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

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evilthecat said:
Sure, but I don't think we're in any danger of that right now. There are a lot of interesting and diverse RPGs out there, and the two you mentioned are both pretty good examples of games which don't follow the model of the hallowed RPG classics of yore word for word but are still pretty amazing.
And yet, aswe saw with Mass Effect trilogy, the dumbing down of actual options with each successive release.

I'm both similar and completely different. I grew up on oWoD and a few other similar, story driven RPGs like Fading Suns (which pretty much had to be story driven because it had the jankiest rules, but the setting information was very well written). D&D just never interested me outside of video games, until I borrowed a friends 5th edition rulebook recently and found it nice, well written and remarkably free of all the wierd, inaccessible nonsense I'd come to associate with D&D.
I don't know about 5th ed, haven't played it. But my favourite settingswere Planescape and Ravenloft and both were 2E.

I mean, if you wanted to, you could certainly bend Vampire the Masquerade's legs behind its head. Celerity was absurd, for example, and a lot of the unique clan disciplines clearly weren't written with the intention of making them available to players, or had such vague rules that they could be easily abused. Obtenebration was probably the worst offender, but viccisitude had some baffling decisions and serpentis was.. just oddly powerful. Then there's Necromancy, a discipline which appeared absurdly weak unless you had a copy of the rules to Wraith the Oblivion, but if you did it was the best discipline in the game..

And you know what, to some extent I can accept the catering to choice argument with some of these because it's a story driven game. Sure, it's unfair that the Tremere gets to be a fuckin' wizard in exchange for a clan weakness which the storyteller will simply forget exists while the Nosferatu gets to look like beef jerky in exchange for one of the most generic sets of disciplines in the game. It's unfair in universe too.

In a video game though, this kind of choice excuse becomes less important because the player generally isn't trying to tell a story so much as solve a predetermined challenge set up by the developers, and in this regards Dragon Age: Origins was ridiculously designed.
Well, sure oWoD had ridiculous splat builds. And even nWod series with things like Mage and hell, even Hunter ... despite not actually being technically a 'splatbook' given how introduced professions and the capaity to pull out ridiculous rote rolling opportunities. But it doesn't come close in my opinion to just the ridiculous quadratic power magnification that could be achieved through PrC scumming. Just how saves worked in 3.5 meant through PrC scumming you often couldn't ever really fail a save.

Yeah, that seems a little unfair.
Well, say what you like, I can't help but feel like games tried to risk more to deliver more complete experiences. Regardless of their budgets. Games like Transistor are wonderful experiences and all ... but at the same time I still can't help but feel designers tried to achieve more with games like JA:2.

The whole idea that your player character can die ... but the game doesn't end. You don't respawn. Mercs die and you need to recruit more from a limited total pool.

Is it?

Is an RPG really just stats?

See, I didn't play Pillars of Eternity because it looked a bit too retro to me, but I did play Tyranny, and Tyranny was fun. It had a messed up, janky and pretty simple character system and mediocre combat, but I generally didn't care because that kind of wasn't the point. I found myself invested in the writing, and I appreciated that it was an original IP with a unique premise. I would say it was hugely preferable to just yet another D&D game.
I haven't played Tyranny. Have played Pillars, and it's garbage and the writing awful and the mechanics just bad. So yu're not missing out on much.

And yes, I'm not saying I want another D&D game, but there are instances in the old Fallouts where you have to take characters on their word. You need to follow physical instructions and directions written and delivered to the player. No map markers, no compass point you can follow.

You have to pay attention and actually find stuff through memory and talking with characters.

As I was saying. You can complete Skyrim by turning off the audio and subtitles and reading only inventory and spell lists. When it gets to that level where there is zero reason to implement your own brain cells and figure stuff out for yourself it becomes immemorable.

How often do you hear/read people saying things like; "I haven't actually finished the main quest, I Just do my own thing." In terms of every Bethesda RPG post-Morrowind? The saving grace of Skyrim over Oblivion is character stat systems and skills selections allowing you to tweak things, or give you extra options ... You can be that travelling Destruction focussed witch that just blows the fuck up every bandit that crosses your path with special tweak skills that emphasise tyhe particular magic you like to use. Allowing you to summon shields will shooting bolts of lightning. Or dual-cast empowering a fire spell for a particularly powerful blast.

But it still doesn't hold a candle to Morrowind's spell creation systems that let you fly ... or at sufficiently high levelsallowing you to recreate Icarian's Flight spell and traverse the world by jumping once or twice.

Speed runs of the game measure in minutes, and the game embraces it.

BotW is the last open world game where I can actually think of situations where I had to make a location on a map using the viewer otherwise I would lose my way getting to that location. It created this idea I was creating my own adventure, setting out nav points to follow that required me to have lines of sight to ultimately where I wanted to end up.

That tickles my personal fancies because I occasionally do orienteering. That fun you can have trying to navigate and traverse terrain as quickly as possible. Free climbing, swimming, using a topographical map and setting a compass to it and calculating for the differences of true north and magnetic north. It's great fun.

Just see how fast you can cross a section of the Blue Mountains, for instance. It'[s a refreshing way to spend a weekend out of the city.

Naturally BotW isn't that complex, but it's the only game that at least tries to offer a slice, a modicum of that type of experience.

Again though, do RPGs really just mean complexity of interaction? Is complexity of interaction the only valid measure of fun? If you can play a game half asleep or just have a chill time wandering through virtual landscapes, is it impossible that this could be as worthwhile experience as mashing your numbers against someone else's numbers to try and deplete their numbers before different numbers deplete your numbers, and making meaningful decisions like whether to wear the +10 pants of alacrity or the +10 pants of numinosity before giving up and just looking up some cookie cutter "meta build" on the internet.
No, it need not have to. Arguably a game could try to deliver a sense of ennui through having entirely self created reasons of being and doing stuff in an unfathomably vast frontier. And that can be a phenomenal game experience. Like Minecraft. Or Microsoft Flight Simulator.

But the problem therein lies in the fact that games are reducing complexity, even as they ape the idea of you being an agent of incredible designs within it. SoM tries to tell a pre-LOTR story with you as a central protagonist. Skyrim says you're the Dragonborn. Fallout 3 tells the tale of the Lone Wanderer.

