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Review Hindsight is 20/20 for ToEE at RPGVault

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Spazmo, Nov 25, 2003.

  1. Spazmo Erudite

    Spazmo
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    Tags: Temple of Elemental Evil; Troika Games

    <A HREF="http://rpgvault.ign.com" target="_blank">RPG Vault</a> have posted an interesting <a href=http://rpgvault.ign.com/articles/441/441983p2.html>"wrap report"</a> article on <a href=http://www.troikagames.com>Troika</a>'s <a href=http://www.greyhawkgame.com>Temple of Elemental Evil</a>. In it, producer <b>Tom Decker</b> discusses what was, wasn't and could have been in ToEE.
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    <br>
    <blockquote>The contract was signed and work officially began on February 1, 2002, and the game was originally scheduled to be completed on June 1, 2003. About one full year into the schedule, we amended the deal to add two additional months to update the rules to 3.5 Edition D&D and add additional content, which put us at an August 1, 2003 completion. We delivered the final product on August 30, so we came in ultimately at almost one full month late. I think with the bugs we have discovered since then, we should have delayed this for at least one additional month beyond that. Our game would have been solid with an October 15 completion date.</blockquote>
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    <br>
    As much as I love ToEE, it could definitely have used another month in the oven.
     
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  2. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

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    Lots of exuses in that article. At least the last page was reasonable.
     
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  3. Chadeo Liturgist

    Chadeo
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    Gee Volourn, don’t strain yourself with those stunning, detailed, and insightful comments.

    Ignoring the whole testing issue (don’t any of these developers even read their peers “post mortems”? Every single one will say: “needed more time for testing”) I thought the interesting bit was his admission that the strict adherence to the PnP module was damaging. I could not agree more actually. It sounds like a large amount of effort was spent recreating the module, and then fixing the aspects of it that just did not work for a video game. So much wasted effort. If only they could have spent all of that time working on something new and creative, this game could have really shined.

    Also, while I understand that they probably spent a fair amount of money on the voice acting, it seems that it would have been better to drop it all together rather than keep sub-par voices in the game. I guess it must just be one of those “features” of a modern RPG that they feel like they must include. Don’t get me wrong, I love voices in my games, I just think that poor voices are such a huge distraction that it would be better to have none than poor ones.

    The final interesting thing I got from that interview was how unplanned much of the elements central to the gamers experience were. Things like final map layout, or encounter setup, or plot development. It looks like everyone was just working to recreate the PnP module, and then when they found out something needed to be added or changed it was just put in by who ever had the time. When many of the encounters in the game are made by an artist who is ahead of schedule, something is seriously wrong.

    So yeah, a few months of extra testing, and then a few months of actually developing a game and not a translation of a sub-par PnP module and you would have a great game.
     
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  4. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

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    Really, all I got from that article, was that if they had more time things would be hunky dorry. That's boring. That pretty much states nothing as every single developer would state unequivocially they'd want more time.

    Heck,a s great FO is; imagine if they were given another month, or two, or three?

    As for being too hard up on rules implementation. Well.. that's Troika's own darn fault. Wasn't it before the game they were so proud of sticking by the exact DnD PNP... PNP... PNP... rules (though not as exactly as their fanboys think they did as just the pages in the back of the manual shows). Now, they're going back on that and saying, they should have *gasped* adapted the rules to fit the game and not the other way around? Hmm...
     
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  5. Chadeo Liturgist

    Chadeo
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    I did not see a single thing in that interview that implied that they had to change the rules to adapt the game play.

    I did see multiple comments about being forced to adapt the module to accommodate the game play.

    Those are two very different statements.

    As long as you keep a turn based combat system, and allow for a fairly robust dialog system, you will have no issue implementing the d20 rules system. It is only when you want to have real time combat, but still use the d20 system, or when you only want 5 skills so people don’t get all confused when leveling up, that you need to modify the rules for game play.

    Oh, and the comments on the issues with keeping close to the module made it clear that time was not the issue. Basically it influenced every aspect of the game, and at the end they realized that it had been a bad idea. This is a more fundamental statement than just needing an extra month to fix bugs. Hopefully they learn from this mistake, and do not repeat it for their next game.

