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Fallout and Elder Scrolls: What sucked? What did they get right?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Not_Sure, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. Not_Sure

    Not_Sure

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    Hey everyone,

    So I'm still working on my RPG engine and after going back and playing some other open world FPS games I've streamlined my design and redid a lot of the math and the engine I have planed. I think I squeezed about as much as I could, inspiration wise, from the games. Now I was hoping that I could look to other people's input on what worked and what didn't in TES 3, 4, and 5 and Fallout 3 and New Vegas. I have played the classics of these series as well, but am looking to keep it modern.

    FEEL FREE TO SKIM OVER STUFF!


    This is what I got out of the play-throughs:

    Morrowind
    Pros
    +Ability to sever the main quest after killing someone
    +Factions had a real impact on gameplay
    +Really set the tone for the FPRPG genre
    +Large set of skills

    Cons
    -Piles of pointless dialog
    -Incomprehensible Quest Logs
    -Annoying Enemies (cliff racers)
    -Stamina always out due to travel
    -No fast travel (debatable)
    -Erroneous leveling system

    Oblivion
    Pros
    +Very very pretty
    +Oblivion gates were a great mechanic
    +Horsie!

    Cons
    -Rubber-banding
    -Rubber-banding with the leveling system rewards players for avoiding leveling up
    -Not nearly enough arrows
    -No pole arms
    -Leveling system messes up players' freedom of actions
    -Lockpicking is made obsolete due to an unbreakable lockpick in the game
    -The Arena was under utilized and an empty effort
    -The story is terrible ("Go do this to stop bad guy from coming back! That didn't work, try this! That didn't work, try this! That didn't work, try this! Oh well, he's here. Looks like we're screwed and-" DEUS EX MACHIMA!!!). Seriously, it sucked.

    Skyrim
    Pros
    +Unintrusive HUD keeps the game immersive
    +Fixed the no leveling up exploit from Oblivion
    +Streamlined some things well
    +Freaking dragons! You get to kill dragons!

    Cons
    -Rubber-banding
    -Adjustable difficulty (wasn't that called "coming back when you've leveled up some" back in the day?)
    -Terrible bugs
    -Ridiculous mapping errors a professional team should NEVER make
    -Terrible menu system
    -Factions mean NOTHING
    -Pointless flashiness over game play (enjoy looking at this item while the game takes that much longer to load)
    -Magic is worthless due to shouts, high cost, low payout, and limiting equipment loadouts
    -Duel casting is practically mandatory and make having two different spells useless
    -Lockpick is worthless since you can pick a master lock at the start of the game
    -Archery is cheap and broken due to overcompensation from previous games, and free training
    -Crafting skills are broken and overpowered
    -Crafting awards the player to make the same piece of crap over and over again
    -Blacksmith is devoid of common sense items (namely dragon bone weapons and arrows)
    -All dungeons are the EXACT same (a one way path to a loading zone, more one way path, a tell that you should save, a mini boss that often has no back story, loot, and finally a shortcut back to the beginning)
    -No more repairing equipment (debatable)
    -Quests are dumbed down to the point of just walking towards an arrow

    Elder Scrolls over all
    Pros
    +Deep and rich lore
    +Pretty (mostly)
    +If you want a fantasy FPRPG with an open world, this is pretty your only option.

    Cons
    -Level individual skills through actions is easy to abuse, especially for Restoration
    -The economy has NEVER worked well
    -Characters builds are pigeon holed and are not free to grow however you want ("I can't go the the gym, I want to be smart!")
    -Carrying multiple copies of one tool such as lockpicks and hammers is stupid
    -Carrying 1000 arrows is more realistic than having unlimited apparently
    -AI towards stealing is always broken
    -Too many containers! It's just time filler and it cheapens the experience. All the games should have the same amount of loot, but 1/5th the containers.

    Fallout 3
    Pros
    +Great armor system
    +VATS did a good effort to meet the core audience have way when moving to an FPS
    +Kill cams
    +Kept the retro fifties vibe and the pep boy cartoons
    +Kept the GURPS system intact
    +Good humor from time to time
    +Had some great tumbling chains of events at the end

    Cons
    -Rubber banding
    -Bland color pallet and map design
    -Ignored Fallout 1 and 2's lore that the East Coast (Especially DC) was wiped off the map

    Fallout NV
    Pros
    +No rubber banding!
    +Great faction options with balance and consideration for all play types
    +True to the FO lore
    +Interesting characters and situations

    Cons
    -Kind of just ends out of no where
    -Limited weapon options


    What do you guys think?
    I really need some input and listening to criticism for what's out there will help me avoid repeating their mistakes.
    After reading through the comments, I plan on laying the GDD out and begin working on it.