You're not meant to be stricken with ennui, looking for meaning. It's handed to you in a hamfisted, juvenile, stupid way ... but it's there.

It delivers a sandbox with a story that you don't even need to pay attention to to complete. If the characterization and player interaction in a world designed as a platform for that espoused interaction and story, kind of imperative that it requires a certain level of engagement required.

Otherwise all it does is leave you with the sensation that everyone else is just fucking lazy.

One of the reasons why I think BotW gets that balance right. The world is broken. You see sombre ruins. And some are hinted to be fairly recent such as a settlement that looks as if it was torched. You have travellers wandering lonely roads simply tryinbgto find meaning. Whether that being a flower that will bring them good luck, or looking for ancient treasures, or simply to sell and buy stuff along the way. The largest numbered examples of civilization are effectively halfway house stables.

A lot of your armaments aren't even made by contemporary people, but are relics of a past. Aged and copious only in so far that there was once far more people than the survivors can actively employ. It feels as if people are stuck in this limbo state of being economic and conflict refugees. And some examples of people trying to develop the land perhaps only years or a few decades prior game start that have been destroyed by monsters.

You can build vehicles and usingthe slate powers you can power it across the land.The sheer options you haveat your disposable for directly meeting the environment are impressive. That allows you to """chill""".

It delivers a world that is both beautiful and sad, and the player interaction in that is purely so the situation doesn't become somehow worse. The disaster happened, civilization fell, and you're merely saving the pieces of it remaining.
 

bartholen_v1legacy

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Kerg3927 said:
My advice is to replay the 15 hours. It's not that much time in the grand scheme of things, and you're playing one of the best games ever made. Either that or use the save editor if that works, but I've never used it, so can't really comment about it.

Samara isn't one of my favorite characters, but her missions in both ME2 and ME3 are pretty good.

I know it sucks at the moment, but I'd bet that most of us have been there at some point in our gaming careers. The hard lesson learned is... don't go 15 hours between saves, because shit happens. I rarely have to go back and use them, but in games that allow it, I quicksave constantly and do a regular save at least every hour or so, because I know that pissed off feeling all too well.
Or if you?re like me, you?ll copy the saves folder to a second hard drive, then also copy it to google drive, then also yet copy the favorites to an external drive or usb for good measure. I know Steam has cloud saving but that to me is merely a layer of convenience more than anything. I also hard-transfer my PS4 saves even though they?re also in the + cloud, but not nearly as frequently. Mostly for milestones, as a latest example being when I cleared Bloodborne?s chalice dungeons.
 
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What a strange bug. On the basis that what you say is accurate, namely, that completing LotSB before Samara's recruitment quest prevents her mission and thus proceeding in the game with no apparent fix, then there are two options: Restore to a point before the bug, or use a save editor [http://www.moddb.com/games/mass-effect-2/downloads/mass-effect-2-save-editor]. Personally, I would just use the save editor, by editing in that you completed/recruited Samara. You may then be able to complete her loyalty mission at least which is a small mercy.

This way you save all the hours you've already put in, and lose out on one mission. If you cared to, you could probably find a YT video of what happens in it, but it's nothing earth shattering, truth be told. It's a shame to miss out when you're invested in this trilogy run-through, but the bug was unforeseen and unfortunate and now can't be helped. The solution is to roll back, or save edit and save your time. I'd save the time and watch the mission on YT if you care to.

PS. Leave Arrival till last.
PPS. Good luck, and enjoy.
 

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Addendum_Forthcoming said:
evilthecat said:
Sure, but I don't think we're in any danger of that right now. There are a lot of interesting and diverse RPGs out there, and the two you mentioned are both pretty good examples of games which don't follow the model of the hallowed RPG classics of yore word for word but are still pretty amazing.
And yet, as we saw with Mass Effect trilogy, the dumbing down of actual options with each successive release.
People loved Mass Effect 2 and quite often it gets called the best of the trilogy.

I really do like ME2 but it can also be seen as the point where the shift in Bioware's games started. People positively praised its removal of options, so is it any surprise that Bioware have continued to, for want of a better word, dumb things down.

Bilious Green said:
I still rate DAO as my favourite game, but I agree that DA2's combat was a definite step up, and that DA2 despite its flaws had a lot of good things going for it; more dev time and resources, and it could have been really great. Inquisition, on the other hand, I fucking despised - the combat was ass (the party AI was basically non-existent), the story and characters were mostly boring, and the open world was mostly pointless filler. I've never been more disappointed by a game than I was by Inquisition.
I confess I've never gotten the praise Dragon Age II gets for its combat. Yes it certainly looks flashier but it uses the same system as Origins but makes things that little bit worse in pretty much every regard.

I'd be a boring world if we all liked the same things I suppose.
 

Terminal Blue

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Addendum_Forthcoming said:
And yet, aswe saw with Mass Effect trilogy, the dumbing down of actual options with each successive release.
I totally don't get that.

I mean, I guess it depends if we're talking about narrative choice or gameplay choice, although in terms of narrative choices Mass Effect was always a joke.

But in terms of gameplay options.. Really. I mean sure, you've got lots of things you can level up to get amazing bonuses. Amazing bonuses like +5% damage with pistols. Do you feel the engagement?

I feel like "actual options" has to mean "meaningful options". Mass effect 2, for example, gave each class a completely unique set of abilities, so while each class was more "limited" in a technical sense, it mattered more which class you chose as each could do something completely unique. That was replacing hollow choice with meaningful choice.

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
And yes, I'm not saying I want another D&D game, but there are instances in the old Fallouts where you have to take characters on their word. You need to follow physical instructions and directions written and delivered to the player. No map markers, no compass point you can follow.
Sure, that is something I occasionally miss about a lot of modern games. I liked how in Morrowind characters would literally give you directions to follow, but the reality is that a lot of people found it frustrating. Something modern games get right, actually, is that while getting lost may be difficult, actually doing so is fun, and to me that's not a bad thing.

Sure, you can play Skyrim just blindly following map markers, you can also turn the UI off in Skyrim and just wander around. To treat that as a disadvantage is weird.