    Ditch the crappy modules; don’t tie your creativity down like that.
     
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  6. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

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    Tok them HOW long to figure that out? Yet, if Atari contracts them out again, they plan to make sequels using more crappy ancient D&D modules. *yawn*
     
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  7. triCritical Erudite

    triCritical
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    They had 3+ years to make FO. Almost as much as they had to make BG1. Of course BG2 got over 2 years while FO2 got 10 months, and it was pretty lackluster. PS:T got over 3 years and IWD got about 12 months. Starting to see the trend.

    ON A DIFFERENT NOTE,

    As for the voice acting I think the guy in charge of that posted at the Atari forums shortly after the release saying Atari penny pinched and went all amateur. So can you really call it voice acting if they didn't hire voice actors. Instead it was normal people talking.
     
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  8. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

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    Nice try. It is still voice acting byd efinition. You could say, once again, it was Atari's fault; but even as is mentioned in the article. Troika knew what the budget they had to work with. If they didn't think they could pull it off; they should have said something. Heck, they did, which is why they got some extra months thrown in. Go figure.
     
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  9. Otaku_Hanzo Erudite

    Otaku_Hanzo
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    So, what you're saying here is that voice actors aren't normal people? That they're some sort of mutated hybrid bred deep in some corporate lab for evil purposes yet unknown?

    Man... where's Jill Valentine when you need her?
     
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  10. triCritical Erudite

    triCritical
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    You Asswit!

    Normal people, as in non-professional actors. They hired amateurs and they admitted it, read between the lines you fuck!

    Look in the annals of my post. When did I ever say that ToEE was going to be a high budget action adventure. If you look carefully you will hear me saying that I was expecting something along the lines of IWD, but better. And that is what I got, a game with better combat, more non-linearity, more dialogue (albeit bad dialogue), and better rules implementation that with a lot more replay value.

    What are you trying to get out of me? I think its the best DnD game made in the last 6 years, but that says alot more about BIS and Bioware then it does Troika.

    Nice Try yourself twit...
     
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  11. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

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    No, the game you got was: buggy combat, non linearty that meant crap, and horrible dialogue. As has been stated before, more is NOT better. Replay value? I haven't finsihed the game 'cause, quite frankly, it sucks. I'll stick with Arcanum. Stop being a fanboy and kissing Troika's ass and dela with the fatc that TOEE and sucks. Period. Deal with it.

    TOEE is the 3rd worst DnD game in the last 6 years on PC - only POR2, and IWD2 is are worst; and that's barely the case in IWD2's case.

    Sorry, I don't take insults of fanboys like you seriously.
     
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  12. triCritical Erudite

    triCritical
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    The combat had bugs. The combat was still very good. For the most part combat worked very well, there were certain bugs that made some situations quite ridiculous but you move on. For the most part the patched has patched a lot of issues up. Most of the bugs that were really bad were outside of combat.

    Non-linearity never means crap. Either its linear like IWD where there is only one way to get from point a to pointy b. Or there are multiply ways, which has been labelled non-linear. I can do things in the order I choose. I can skip things with certain players. Its basically allows me to play the game two time two different ways. Most of the quest are optional. These things just didn't exist in IWD.

    Like I said I got what I wanted a hack and slash better then IWD, how is that kissing Troika's Ass. By saying not complaing about the bugs, but hell that would make me a hypocrite considering I was telling people not to complain about IWD2's bugs, and I did not complain about NWN's bugs even though it did not work on my PC?

    It was better in the sense that the monotany of 4 straight chapters of doing nothing but hacking on slashing with one of the worst combat engines known to man ceased. And for the record, I thought the dialogue in Homlett sucked. But the combat later in the game I found on par with other CRPG's.

    This game IMO is better then IWD, I find only the biggest of IE weenies would not believe that.

    Look you fucking idiot, which is telling me to deal with it. I do not go from message board to message board saying ToEE is the greatest thing ever. This argument was not even started by me saying any such thing. You on the other hand go from place to place saying it is the shittiest game ever, obviously you are the one that can't deal with it.

