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BioWare's love for trash mobs

Discussion in 'BioWare' started by Tim the Bore, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. Tim the Bore Novice

    Tim the Bore
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    Guys, help me understand something.

    I think it’s safe to say that BioWare has/used to have a reputation for making games with „deep” story. Whether this sentiment is true or not is irrelevant (but for the record, I think it isn’t). I’m talking only about the reputation they had.

    We can also probably agree that no one plays their games for gameplay reasons (spare for Baldur’s Gate). Since SW: KotOR BioWare has always had this massive disconnect between gameplay and story - this is when the encounters with enemies became nothing but a giant waste of time.

    The amount of trash mobs was getting bigger and bigger with every game. Their recent titles - ME: Andromeda and DA: Inquisiton (I didn’t play Anthem and I’m not going to) - are filled with this stuff, it’s what you’re doing for about 80% of the playtime.

    Here’s what troubles me: why are the fans never seem to care about that? Most people play BioWare games for the story, but majority of these games are made of filler encounters, back-to-back, again and again. Even if you don’t care about the mechanics of games and play only for the story (bleh), killing faceless mobs is still what you’ll be doing most of the time. Between every cutscene there is a ton of fights. I thought that this is what fans would be upset about, but I was wrong.

    Most popular complaints are some really superfluous stuff, like facial animations or lack of close-ups during conversations, tiny things like that. Something easy, something visual. But you don’t need to be able to make some deep analysis to know that trash mobs are annoying and distracting – especially if you’re a storyfag.

    So I wonder: are fans just really used to that? Do they just don’t care?

    Help me find enlightenment.
     
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  2. Neanderthal Arcane

    Neanderthal
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    Not just Bioware, almost every crpg relies on loot hauling, trash mobs, and really poor dialogue/story/romances with their squeeing, retarded companions. Bioware has to rely on this because it makes dull and unimaginative games, even at its peak.

    Bioware imagination at its greatest, the fade and other simplistic dream sequences.
     
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  3. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    People don't mind because most people just want to turn their brains off and kill some stuff. Especially in Action-RPGs like ME:A or Fallout 3/4. Neither the devs nor the players are aiming for something like Blackguards.

    Besides, the bar is really low. Which AAA RPG has great encounter design? Fuck, let's go beyond that, which AAA RPG has great combat? Most of them are mediocre at best.
     
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  4. RickOmbo Educated

    RickOmbo
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    You don't get it, their fans need mindless escapism. "I'm in it for „deep” story" thing is a mere justification.
     
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  5. Erebus Arcane

    Erebus
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    As illustrated by MMORPGs, a lot of players simply enjoy doing repetitive stuff.
     
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  6. normie Learned Patron Zionist Agent

    normie
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    bioware then: deep
    bioware now:
     
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  7. Clockwork Knight Arcane

    Clockwork Knight
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    Trash mobs aren't an issue by themselves, depends on how fun the combat is. Mediocre combat by definition is enough for most people so they don't see it as a big issue.

    Not RPGs but it's funny how Rockstar insists on making storylines where in a quest to steal a trinket for a prank you mow through enough people that you'd become international news IRL, then you get to the gang leader and someone shows up crying and begging you to please remember that every human life is precious, then you shoot him and they act as if they just don't know you anymore. The corpses outside had families too, you know.
     
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  8. octavius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    octavius
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    I think the Baldur's Gate games were mentioned in this thread.
    But of course some gamers will focus all their attention on the trash mobs that nearly all games have instead of the enemy adventurer parties that are almost unique to the BG games.
     
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  9. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    If you want lengthen the game time without investing in more main questline/story, trash mobs are necessary to distract players.

    Main story can NOT be too long and convoluted or you lose players, this is a thing derived from many games.

    Yet you want to make a reasonably long game. Thus you need to pad the content.

    Trash mobs is a valid tool for that.
     
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  10. Lord Commissar Alexer Educated

    Lord Commissar Alexer
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    As above said, its a cheap way to "extent" the game a bit.
    So you can boast how long your game is while in reality most of your time you are going from one area to another one killing things.
     
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  11. Tim the Bore Novice

    Tim the Bore
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    By "trash mobs" I basically meant "too much enemies for that kind of game". Even games with a really good combat system can go too far - ToEE for example.
    And I'm aware that a lot depends on a good combat system, but I'm talking about fan's reacton. If majority of BioWare fans prefer Dragon Age 2 horrible combat system, I doubt they are capable of saying anything interesting about it. But I thought that trash mobs would be easy to criticize.

    That's the thing, I could understand "mediocre". But BioWare seems to go way beyond everybody else. Witcher 3 for example - AAA, mediocre combat system, neither good nor bad - doesn't fill the whole map with trash mobs. Heck, even Bethesda games, for all their numerous problems, show "some" restrictions when it comes to the amount of enemies (although Fallout 4 was definitely a step in a wrong direction). These games know that no one is playing them for a combat, so they don't really push it on you. BioWare on the other hand is somewhat hell-bent on doing that, yet the fans are okay with that just the same. It eludes me.