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
The saving grace of Skyrim over Oblivion is character stat systems and skills selections allowing you to tweak things, or give you extra options ... You can be that travelling Destruction focussed witch that just blows the fuck up every bandit that crosses your path with special tweak skills that emphasise tyhe particular magic you like to use. Allowing you to summon shields will shooting bolts of lightning. Or dual-cast empowering a fire spell for a particularly powerful blast.
Sure, but compared to Oblivion these were also limitations.

In Oblivion you had unlimited choice. You could do literally everything, you could raise all the numbers by doing complex and engaging gameplay like making a destruction spell which deals 1 stamina damage to yourself and casting it over and over again forever.

Skyrim was controversial on release because it stripped out a lot of those numbers. I mean, it was barely an RPG because you couldn't raise your strength and dexterity and end up perfect at everything by abusing the ridiculous and utterly nonsensical way of levelling. What about the choices.

In Skyrim, you don't get many perk points so you have to choose what your character is good at, and stick with it. I would consider that an improvement, it made your choices meaningful, but some people definitely saw it as a betrayal of the "RPG" qualities of the game, whatever an RPG is.

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
Speed runs of the game measure in minutes, and the game embraces it.
I'm not sure it does.

I think some players assumed it did, because they assumed that these decisions were deliberately and well thought out, rather than being slapped together in the rush to fill an unprecedentedly giant world map. Morrowind was not exactly the pinnacle of design. It was a hotglued excercise in jank and nonsense.
 

Gethsemani_v1legacy

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evilthecat said:
Addendum_Forthcoming said:
Speed runs of the game measure in minutes, and the game embraces it.
I'm not sure it does.

I think some players assumed it did, because they assumed that these decisions were deliberately and well thought out, rather than being slapped together in the rush to fill an unprecedentedly giant world map. Morrowind was not exactly the pinnacle of design. It was a hotglued excercise in jank and nonsense.
Not to mention that any speed run of Morrowind will invariably involve exploiting several of those janky systems (most notably alchemy and/or enchanting so that you can powerlevel and bypass tons of content) and at least a few glitches and unintended game behaviors. In that way these speed runs aren't all that different from most speed runs (Jedi Knight 2 speed runs abuse a glitch in the physics engine that allows diagonal jumping to pick up extreme velocity, Prey speed runs involve glitching onto the outside of the scenery etc.), but that the game let's you break it in creative ways is not the same as the game embracing it. In fact, if you have to glitch the game or break its' quests to speed run it, you can hardly say that it "embraces" your speed running. In much the same way that breaking wooden paneling of your walls to make a campfire in your living room doesn't mean that your apartment "embraces" indoor camping.
 

Saelune

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evilthecat said:
Addendum_Forthcoming said:
And yes, I'm not saying I want another D&D game, but there are instances in the old Fallouts where you have to take characters on their word. You need to follow physical instructions and directions written and delivered to the player. No map markers, no compass point you can follow.
Sure, that is something I occasionally miss about a lot of modern games. I liked how in Morrowind characters would literally give you directions to follow, but the reality is that a lot of people found it frustrating. Something modern games get right, actually, is that while getting lost may be difficult, actually doing so is fun, and to me that's not a bad thing.

Sure, you can play Skyrim just blindly following map markers, you can also turn the UI off in Skyrim and just wander around. To treat that as a disadvantage is weird.

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
The saving grace of Skyrim over Oblivion is character stat systems and skills selections allowing you to tweak things, or give you extra options ... You can be that travelling Destruction focussed witch that just blows the fuck up every bandit that crosses your path with special tweak skills that emphasise tyhe particular magic you like to use. Allowing you to summon shields will shooting bolts of lightning. Or dual-cast empowering a fire spell for a particularly powerful blast.
Sure, but compared to Oblivion these were also limitations.

In Oblivion you had unlimited choice. You could do literally everything, you could raise all the numbers by doing complex and engaging gameplay like making a destruction spell which deals 1 stamina damage to yourself and casting it over and over again forever.

Skyrim was controversial on release because it stripped out a lot of those numbers. I mean, it was barely an RPG because you couldn't raise your strength and dexterity and end up perfect at everything by abusing the ridiculous and utterly nonsensical way of levelling. What about the choices.

In Skyrim, you don't get many perk points so you have to choose what your character is good at, and stick with it. I would consider that an improvement, it made your choices meaningful, but some people definitely saw it as a betrayal of the "RPG" qualities of the game, whatever an RPG is.

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
Speed runs of the game measure in minutes, and the game embraces it.
I'm not sure it does.

I think some players assumed it did, because they assumed that these decisions were deliberately and well thought out, rather than being slapped together in the rush to fill an unprecedentedly giant world map. Morrowind was not exactly the pinnacle of design. It was a hotglued excercise in jank and nonsense.
I hate when people try to defend Oblivion or Skyrim with "Well, you dont HAVE to use x" Cause there is a difference between a game designed to have or not have something, and handicapping yourself. Yeah, you dont HAVE to fast travel in Oblivion or Skyrim, but its not designed that way. Morrowind is, and that is why teleportation, silt striders and boats are in the game. If a game wants fast travel, atleast design the game to have it in lore. Two Worlds has teleportation spots everywhere, and even gives you personal TP stones, but its part of the game, not a 'hand wave' and you're back at the city.

I...actually like Skyrim's leveling the most. However, I still have some wanted changes. I wish perks earned for skill specific. Like, to unlock one-handed perks, you have to raise one-handed skill, and then by the time it gets to 100 you should have all its perks. Getting a perk to use in any skill is kinda dipping outside TES's "get better by doing it" style. Oblivion kinda did that since at every 25 points you got a new thing you could do with that skill.

Not every speedrun tactic in Morrowind was intended, most probably werent...but I like that Morrowind lets you be OP so easily. I love the freedom of magic in that game, and it desperately needs to come back. Its a single player game, who cares if its unbalanced in your favor? Now THAT is where "You dont have to do it if you dont want to" becomes more valid.

Sometimes Ive played Morrowind intentionally getting OP at the start, other times I took my time. I had the freedom to do either, which adds to the replayability.
 

Imre Csete

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Can you still make it crash to desktop if you click and drag your powers while using tactical pause?