    What I have so far is:
    1) Stats, skills, and perks are one aspect too many to be fun. So I will only focus on two.
    2) Players should be allowed to build in any direction without any real penalty.
    3) There needs to be a balance between specializing and doing everything.
    4) There needs to be diversity and dynamics in melee combat.
    5) Weapons should act differently and work best in different situations.
    6) No level caps.
    7) Weapons and armor should be limited by stats or skills, not an arbitrary level.
    8 ) Players should be allowed to use armor and weapons no matter what. Just have them really suck at them if they don't have the stats/skills.
    9) Quests need a balance between straight forward and convoluted.
    10) Clean HUD, detailed menus. I am even debating doing away with an in-game compass.
    11) Find good balance between action and role playing
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  2. MarigoldFleur

    MarigoldFleur

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    Most of these aren't pros and cons at all. They're things that are either too vague to mean anything, complete misinterpretations on your part, contradictory, or opinion.

    Like "-Pointless flashiness over game play (enjoy looking at this item while the game takes that much longer to load)"

    Loading a single model and a texture takes so little time as to be imperceptible. It seriously doesn't take much longer than loading the old static graphics from Morrowind and Oblivion. This isn't "flashiness over gameplay", it's "making the loading screen something other than a black screen with "LOADING..." in the middle.

    And then there's "-Not nearly enough arrows"

    This is actually completely wrong in the case of Oblivion. Oblivion's arrow economy was completely ridiculous and they were nearly as plentiful as calipers. The problem with arrows in Oblivion is that they're too weak to be effective in combat.

    "+Oblivion gates were a great mechanic" and "-No pole arms"

    These are both opinions. On top of that, Oblivion gates weren't a great mechanic at all. They were doors. They were seriously just doors. Add to that that all the planes of Oblivion pretty much looking to the same (despite there being a wealth of planes of Oblivion they could have drawn from) and what they were were completely tedious.

    Then theres "-Leveling system messes up players' freedom of actions" and "-Adjustable difficulty (wasn't that called "coming back when you've leveled up some" back in the day?)"

    Seriously, that's got to be the most ridiculous contradiction I've seen. Your entire post is full of stuff like this.
     
  3. Not_Sure

    Not_Sure

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    I'm looking for opinions. I'm trying to collect people's opinions on the games to get new insights of my own to base my engine on. And I actually do appreciate contrary input to my own experiences since that means that I may need to re-evaluate them.

    I Apologize. That is a bit mangled. What I meant to say is that in Oblivion if you want to build skills up over more than just three governing stats it would punish a player if they worked on them at the same time. The more levels you get in a skill, the more the governing stat can potentially go up when leveling up. So if four skills go up, you can only pick three stats and must discard the bonus of the fourth stat. It is lost forever, and you essentially are being penalized for using a skill.
     
  4. Khyrid

    Khyrid

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    I agree with most of what you said.

    I'd like the elder-scroll games to be this living world going on around me where my actions are truly dynamic and can effect the fate of what goes on in the world. The rise to power leveling up should enable me to have a greater influence or making a profound impact on the world while still weak should be that much more dramatic. What I'm trying to get at is, there should be a better relationship between the player and the world. I feel like with Oblivion and Skyrim, I was just going through redundant motions after a while and nothing I did really mattered.
     
  5. freezingwreck

    freezingwreck

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    Those are debatable too. Every time a NPC says nothing but things related to the central plot of the game for me makes it feel like Im stuck in a game.

    Some enemies need to be tougher than others but of course dont make them too hard to beat.

    Stamina general most casuals these days dont want it but there will always be hardcore players wanting realism.
     
  6. DallonF

    DallonF

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    Out of this list, I've only played Oblivion and Skyrim (played the latter more), but I could add a couple of thoughts:

    - Skyrim's UI was the most readable thing I've ever seen in an RPG, but unfortunately not very usable. It could have definitely benefited from sorting, comparison, and some sort of way to figure out that I have 100 pounds worth of unneeded potions that is keeping me from running around. Most of the popular UI mods make it more usable, but lose most of the elegance and simplicity that I loved in the vanilla UI.