    Yeah, I know why BioWare is doing that, I wonder why their fanbase is so immune to that.
     
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  12. Kit Walker Totally Not Captain Shrek

    Kit Walker
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    Trash mobs are a result of designing the game too much around relatively fast paced combat. If an encounter takes too little time then to fill the game up devs tend to throw trash encounters. All d&d crpgs with rtwp are examples of this.
     
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  13. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    Dont be so dismissive of them. It's not like top73 or top 101 RPG dont use trash mobs. specifically Fallout 2, Baldur's Gate 1, or even Planescape Torment still use them.

    BG1 limit trashmob and therefore it's a short game with less content, relatively.
     
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  14. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    See what Bioware used to get right was the sense of going on a jouney or adventure. So it didn't often matter, because you still had that feeling of discovery & progression. Anything could await you around the next corner, so if it was another mob fair enough, quite often though it'd be something else such as an item/puzzle/NPC/quest/etc.

    Stick everything in one city like Kirkwall and that goes straight down the shitter. Stick everything in a trash filled "Open World" where you know exactly what's coming next because the game's copy-paste formula makes it so predictable and it flushes down that same shit pipe too mi duck.

    But make everything feel as if it's part of a bigger quest or picture, and you can get away with it way more. Yeah it can still be a pain in the rizzer, but it's way easier to deal with trash mobs as you clear out & claim a keep for yourself for example, because it always feels like part of a quest & you're constantly discovering things along the way.
     
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  15. Tim the Bore Novice

    Tim the Bore
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    Huh, that's a really good point. Thanks, I think you're up to something.
     
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  16. Rafidur Literate

    Rafidur
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    Doom 2016?
     
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  17. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    Silent Storm has great encounter design.

    It has many type of terrain map different in each country.

    In each map, entry location of party is different. Time to enter also different thanks to game clock too, and that lead to different experience, because night is easier to sneak than day, (possibly) less neutral NPc than day. RNG loot also can be different, because if you luck in a map with good loot it make it worth while: some good pistols? Some good explosive/med tool/engineer tool? This lead to some exciting expectations.

    Thus Silent Storm has great encounter design. It's a model of encounter design for any game I can think of.

    Silent Storm Sentinels drop that design, sadly. Mostly because they think story dont allow it (I think) but in that way the encounter design of SSS is sadly lacking compared to its sister.
     
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  18. Darth Canoli Liturgist

    Darth Canoli
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    Just take a look at the most popular games on nexusmods, the more dumbed down the mechanism, the more retarded the fanbase, the more superfluous reskin, hairstyle mods or revamped XXX's face mods you'll get ...

    It's a goldmine for shitdevs because relying on a shitheads fanbase is the best thing in the world, all you need is up to date graphics and allow graphic mods, no talent is necessary, just underpaid mindless slaves to design your shit.
     
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  19. anvi Cipher Village Idiot

    anvi
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    Lots of games are full of trash fights, not because the devs like it, but because they don't have the budget to replace 9000 trash fights with 9000 finely tuned boss battles.
     
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  20. Machocruz Arcane

    Machocruz
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    Encounter rate should be a setting for any game in this day and age. That way the people who need their game to last X amount of hours to "get my money's worth" can be satisfied, and the people who have lives to live don't have to spend 40 hours on what would be a 10 hour game if you cut out trash combat.
     
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  21. anvi Cipher Village Idiot

    anvi
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    Yeah I like value for money but I would always vote for quality over quantity. If the combat is fun then I can handle a lot of trash fights. But when it becomes the same routine in every fight... I just want it to end. I've only ever seen an encounter number setting in one game, The Fall of the Dungeon Guardians. I loved that game.
     
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  22. DalekFlay Arcane Patron

    DalekFlay
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    The "wander, kill, loot" grind has massive appeal to many, somehow. It's why shit like WoW and Destiny exist and become massively popular. I'm playing Greedfall right now, which is precisely that kind of game with a very thin story and interactivity element, and when I present these things as problems people are baffled. "Every RPG is about killin' and lootin' dude!" they tell me. Right or wrong it's a huge part of the genre for a lot of people, and Bioware know that.

    That said I think Dragon Age: Origins has some really nice encounter design sometimes, though it also has horrible trash mobs other times.
     
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  23. oldmanpaco Master of Siestas

    oldmanpaco
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    My kids (three 7 and under) like repetition and structured entertainment. What that says about modern gaming I'll let you decide.
     
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  24. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    Congratulations, you just made the game longer but ensured that some players will quit the game out of tedium, and it's unlikely anyone will ever re-play the game because of how tedious it is to go through!

    Length is not a good indicator of quality by itself. If you make the game longer by adding trash mobs, you make the game less fun and players will wish the game was shorter.

    Fuck trash mobs.
     
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  25. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    Dragon Age Origins was the game that left me with trash mob PTSD. I finished it because I wanted to get through the ending after investing so much time in it, but at the end I just felt drained. So many copypasted encounters...
     
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