Good ol' BioWare.
 

Terminal Blue

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Saelune said:
I hate when people try to defend Oblivion or Skyrim with "Well, you dont HAVE to use x" Cause there is a difference between a game designed to have or not have something, and handicapping yourself.
Well, the argument here is that the game is bad because you don't have to read dialogue or quest information, and I'm pretty sure the game is designed on the basis that you will..

Again, I personally really liked that in Morrowind characters gave you directions to follow which you had to figure out for yourself, but I think that's something which would actually work better in a modern game with modern sensibilities where there's actually a benefit to getting lost, because you might find something interesting or even just some pretty landscapes to look at (and which having to navigate by landmarks would force you to look at). In Morrowind it was pretty much "hey buddy, looks like you took a wrong turn.. into cliff racer town"

So yeah, I think it's a mechanic people gave up on too quickly, but part of the reason they did is because the technology and design principles weren't quite there yet.

Saelune said:
Yeah, you dont HAVE to fast travel in Oblivion or Skyrim, but its not designed that way.
I would argue that it still works that way though, about as well as Morrowind does.

Not being able to fast travel in Morrowind was often immensely frustrating, and don't get me wrong, I'm not above a little frustration, but I do think there's something to be said for games attempting to give you positive reasons to walk around by choice (because, again, you might find something) rather than roping you in to tedious walking just to get to the guy who can train your enchanting to the next level.

Saelune said:
I...actually like Skyrim's leveling the most. However, I still have some wanted changes. I wish perks earned for skill specific. Like, to unlock one-handed perks, you have to raise one-handed skill, and then by the time it gets to 100 you should have all its perks.
I can see why, but again it raises the issue of your character ending up good at everything, thus doing away with any kind of meaningful choice in perks since if you play long enough you will get them all. I always found that a big frustration in earlier elder scrolls games, including morrowind. I didn't feel like I was really defining who my character was rather than doing tedious busywork to turn them into a superpowered demigod (admittedly, Morrowind was better than Oblivion in this regard as Oblivion made it trivially easy to level skills through tedious, repetitive actions).

Saelune said:
Not every speedrun tactic in Morrowind was intended, most probably werent...but I like that Morrowind lets you be OP so easily. I love the freedom of magic in that game, and it desperately needs to come back. Its a single player game, who cares if its unbalanced in your favor?
I mean, sure, that's true, but I think it's true in the sense that it's true you can turn off the UI and play Skyrim without compass markers, it can be a valid way of playing but to call it an intentional choice is weird.

Like, if a game provides you with a clear optimal way to play, a way so incredibly superior that the decision of whether or not to use it makes a huge difference to difficulty, then deciding not to use it kind of isn't a real choice any more, it's deciding whether to take a handicap for no reason. If you don't use enchanting and alchemy in Morrowind, you've made a choice, but it's the wrong choice. If you don't take mana clash in Dragon Age: Origins, then you've made a choice but it's the wrong choice.

The irony is that magic in Morrowind is incredibly weak because you're reduced to playing a narcoletpic who has to sleep every 3 spells. Fortunately, though, magic can be completely substituted by enchanting (ideally combined with alchemy). And yeah, it's fun to make the pants of power and obliterate your enemies with an absurdly powerful pair of trousers more deadly than the mightiest wizard in the game.. but it's fun once, and then every subsequent game you spend the whole time asking yourself internally why you're not just doing that.
 

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evilthecat said:
Saelune said:
I hate when people try to defend Oblivion or Skyrim with "Well, you dont HAVE to use x" Cause there is a difference between a game designed to have or not have something, and handicapping yourself.
Well, the argument here is that the game is bad because you don't have to read dialogue or quest information, and I'm pretty sure the game is designed on the basis that you will..

Again, I personally really liked that in Morrowind characters gave you directions to follow which you had to figure out for yourself, but I think that's something which would actually work better in a modern game with modern sensibilities where there's actually a benefit to getting lost, because you might find something interesting or even just some pretty landscapes to look at (and which having to navigate by landmarks would force you to look at). In Morrowind it was pretty much "hey buddy, looks like you took a wrong turn.. into cliff racer town"

So yeah, I think it's a mechanic people gave up on too quickly, but part of the reason they did is because the technology and design principles weren't quite there yet.

Saelune said:
Yeah, you dont HAVE to fast travel in Oblivion or Skyrim, but its not designed that way.
I would argue that it still works that way though, about as well as Morrowind does.

Not being able to fast travel in Morrowind was often immensely frustrating, and don't get me wrong, I'm not above a little frustration, but I do think there's something to be said for games attempting to give you positive reasons to walk around by choice (because, again, you might find something) rather than roping you in to tedious walking just to get to the guy who can train your enchanting to the next level.

Saelune said:
I...actually like Skyrim's leveling the most. However, I still have some wanted changes. I wish perks earned for skill specific. Like, to unlock one-handed perks, you have to raise one-handed skill, and then by the time it gets to 100 you should have all its perks.
I can see why, but again it raises the issue of your character ending up good at everything, thus doing away with any kind of meaningful choice in perks since if you play long enough you will get them all. I always found that a big frustration in earlier elder scrolls games, including morrowind. I didn't feel like I was really defining who my character was rather than doing tedious busywork to turn them into a superpowered demigod (admittedly, Morrowind was better than Oblivion in this regard as Oblivion made it trivially easy to level skills through tedious, repetitive actions).

Saelune said:
Not every speedrun tactic in Morrowind was intended, most probably werent...but I like that Morrowind lets you be OP so easily. I love the freedom of magic in that game, and it desperately needs to come back. Its a single player game, who cares if its unbalanced in your favor?
I mean, sure, that's true, but I think it's true in the sense that it's true you can turn off the UI and play Skyrim without compass markers, it can be a valid way of playing but to call it an intentional choice is weird.

Like, if a game provides you with a clear optimal way to play, a way so incredibly superior that the decision of whether or not to use it makes a huge difference to difficulty, then deciding not to use it kind of isn't a real choice any more, it's deciding whether to take a handicap for no reason. If you don't use enchanting and alchemy in Morrowind, you've made a choice, but it's the wrong choice. If you don't take mana clash in Dragon Age: Origins, then you've made a choice but it's the wrong choice.