    - Oblivion's fast travel feature made the game feel disjointed and fake. The limitation they added in Skyrim where you could only fast travel to cities you've already visited helped a lot, but after a while you still just wound up warping everywhere instead of feeling like you're on an epic journey.

    - Skyrim's shouts were an awesome feature because they essentially let every character use magic, regardless of their build.

    - The enemies were unbalanced in Skyrim. Dragons and giants became painfully easy in the late game, but a bandit chief can kill you if you're not careful.

    And what do you mean by "rubber banding"? I'm not familiar with the phrase.
     
  7. The Ghost

    The Ghost

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    The number 1 thing I disliked about Skyrim was the dungeons. Skyrim is supposed to be an open world RPG. But after awhile all the quest lines make you do long and dull dungeons. They did try to mix it up with some puzzles which were cool, but it felt like they doubled the time spent in dungeons since Oblivion. I enjoyed the rest of the game, though.
     
  8. Not_Sure

    Not_Sure

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    Rubber banding is when a game makes artificial alterations to the game so that the difficulty is consistent.

    Think of Mario Kart how when you are burning through the track that suddenly all of the other racers are going faster than they should be able to, then when you are in the back they all fall about the place and you keep getting blue shells.

    Skyrim, Oblivion, and FO3 did this by spawning enemies that were your own level. So leveling up is pointless since the enemies get stronger as you get stronger.

    HERE HERE!
    The dungeons were an awful trek by the end.
     
  9. SevenBits

    SevenBits

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    My favorite thing about Skyrim is the environment. It's beautiful, and everything just really draws you in, from the music to the characters to the artwork.
     
  10. runner

    runner

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    It's kind of a shame you didn't include The Witcher 2 into this mixed bag of rpg tricks. The Witcher feel's like a adult rpg game while these others seem like watered down child games, with the possible exception the original elder scroll.. What all these games lack i believe is the element of fear in AI behaviors, I mean christ after the player has gone rambo and slaughtered like 500 minions and wtf this crash dummy FEARS ME NOT?

    Does my reputation not precede Me in anyway?
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  11. Myhijim

    Myhijim

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    The title does say "Fallout and Elder Scrolls: What sucked? What did they get right?"
    Not "Witcher 2"

    However I do agree with the fear bit.

    Most of this list is opinion, I mean, I like the fact you are pushed down one road without freedom of changing it later like Oblivion did, makes you think it through more.
     
  12. ChaosWWW

    ChaosWWW

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    I think the best thing bethesda RPGs do is having a feeling of a large, random world with many mysteries yet many freedoms. The best moments in Skyrim were running around in the wilderness taking in the beauty, defending yourself from beasts and trying to find hidden treasure, and the best moments in Fallout 3 were searching through old dilapidated buildings in search of supplies and potentially some valuable pre-war relic. The feeling of exploration and discovery is the cornerstone of these games. Even if you look at the quests, they are really just an excuse to explore more of the map for the most part. Honestly I think if Bethesda wanted to improve their games they should enhance this aspect more and worry less about having epic stories or whatever (I'll get to that). One of the problems with Skyrim and to a lesser extent Fallout 3 is that many of the dungeons looked very similar and loot became less and less interesting. Fallout circumvented this by some degree by making the locations have a specific purpose before the war (IE, supermarket, office etc.) so the audience can use their imagination a bit, but the fact of the matter is that most building interiors looked the same. This was worse in Skyrim, as you couldn't use your imagination for things like caves and temples and it was very obvious they were repeating set pieces. In terms of set pieces for Skyrim, there was really only 3 they used (cave, temple, dwarven ruins). Also, I think Bethesda makes their games too front-loaded. Within the first few levels you have seen or have most of the major weapons and armor in the game. I would like to see a few more set pieces and more rare and high level rewards that make playing for longer really worth it. The Fat Man shouldn't be an early game weapon.

    What I think Bethesda's RPGs do badly is story. Admittedly, they actually probably have better lore and backstory then most games, especially in the case of Fallout (even though they basically inherited a backstory). However, the actual narrative is pretty atrocious and almost hits "worst writing in video games" territory.