The irony is that magic in Morrowind is incredibly weak because you're reduced to playing a narcoletpic who has to sleep every 3 spells. Fortunately, though, magic can be completely substituted by enchanting (ideally combined with alchemy). And yeah, it's fun to make the pants of power and obliterate your enemies with an absurdly powerful pair of trousers more deadly than the mightiest wizard in the game.. but it's fun once, and then every subsequent game you spend the whole time asking why you're not just doing that.
Morrowind's lack of location detector lead to plenty of neat things to find. Plus, alot of people who disagree with Morrowind-lovers think we want Morrowind as is. I wanted Oblivion to -improve- on Morrowind, but it didnt even try. That said, Fallout 4 actually has tons of neat unmarked things to find, rather consistently. I hope for more of that in TESVI.

Bethesda should remove locations being visible on your compass (atleast until found) and remove quest arrows. I'd love to see how they would do them BETTER rather than not bothering.

Traveling in Morrowind was its own fun adventure. Plus people need to know how to use Mark/Recall and Almsivi effectively.

But...I WANT to be good at everything, eventually. Its a single-player game. Not like you're going to step on the healer's toes or take the tank's fun away, you're kinda on your own. That said, they could just slow-down the leveling. Getting to 100 shouldnt be a fast process.

I dont rely on enchanting and alchemy in Morrowind usually though, and I do fine.

I like magic regenerating over time. If I could have Morrowind's magic system + magic regeneration, even if slow, that would be great! Ive actually never been a fan of finite magic in a day. One thing I love about 5e DnD is infinite cantrips.

I think an improvement on Morrowind's magic would be embracing the idea of figuring out where the balance in spell power and spell cost is. Hell, I kinda wish for adjustable spells even after you make em. Instead of making 5 different versions of fireball, why not let you adjust how much damage it causes which effects the cost, as you level up and go. Kind of like choosing to do quick weak attacks versus making big slow powerful swings.

Again, Bethesda would do wise to go back to Morrowind and consider "How can we do this...but better?" rather than not even trying.
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

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evilthecat said:
I totally don't get that.

I mean, I guess it depends if we're talking about narrative choice or gameplay choice, although in terms of narrative choices Mass Effect was always a joke.

But in terms of gameplay options.. Really. I mean sure, you've got lots of things you can level up to get amazing bonuses. Amazing bonuses like +5% damage with pistols. Do you feel the engagement?
Wasn't my exact argument, but there was a hell of a lot more character types you could hypothetically build. The whole weapon customization to find your preferred rate of fire capacity before overheating combined with penetration, accuracy, damage etc was fun and actually rewarded you experimenting.

Sure, that is something I occasionally miss about a lot of modern games. I liked how in Morrowind characters would literally give you directions to follow, but the reality is that a lot of people found it frustrating. Something modern games get right, actually, is that while getting lost may be difficult, actually doing so is fun, and to me that's not a bad thing.

Sure, you can play Skyrim just blindly following map markers, you can also turn the UI off in Skyrim and just wander around. To treat that as a disadvantage is weird.
If turning it off was an adequate solution ... the thing is you actually need those indicators in something like FO3. That's kind of the problem. I'd have no complaints if the level of the dialogue, the level of world descriptiveness, was on par whereby you didn't need those compass pointers that you could turn them off.

The fact that you do need them compounds the idea that the devs used them as a crutch to negate the responsibilities of delivering characters having to organically discuss with you the nature of the world you confront.

You'd think in a game of FO3 about the Lone Wanderer thrown into a hostile world they have fuck all knowledge about, that maybe the emphasis would be on having characters memorise directions, and possibly get cheated by people outright lying to them about stuff in the Capital Wasteland ... and in the end you don't really know if they're lying to you, or maybe you're just off or got your bearings mixed up along the way...?

The Lone Wanderer is just shy of omniscient with those compass markers. In a world they have no idea about. In a world where they have very few friends or people they can trust.

If you're going to have quest beacons and nav guidance markers ... maybe make it interesting? How about your pipboy giving you directions ala like annoying vehicle GPS and using connecting roads and paths in combination with people's dialogue telling you rough bearings from key landmarks? Incentivizing that you listen to people, but that you don't get totally lost in the process?

And why not have the Pipboy map be pre-war, so that you can't trust it? Pointing out landmarks that are pointless wastes of rubble? So a little marker comes up on screen, you go to it, see a tangled web of struts and war-era melted slag? Utterly pointless but at one time a marvel to be sure...

It would also hammer home a pretty sombre message. Also hammer home you can't just blindly trust things...

Pretty neat idea, right? And it makes sense ... and it certainly lives up to the mood of the old Fallout games.

And spending an extra year polishing the game to have players actually have to talk to people with varius reasons to lie, or various reasons to takeadvantage of you, or simply for various reason might accidentally send you on the wrong way would channel that idea of being fresh from a vault.

It might have done something radical in that the factions and motivations of the villains in the game might not be so fucking garbage, either.

By using quest markers and direction beacons, devs simply did not have to rely on worldbuilding and dialogue. And because they never had to rely on those to actually inform the player about stuff, so did they lose the impetus of the writers and world designers having to think of; "And just what might make this character tick, and what motivations do they have to hinder or assist the player character? How can we make their good will seem more pure, or their treacheries more devious, instead of [Go to this arbitrary quest marker beacon, watch plot trigger] ...?"

And you see this terminal cancer of both game design AND characterization begin to shade every other aspect.

Like imagine getting a quest from a traumatized, now drunk Wastelander who is legitimately trying to help you ... but their speech and directions alone make it difficult. It's like a puzzle you need to put together ... and you need to put it together well, otherwise yu might fall prey to whatever traumatized the fuck out of them. That would be a pretty cool quest, right?

Whereby if you actually decypher the cryptic, drunken ramblings well enough, and memorize the clues hidden amongst the bullshit, you might end up with a far better reward without falling prey to whatever you might otherwise run into/lose if you don't bother to think about it.

It might of even made the game fun and the world populated with more interesting characters that must be meticulously written as a result... In fact, by having compass pointers and quest beacons in the game, it directly incentivizes game developers to not pay writers, VAs and world/level designers the money they need to create such experiences.

Sure, but compared to Oblivion these were also limitations.

In Oblivion you had unlimited choice. You could do literally everything, you could raise all the numbers by doing complex and engaging gameplay like making a destruction spell which deals 1 stamina damage to yourself and casting it over and over again forever.

Skyrim was controversial on release because it stripped out a lot of those numbers. I mean, it was barely an RPG because you couldn't raise your strength and dexterity and end up perfect at everything by abusing the ridiculous and utterly nonsensical way of levelling. What about the choices.

In Skyrim, you don't get many perk points so you have to choose what your character is good at, and stick with it. I would consider that an improvement, it made your choices meaningful, but some people definitely saw it as a betrayal of the "RPG" qualities of the game, whatever an RPG is.
The ultimate solution was raising to ten 3 different skills exactly to 10, yadda yadda and then you'd be unstoppable and max out level stat bonuses. It was a broken system that lead to you being positively godlikeat anything you attempt. Hence why Skyrim is superior in my opinion given that if forced you to mke a choice exactly how you wished to craft your character. Choice requires consequence to make meaningful.

I'm not saying remove consequence.


I'm not sure it does.

I think some players assumed it did, because they assumed that these decisions were deliberately and well thought out, rather than being slapped together in the rush to fill an unprecedentedly giant world map. Morrowind was not exactly the pinnacle of design. It was a hotglued excercise in jank and nonsense.
Okay I'll give you that one. It was a mess of features, and the fact that they could never balance or retool fly to ever be able to be properly challenged was a massive problem. But the flipside of that ws the capacity to create unique time saving options to certain dungeons.
 

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evilthecat said:
I totally don't get that.

I mean, I guess it depends if we're talking about narrative choice or gameplay choice, although in terms of narrative choices Mass Effect was always a joke.

But in terms of gameplay options.. Really. I mean sure, you've got lots of things you can level up to get amazing bonuses. Amazing bonuses like +5% damage with pistols. Do you feel the engagement?

I feel like "actual options" has to mean "meaningful options". Mass Effect 2, for example, gave each class a completely unique set of abilities, so while each class was more "limited" in a technical sense, it mattered more which class you chose as each could do something completely unique. That was replacing hollow choice with meaningful choice.
I once played a game on Mass Effect 2 where I levelled up enough to only unlock every ability for my Adept Shepard and the team. It felt no different during gameplay to when I used the Gibbed Save Editor to give myself enough points to max out every ability.

Trying the same with Mass Effect 1 though was completely different, I had to adjust how I played because of the different power levels, whereas in ME2 I didn't have to change how I played at all.

So that's the flaw really. In trying to make each class truly unique, they removed the feeling of progressing that character class.

What was also good about the first game, when it comes to +5% bonuses and the like, is that the achievements gave you in game bonuses. This gave the player a reason to play as the other classes and try them out in the game...that or go straight to monkey world and spam the abilities and weapons on the poor creatures.
 

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Saelune said:
Morrowind's lack of location detector lead to plenty of neat things to find. Plus, alot of people who disagree with Morrowind-lovers think we want Morrowind as is. I wanted Oblivion to -improve- on Morrowind, but it didnt even try. That said, Fallout 4 actually has tons of neat unmarked things to find, rather consistently. I hope for more of that in TESVI.

Bethesda should remove locations being visible on your compass (atleast until found) and remove quest arrows. I'd love to see how they would do them BETTER rather than not bothering.
Seeing locations on the compass is perhaps the smartest thing Bethesda has done since Morrowind, in my opinion. Wandering aimlessly in circles (or setting up military grade search patterns for efficiency) is not my idea of fun. By letting me see that something is to the west the game is constantly providing me with an interesting choice: Do I veer of and see what that thing is or keep on with what I am doing? It prevents exploration from becoming a boring trudge as you try to figure out where the cool stuff is because you happen to be on the wrong side of a city block or the ruin is blocked from view by a hedge.

They could probably take a hint from Witcher 3 and KC:D about having more quest area markers, where the player has to figure out where the thing is in a particular area instead of pointing directly at it, but quest arrows is also an incredibly efficient anti-frustration feature.

Saelune said:
Traveling in Morrowind was its own fun adventure. Plus people need to know how to use Mark/Recall and Almsivi effectively.
As I've grown older and have gotten more things (like children) that take away time from my gaming, I find myself less and less impressed by games that pointlessly restrict things for "immersion". A game like Morrowind or Skyrim (or Kingdom Come: Deliverance) is not a 1:1 recreation of reality and thus it becomes a weird sort of special pleading that fast travel is too much immersion breaking, but not including eating and sleeping mechanics is good gameplay praxis (as an example).

Fast travel is great because there comes a point in open sandbox games when you get told to double back to Solitude for the fourth time and you just don't want to waste 30 minutes of your life trudging the same road again, especially if you're out by a freshly cleared dungeon, want to sell off the loot and call it a day, but the nearest fast travel method is 10 minutes away. Giving a time constrained or impatient player the option to fast travel takes nothing away from those that want to not use fast travel. Some of us simply don't have the time to spend on pointlessly trudging the same paths over and over for immersion.

This is the same argument that was tossed around regarding an easy mode in Dark Souls. There's literally no point in objecting to someone else having an option just because I don't want to use it. If I can fast travel from Labyrinthine to Solitude that does not take anything away from you, if you want to walk that route.

Saelune said:
But...I WANT to be good at everything, eventually. Its a single-player game. Not like you're going to step on the healer's toes or take the tank's fun away, you're kinda on your own. That said, they could just slow-down the leveling. Getting to 100 shouldnt be a fast process.
And this is where the big divide in RPG players is. Some of us want to specialize and actually take on a role (in the D&D-class sense), where we have to make trade-offs and try to figure out how to mitigate the weaknesses of our characters. Others, like you, want to have the full power fantasy of being good at everything. There's no right and wrong here, but this is an unbridgeable divide. Either you have meaningful choices or you have the chance to be good at everything, these two are, literally, mutually exclusive.