    Taking Fallout as an example, Fallout 3 has by far the worst main story of the series. It falls apart when you ask even the most basic of questions. Why is purified water really that important? What is causing there to be a billion super mutants (there is a very lame explanation that doesn't actually hold under scrutiny). Even ignoring the main quest, the game fails to provide adequate answers to even really basic stuff like where do any of the towns get food? Also, there's subtler things that other Fallout games got that Fallout 3 seems to not. For example, although Fallout 3 succeeds at having a fair amount of humor in the actual gameplay (I.E grinning vault boy icon when you get a headshot, ridiculous weapons like the rock-it-launcher), it fails to capture this in the actual dialog or story. The only real argument I need to make against Fallout 3 is to compare it to Fallout New Vegas. Same game engine, same game mechanics, less time to develop, yet far better story.

    Skyrim I think is worse. While Fallout 3 had story flaws, ultimately it never really detracted from the gameplay. Skyrim's bad writing actually made the game worse for me, and it was really hard for me to get into the game and enjoy it a bit when first playing it. The writing is boring and cliche, not really offering anything inspiring. Let's just start with the intro. While Fallout 3's intro was annoying if you wanted to replay the game, it did a very good job setting up the atmosphere and providing a dramatic payoff when you actually finally get out into the world. Not to mention, it had a very interesting way of presenting itself (growing up, learning skills as you age). Skyrim, however, proabaly has one of the worst intros in any modern game. It starts with a boring cart ride that isn't interesting in any way, and honestly I completely tuned out the guy who was talking at the beginning as he wasn't saying anything interesting. This part was boring and confusing, and while the dragon stuff after that was interesting, the dungeon afterwards was not so much and even though this intro was way shorter then Fallout 3's I felt a lot more like I was dragging my feet in Skyrim.

    While Bethesda usually has bad main quests, at least their side quests are interesting. Well, that's not really the case with Skyrim. Most of the side quests have really stupid excuses to go into a dungeon and kill Drauger or collect some garbage. They really seemed to go for the quantity over quality approach for Skyrim, as almost every NPC has a quest and almost none of them are interesting. Some are so banal as to be "bring this item to someone else in the same town for no reward". The side quests seem pointless and rewardless, as even the quests that give rewards usually only give a small amount of gold that you could live without. The major non-main quests were mostly bad as well. The fighter's guild had a very interesting and honestly surprising gameplay mechanic with the werewolf, but narratively sucked. The mage's college was really boring. Although it tried to be 'epic', the things you did in the quest were lame and I honestly had no idea what was actually at stake and responded with ambivalence. I was looking forward to the thieve's guild quest but was ultimately disappointed, it was just boring. The civil war quests were admittedly pretty solid, although with some awkward moments. The only quest I actually think was good was the Dark Brotherhhod quest. In fact, I thought it was so well done that it redeemed the game's writing a bit for me, but obviously I still have a negative outlook.

    So yeah. Had a lot to say about that.

    TLDR: Bethesda RPGS excel at having a feeling of exploration and adventure, and could do even more to improve this. They fail at having a good narrative, although they have good backstory and lore. Bethesda games seem to actually be getting worse in terms of writing, though.
     
  13. PrimeDerektive

    PrimeDerektive

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    I loved Skyrim's UI and menu system, but I played with a controller.

    I agree that the dynamic difficulty was lame as hell in Oblivion, but I thought it was executed significantly better in Skyrim. It was far more obscured, because they added level/equipment floors and ceilings for many creatures and enemy types. None of that "roving groups of bandits with full ebony and glass armor" garbage.
     
  14. Kinos141

    Kinos141

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    Spot on for me, too much blah blah, said in uninteresting voices. Borderlands spruced it up, so I didn't mind listening to NPCs crap. For ES, I'd prefer text over voice.

    My con:
    the games are boring as f**k.
     
  15. brilliantgames

    brilliantgames

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    Lol, we can sit here and talk about the flaws of these amazing games. But the fact is, I doubt none of us have come near master pieces such as these, and the Elder scrolls are my all time favourite games. Of course they have 'flaws', but 90 percent of these 'flaws' are just opinion. And when it comes to glitches, you can't play an open world game like this and not expect some weird stuff to happen. Personally I love game glitches, they are hilarious and show that the people who made the game are in fact human.. ;D
     
  16. Not_Sure

    Not_Sure

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    @ Brilliantgames: I have no delusions of my station in the universe and know I'm not going to make something "better", but that doesn't mean that I can't try something of my own. Also, you can criticize something and still like it, just as you can entertain a thought without excepting it. Like I said, I'm wanting to use this thread to get more perspective on the genre for my own influences.