Saelune said:
Again, Bethesda would do wise to go back to Morrowind and consider "How can we do this...but better?" rather than not even trying.
Honestly, I don't think so. Morrowind is a really cool game and I've played it for hundreds of hours over the years, but it is also a very flawed game mired by deep design flaws. Oblivion was a step in the right direction (but had its' own glaring issues, looking at you level scaling) and that's what Bethesda has been building on ever since. Morrowind was still grounded in the mid-90's design idea that the game should punish the player for playing "poorly" and the weird idea that frustration and grind where actually difficulty.

The leveling system in Morrowind was terrible (and it remained so in Oblivion) in that you could end up with a character that did not stand a chance to complete the main quest due to poor stat allocation. This might be "realistic" but it is incredibly frustrating to realize you've played 40 hours but there's no salvaging your save game short of losing half your progression.
The quest directions were a stupid idea from the start, especially since not all of them were put into your journal. Had to take a break for a few days? Too bad for you if you were half-way to your objective but now have to turn back and find the quest giver again so you can be given the directions all over again. Not to mention the times the directions were wrong or misleading.
The limited fast travel was also a stupid idea, especially in a game that forces you to complete several quests that are essentially just moving around the island to meet different people. A quest that could have gone down in 40 minutes suddenly took 6 hours, of which at least 5 was just pure trudging between objectives. Time wasting and disrespecting the players time doesn't even begin to describe it.
The magic creation system was too opaque for most players, but could be insanely abused by those that learned it. This meant that a first time mage player was horribly gimped unless they stopped playing the adventure part of their open world game to spend a few hours in a mages guild trying to make heads and tails of the magicka system. Once they did that, breaking the game became so trivial that all challenge was gone.

Honestly, Bethesda did the right call in the progression from Morrowind to Skyrim. They took what was good about Morrowind (open world fantasy adventure) and ditched all the baggage that frustrated players, wasted their time and created fake difficulty. Skyrim is not perfect, but it is a far better game, mechanically, then Morrowind could ever be. And it is so because Bethesda weren't afraid to make the game more streamlined and easy to access.
 

captainsavvy

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Gethsemani said:
As I've grown older and have gotten more things (like children) that take away time from my gaming, I find myself less and less impressed by games that pointlessly restrict things for "immersion".
This is exactly where I'm at (minus the children).
I simply do not have the time to waste walking for hours between two points because the game deemed fast travel to be "too immersion breaking". I have 4 hours a day between getting home from work and going to bed and I do not want to spend 3 hours of that wasting time that didn't need to be wasted.

If they simply must stick a restriction on it, they could do something like Horizon Zero Dawn did.
From the start you could craft one-use fast travel packs if you had the materials (which weren't particularly hard to come across if I remember rightly), but once you started coming across some of the mid-late game enemies they'd start dropping materials that would allow you to craft a permanent unlimited fast travel pack. By the mid game, you'd travelled a fair portion of the map away from the starting area so by that point fast travel was becoming more useful; you were rewarded for actually exploring and playing the game by being given a permanent "quality of life" option.


For me it all boils down to how much a game respects my time.
When I was still at school I could easily waste 200 hours in an epic RPG adventure, but now I have to ration my time. Hell I still haven't played Deus Ex Mankind Divided and Dishonored 2 and I bought them when they came out!
 

Terminal Blue

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Saelune said:
Morrowind's lack of location detector lead to plenty of neat things to find.
To a degree.

Morrowind had some of the most visually interesting design in any elder scrolls game, from the giant Ziggurat-shapes of Vivec to the Telvanni mushroom towers and the fungoid swamps, there was a lot to see, but the space between these locations.. not so much. Often you're just wandering along paths on the one route to your destination stopping every 5 minutes to murder more cliff racers.

Skyrim in particular improved on this massively. Getting lost in Skyrim feels fun because of all the weird little scenery and pseudo-narrative details added to the spaces between towns. Remember that random log over a waterfall with a bandit standing on it who you could fus ro dah hilariously to his doom? That log was in the middle of nowhere, there was no guarantee you would ever see it if you stuck to the paths, but because the game encourages exploring and getting lost most players did find it and of course they did shout the bandit off and it was good. Skyrim, for all its fast travelling, didn't have to be afraid you wouldn't find its stuff, because it didn't matter, you'd always find enough of it.

It would have been nice if the game had encouraged exploration more by having NPCs give you actual directions to follow which you could mess up, or removed map markers so you wouldn't end up bunny hopping up Bethesda hills in mindless pursuit of a compass direction, sure, I totally agree. But it has to be built from the ground up to be fun to do that.

Saelune said:
But...I WANT to be good at everything, eventually. Its a single-player game. Not like you're going to step on the healer's toes or take the tank's fun away, you're kinda on your own.
Sure, but by making the character good at everything, you're also taking away the sense that your character is actually a person with their own quirks and their own preferred way of doing things, and turning them in to a generic avatar. That's always been my biggest problem with the elder scrolls games, actually (other than the levelling system, but the levelling system was always part of this problem because it encouraged trying to be good at everything).

In Skyrim, it makes sense to be a sneaky rogue who runs away from direct combat because you might have loads of stealthy talents but little to help you in a fight. You can develop your own way of doing things. You can play a character who uses illusion spells to turn people on each other and then sits back to watch. You can play a character who goes around stealing the literal pants their enemies are wearing and just leaves them wandering around in their underwear, and there's a sense that this isn't just a momentary strategy, but actually who your character is. This is what they're built to do, and part of why they do it is because they might not be able to do something else.

To me, that is an example of meaningful choice giving a different, and I think a better experience than unlimited choice.

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
Wasn't my exact argument, but there was a hell of a lot more character types you could hypothetically build. The whole weapon customization to find your preferred rate of fire capacity before overheating combined with penetration, accuracy, damage etc was fun and actually rewarded you experimenting.
I didn't find that. Personally, I always just used the highest tier guns I owned and ignored the rest, since you got new ones constantly and there was no reason to become attached to any of them. In ME2, unlocking new weapons was exciting because even the starting guns remained viable throughout the game, so you were more interested in how they worked and whether it gelled with your playstyle and the role you envisioned for them than which one had the biggest numbers.

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
If turning it off was an adequate solution ... the thing is you actually need those indicators in something like FO3.
Yeah, I'm not defending Fallout 3. I have no idea why people like that game so much.