    @ Myhijim and runner: The only reason I didn't include the Witcher is because I have not played it. Maybe I should from what you've told me. Also, you are spot on about the lack of fear in the games. One of the great things I like in Diablo 2 was the twitchiness of the little demons and how they'd run if you killed another enemy. Added a lot to the atmosphere.

    @ Sevenbits: Yes, a lush environment and great score would be nice. For me though, I feel I need to keep realistic standards about what I can do.

    @ ChaosWWW: Wow, that was a lot! Thank you! I think I agree with everything you said. Very insightful and spot on. I will say that the cart ride at the beginning of Skyrim was just the obligatory tram ride that is in every FPS since Half-Life. It's like people expect it at this point. Not me! This is NOT what I have planned at all. If I do a game I plan on making your character a tabula rasa with no past.

    Fantasy Genre: Wash up on the beach naked with no memory.
    Zombie Genre: Wake up in empty hospital (ala 28 Days and Walking Dead) with stitches on you head and no memory.
    Apocalyptic Genre: Leave a place of isolation that you stayed in to stay safe, but have no real past.
    Sci-Fi Genre: I'm not really sure yet.

    The over all theme though would be that you have no past and would be swept up into the new world instantly and be in combat/danger IMMEDIATELY. Put the core of the game out there first thing. Then have you saved by someone that gives you the starting info you need for the game as they walk you to the start location.
     
  17. ChaosWWW

    ChaosWWW

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    I think the only way to be nearly as competent as the designers who made these games is to look at other games and see what they could have done better. Lack of criticism = lack of improvement.
     
  18. SHIMMY

    SHIMMY

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    Having played the last three TES games and Fallout 3 (But not NV). It's incredibly easy to see what goes right here, but thats what makes them so difficult to pinpoint an improvement. In my opinion the upgrade system on Skyrim was the best i had ever seen, it felt like there was no flaw there, and that no upgrade system could improve upon this. As game designers we may really, really, really want to emulate this but I dont think that is the best course of action.
    Rather it is better to look at other RPG's, that may have done so well. Games like Dragon Age, or Dragon's Dogma (Both of which are fantastic games, but when it comes to Bethesda they cannot make a poor RPG). At this point you compare them.

    The map for Dragons Dogma was not nearly as large as any of the bethesda games, but Dragons Dogma lacked a quick-travel system, eventually I grew tired of the game because I spent so much of it in the middle of no-where, just getting to a quest, knowing that at its fruition i would be enduring this journey once more to turn it in. Point 1 for Bethesda.

    Morrowind and Skyrim had travel wherein you could only go to select few destinations, once they had been unlocked, that seems fine. What is better is to offer an alternative mode of transportation (in this instance a horse) in RPG's like Borderlands, this was a vehicle. The Witcher was less open-world and didnt offer anything like this.

    Speaking of The Witcher, that mapping system was awful, so was Dragons Dogma. The map in Skyrim was unique, it looked great, and it was interactive (in a sense), but it lacked depth. You could never really get in close, or scroll so far out you could envision the scale of the world you were in.

    Speaking of scale, dragons are cool (no doubt) but in Skyrim they really lacked diversity. Games like Dragons Dogma and Dark souls really offered you a feeling for the size of the beasts that inhabited this lands. This was great in Dragons Dogma where you might stumble across a gargantuan cyclops casually in the middle of a field, or a gryphon (roughly the size of the dragons in Skyrim) would swoop down. The dragons in Skyrim felt flat due to a lack of diversity, not only in appearance, but attacks, eventually they became quite easy to slay. Fallout had none of this, the buggest i ever encoutered were super mutants, and they were not much bigger than ordinary humans.

    Story, if theres one thing Bethesda do have to sacrifice, its a solid, linearly played out narrative. Morrowind and Oblivion both had somewhat decent stories, but so is the nature if these immersive RPG's the order of the plot is thrown askew. There is nothing so tangible to draw the player in, to continuously keep playing that story line. In TES you can easily keep yourself occupied, and reach level cap. without even touching the story, and then whizzing through it if you so desire. However, in The Witcher, there is little but storyline, the side-quests are structured fairly solidly, and the maps are never so huge that you find yourself on the opposite side of the world to the story quest. Which is a bummer. But the story in the Witcher was precise, and well executed (if not a little fuzzy with the option to choose so many important options). Bordlerlands manages this in-between quite perfectly, sending you on side-quests, before drawing you in to the game. By limiting the areas you can visit. I can start a new game in Skyrim and discover all nine holds in one sitting, but in Borderlands, you have to complete the storyline to continue through the game, both structurally and narratively.

    Obviously there are thousands more comparisons made. But this is the best way to make the utmost best game you can. Take aspects of every game you are trying to imitate and smush them together. If you only take the best from the best, you immediately eliminate what can go wrong.
    (I apologise for quite a long reply)
     
  19. Not_Sure

    Not_Sure

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    Don't. You make some solid points.
    I am wondering what to do with travel though.
    I think mounts are great, but the programing is a pain in the ass.
    Fast travel is nice, but it cheapens the experience.

    What about unlocking a perk that allows fast travel? My perks were going to be 5 tiered, so maybe:
    level 1: fast travel to major cities
    level 2: major landmarks
    level 3: minor landmarks
    level 4: from inside a dungeon
    level 5: anywhere (discovered or not)

    That way you would get the scale in the first part of the game, but then skip the trudge in the last legs of the game.
     
  20. brilliantgames

    brilliantgames

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    The idea is to look at how S***ty your game is, and how awesome their game is, and ask what am I doing wrong? What can I do to even have a comparable game to theirs? What can I do that is unique? Ego is not going to make your game better... The strive and motivation to make it the best it can possibly be, with the resources you have, will though.
     
  21. SHIMMY

    SHIMMY

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    I think maybe rather than an upgradeable fast travel system, have a specialised mount. Or you buy a mount and it sticks with you the entire game. And you upgrade the mount.
    Personally i dont like RPG's where the upgrades dont have an immediate benefit to combat or finances (which again turns into combat and defence). But a mount, especially an attack mount...that would be awesome. You get the feeling you are really travelling the land. You arent bypassing/skipping giant chunks of it. And the more you put into it, the better it gets. So by the end of the game, though you have already seen the entire landscape, you dont really have to take it in as you go whoosing by at the speed of a flying bullet.

    And I understand how difficult programming can be, but it isnt about the present, or even the work, its about the end result. Something might cost a hundred (or more) lines of code, and have little impact on the game, but it all adds up, and it all makes it much, much greater. So in the end it is always worth it. My advice would be too bite the bullet and make the best game you can, because you will regret the end result knowing its not as good as it could have been because you cut corners. (sorry if that comes off a bit hostile, i ensure you that is not my intention (It is late, i am tired)).
     
  22. Khyrid

    Khyrid

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    That's not a bad idea, but personally I feel like the fast travel dilemma is a self made one. We wants big games but we don't want big games.

    That's like somebody who wants a 50. Desert Eagle that actually fires little 9mm rounds because they don't like the kick, they just want a big gun.

    Most people would enjoy a game the scale of gothic, gothic 2 or risen, only most people don't realize that's the scale they truly want, they trick themselves into thinking they want a massive game that takes forever to walk anywhere.

    If I was making a massive game like skyrim or oblivion (which I'm not), I'd built the travel system into the game two ways.

    First the fastest travel would be teleportation chambers, but you would need to go from chamber to chamber, you can'T* teleport from anywhere. Then, there would also be some transport system like the striders from morrowind only they would move in real time.

    Second, I would lay out the map in such a way that the player is not looking at quest all over the entire map, I would use a fractal system, the majority of quest would always be near with less the further from your resident city. The game would activate cities to go into a quest giving mode once you stay there long enough. In addition to that mechanism I would have some quest you left behind far away send you a letter telling you the quest is canceled but they have new more (local to you) work for you. The idea is to avoid bouncing the player all over the map. The best way to make a good travel system is to facilitate the flow of the player's motive to travel in the first place.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  23. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    To me, broadly speaking, what they got right was giving you a sweet world to explore. What they got wrong was the lack of depth in the story, role playing/character development and character interactions.

    So, when a new Bethesda RPG comes out I love running around the world exploring new things until I've been to most of the places. After that I lose interest really quickly, because the quests themselves are rarely worth doing for the sake of questing. It's all excuses to go to new places, and when I run out of new places I stop playing.
     
  24. Philip Nelson

    Philip Nelson

    Joined:
    May 28, 2012
    Posts:
    20
    What bothers me most about Skyrim, Fallout 3, etc. is that while the world environment is open, the world story is static. It waits for you. Nothing happens unless you trigger something.