I'll get to the rest later, as that was a long post.
 

Terminal Blue

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Addendum_Forthcoming said:
If turning it off was an adequate solution ... the thing is you actually need those indicators in something like FO3.
To an extent, I get this argument. There are certain parts of the game where you'd be rummaging around looking for stuff. But here's the issue, often that would also happen if you'd been given directions. There's always the danger of it becoming a hidden object game, and you'll always need some kind of solution to that.

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
You'd think in a game of FO3 about the Lone Wanderer thrown into a hostile world they have fuck all knowledge about, that maybe the emphasis would be on having characters memorise directions, and possibly get cheated by people outright lying to them about stuff in the Capital Wasteland ... and in the end you don't really know if they're lying to you, or maybe you're just off or got your bearings mixed up along the way...?
See, you say that, but then I have to ask myself.. does that sound fun?

Like, none of the isometric fallout games ever did that. Sure, sometimes characters would tell you to go in a compass direction and you'd wander around saving regularly in case you wandered into an area where you'd get attacked by things which would either kill you or waste your ammo, but characters never lied to you unless there was going to be a payoff.

I mean, it's fallout.. not LA Noire, post-apocalyptic edition.

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
Pretty neat idea, right? And it makes sense ... and it certainly lives up to the mood of the old Fallout games.
I disagree..

The old fallout games weren't sombre. They were incredibly silly. I mean, fallout sort of had a grounding, but by the time of fallout 2 we've well and truly boarded the train to loopy town. I mean, you could say there's an element of exploration with following characters directions to find new settlements and locations, but in the 3D fallout games you're still doing much the same thing, only instead of being given a compass direction you're given a compass point. Fallout is ultimately a series about absurd violence, pop culture references and questionable attitudes to women. It's a series where the good and bad people literally may as well be wearing white and black hats a lot of the time (and that extends to you, characters react to your karma score even if they've never met you) it's not really about learning who you can trust in a dangerous world.

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
It might have done something radical in that the factions and motivations of the villains in the game might not be so fucking garbage, either.
We're talking about a series where, in the very first game, you could kill the main villain by pointing out that he hadn't bothered to check whether his master race could reproduce. Villain motivations have never been a great focus of the series, it's actually really silly and campy.

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
Choice requires consequence to make meaningful.
I agree, in fact this my point. We can't treat choice, in and of itself, as a symptom of a good game unless it has meaningful consequences. Again, ME1 had a lot of different abilities to put points in, but the end result was that classes were pretty indistinct and each ability felt, on its own, kind of meaningless. In later mass effect games, each character had fewer things to choose from when levelling up, fewer overall choices, but the choices which existed felt more meaningful.

Addendum_Forthcoming said:
But the flipside of that ws the capacity to create unique time saving options to certain dungeons.
I think there's a value to having a constructed, guided experience which you can't just skip, ignore or cheese through. I don't think every game has to be like that, and there's a certain appeal to Morrowind's absurdity which perhaps more games should embrace or at least think about. But at the end of the day, the goal has to be to give the player an engaging experience.

In fact, I think you're undercutting your strongest argument here, because in a sense I think you're right. Things like not being able to skip through the time spent journeying between locations or having to listen carefully to dialogue to figure out what to do are things modern games should at least consider and not be afraid of.

But throwing a bunch of barely-considered tools at the player which lets them cheese through the game "their way" isn't really any better. It removes the incentive to carefully craft experiences, because you never know if the player will just cheese through them. The risk, and the direction I feel Morrowind went in, is becoming merely a giant playpen full of interesting toys with no sense of coherence.

And don't get me wrong, most of the games I play rely hugely on unscripted narratives stemming from interesting quirks of the mechanics, but those are mostly strategy games. With RPGs, I think there's a lot of value in having a carefully planned experience rather than just a messy playpen.

Gethsemani said:
This is the same argument that was tossed around regarding an easy mode in Dark Souls. There's literally no point in objecting to someone else having an option just because I don't want to use it.
It's weird.. despite agreeing with everything else you said, I'm actually very torn on that one.

On one hand, I can see the value, particularly for people who have disabilities or maybe don't have amazing coordination but who still want to experience the game.

On the other hand, I think the problem with an easy mode for Dark Souls is that people will die a lot, give up and use it and ultimately rob themselves of a positive experience which is very much a product of difficulty.

When I started playing Dark Souls 1 ages ago, dying used to make me really angry. Sometimes I would even despair and have to take a break from the game. Recently, I played Bloodborne and I noticed that even when I was stuck I was never getting angry or upset. Dark Souls had taught me to accept that failure was a part of the experience, and that the correct response to failure was just to keep going. It hadn't just taught me how to play it, it had taught me the correct attitude to enjoy it. I think it's a healthy attitude, it's an attitude I wonder if I've taken in to other areas of my life without even knowing it.

But I wonder, if I'd been offered an easy mode back when it was frustrating and annoying and back when I didn't think I was the kind of person dark souls was for, would I have taken it? Would I have got to the end, thought "welp, that was a decent game" and just moved on. I certainly don't think it would have impacted me in the same way, and thus I don't think I would be as intensely obsessed with it as I am.

I don't know, it's an interesting dilemma in my mind, but I'm not sure it goes without saying that Dark Souls needs an easy mode, and I think there's more to the reverse side than just elitist pricks telling people to "git gud".
 

Gethsemani_v1legacy

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evilthecat said:
Villain motivations have never been a great focus of the series, it's actually really silly and campy.
As the loading images of Fallout 1 so efficiently conveyed, the main inspiration for Fallout was 80's pulp action comics. The future-50's and Science! themes were there, but they were also much more in the background then they'd be in Fallout 3 onwards (Fallout 2 actually sort of abandoned both for an even greater focus on post-apocalyptic future tech). Fallout 1 played that pulpiness for all it was worth, including Knights in Power Armor, mutation through dipping in dangerous chemicals and bottle caps as a currency. As you say, Fallout was never a very serious game, even if some of its' quests and themes did brush on serious topics. As the series developed, the pulpiness has become increasingly uncommon (with Fo:NV barely having any of it), in favor of a more somber tone.