    What I'd really like to see is an RPG where the world is not only open, but dynamic. The best example I can think of is the Space Rangers series. In it you play the part of a lone spacer helping the free star systems of the galaxy fight against the predatory Dominators.

    Like a normal RPG, you get experience and level up and upgrade equipment. Unlike an normal RPG, the war against the Dominators goes on all around you. Other rangers are doing their bit (or turning pirate). You may be in one system trading while the Dominators invade another. You can help the military launch an invasion of their own, go it alone, or ignore the war while you build yourself up (although the war will come to you eventually). It feels like Master of Orion II is being played around you.

    But, it wasn't Master of Orion. It wasn't a strategy game or a strategy RPG. You didn't have to worry about defending all your bases or developing build orders. You were just a lone spacer, getting experience and upgrading your ship.

    In short, you got to create your own story, and I'm thinking that style of RPG could be built on and improved. I'd love to see a fantasy-style game where you're a small party or individual in a world where AI-controlled city-states need resources to build and upgrade units, monsters can threaten trade routes and supplies, and armies march to war, while you explore and fight and impact the world (or not) as you please.
     
  25. Khyrid

    Khyrid

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    Posts:
    1,781
    Yeah, I always wanted a type of game like that. For the longest time developers didn't want to make co-op, and they are still reluctant to develop better AIs, reducing any AAA co-op to redundant hack and slash game play.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  26. Philip Nelson

    Philip Nelson

    Joined:
    May 28, 2012
    Posts:
    20
    I'm working towards it! :)
     
  27. Myhijim

    Myhijim

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Posts:
    1,148
    Nah, I am :p
     
  28. Philip Nelson

    Philip Nelson

    Joined:
    May 28, 2012
    Posts:
    20
    Let me know when you get there, and I'll check it out.
     
  29. kenaochreous

    kenaochreous

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2012
    Posts:
    395
    Skyrim was such a sad entry into what was an amazing series of action RPGs .It was so streamlined in comparison to Oblivion and Morrowind.The magic system, skills, story just about everything I can think of was streamlined for the masses.It was such a disappointment IMO and I can only fear what's going to be next game. Elder Scrolls VI Streamlined Sandwich of Disappointment part II it's better than the last game we promise.

    Anyway that's my rant.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
  30. Blacklight

    Blacklight

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Posts:
    1,241
    Morrowind is the only one of those I can't really be certain about. I heard it was good a in all the respects I think the other TES games are lacking, but when I played it I was too young to really get into it. Out of the other games in that list, New Vegas is probably my favourite.

    Skyrim was a major disappointment to me. If I had to choose a single issue to complain about, it would be the static game world and the lack of value to anything you did. There was only one quest I found in which you could fail, and that quest was just insignificant (wear specific clothes in front of the Jarl, or don't and fail the quest). For the rest, it didn't matter what you did or what dialogue options you chose, you could only move forward. You choices did not have consequences, and thus had no value beyond "do I want X loot or Y loot as a reward?"

    My character is dragonborn. He is leader of the Dark Brotherhood, the Thieves Guild, the Companions and the College of Winterhold. He kills dragons with his voice and eats their souls.

    No one recognises this. The guilds don't even react to myself being a prominent member of other guilds. That kid who's one third of my size still speaks down to me.

    No choice that you make in game matters. The world doesn't react believably.

    New Vegas didn't do this. When you chose to help the Legion, the NCR warns you, sends men after you and shoots at you. There was an amazing rush of satisfaction after a powder ganger came up to me and asked for a cease-fire between myself and their faction. When I made a choice in FNV, I had to think about it because my choice could have dire consequences. The closest Skyrim came to this was the civil war, but I just didn't feel any reason to contribute. I could join a douche, or the side that tried to execute me in the beginning of the game.

    There was a huge lack of depth.

    Other points about the games have been discussed. Repeating set pieces giving giving a redundant feel, poor writing, rubber banding and such.

    As for the fast travel discussion, I thought Red Dead Redemption had a nice system. If the player was in the wilderness and outside of combat, they could find an empty, open spot to construct a camp in which they could save and fast travel to (or to somewhere near) any point on the map. If they were in a town, they could find a carriage and pay the driver to take them anywhere. In the carriage they could sit back and watch the landscape go by while the NPC drives, or "fall asleep" and skip to the destination. If not, the player's horse (which he could call to his side at any time via whistling) was a very effective means of travel.
     
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