    And do me a favor and quit saying shit like THIS IS THAT, without actually writing any premises behind what you are saying. You argue like a 3rd grade school girl.

    Well that is your opinion, obviously you look for something very different in combat oriented RPG's. When I play the combat oriented DnD table top rule-set known as 3rd edition, I look for something very similar to what you got to ToEE. Hell Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil just personifies this.

    I have told you why I think Bioware CRPG's suck, but you just make the blanketed statement as if you were the word of god. They made a good tactical combat CRPG, considering this is what I was expecting I was pleased. When the combat turned out to be better then anything I could have ever wished for I was even more pleased. Yeah I with the bugs were removed instead of the adult content, but that life deal with it, the bulk of the game was pretty damn good for what it is, a hack and slash retread of a 1Ed module.

    Get a life!

    Then why did you respond to them you fuckwit! Heres another insult, your clueless! And as St. Proverbius once said to ShadowPaladin, "I insult you, because frankly, you deserve it."
     
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  13. Diogo Ribeiro Erudite

    Diogo Ribeiro
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    :shock: Saint Proverbius actually said that? Damn, i missed the show :lol: Well done, Saint :wink: I always found that prick annoying as hell.
     
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  14. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

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    Tri, if you are going to simply, why do you even bother? Where have I stated that TOEE is the worst DnD game ever? Man, you should relaly stop lying. When you stop lying; I'll take your word for it.

    I have given reasons why I think TOEE sucks. You disagree, that's fine. I have no problem with that; it's your lies that I can't stand.
     
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  15. triCritical Erudite

    triCritical
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    So you can use hyberboles in arguments and no one else can. You said it sucks and its is the 3rd worst DnD game in the last 6 years. Well damn that is not saying too much for it. Hell its not that much of reach from that perspective to call it the worst CRPG ever...

    And if I don't stop you'll tell your mommy. Why do you bring the 3rd grade school girl attitude into everything?
     
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  16. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

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    No, it's very much a reach. It's funny you say I havea "3rd grade school girl attutude" when you are the one flinging insults left, and right. It's not MY fault that TOEE didn't live up to Troika's hype. They should have stuck with Arcanum.

    Maybe if you wouldn't lie; I wouldn't have to call you on it. Is that too much to ask?
     
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  17. Otaku_Hanzo Erudite

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    First off, you need to drink decaf. Second off, you need to fucking learn to recognize sarcasm when you see it. Third off, I did NOT insult you in anyway, but now I guess I have every right too.

    Every post I've ever seen from you on this forum was troll crap just trying to stir up shit with whoever you can. Fuck you if you can't take a joke. Simple as that. Say what you will in response, but I can guarantee it's just gonna be more shit. Because that's all you seem to do is shit out your mouth.
     
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  18. Sol Invictus Erudite

    Sol Invictus
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    You kids need to calm the fuck down. It's like you've got sugar coursing though your veins.

    That said, TOEE is far from perfect. It's got one of the best tactical combat implementations I've ever seen in the game, being almost as good as that of Jagged Alliance 2's while offering much more melee options, has some damn fine graphics and a pretty 'open setting' to boot - however it is marred from some serious issues.

    I'd mention the bugs but they've been addressed so I'll get to more critical things: the voiceovers, the random encounters (which seem rather pointless really considering you can just skip them), and the lack of content from the PNP module or otherwise CRPG perspective of the game. What ever happened to the story about the Orb of Golden Death?

    The NPCs are horrible. They have about as much depth as a puddle of mud.

    There's also a 'lack of consequences' pertaining to the quests. Hommlet is utterly pointless and most of the areas in the game just don't seem to tie in with each other as well as they should. Doing one thing in Nulb should very well have consequences on what happens in Hommlet. Overall the game just feels a little too 'cramped'. There's 3 general locations in the game - Hommlet (pointless, except for the Moathouse), Nulb (which is ... small), and the Temple. I have to tell you that playiing games like Fallout, KOTOR and Morrowind just makes TOEE seem really fucking small.

    I'd personally kill to see a game with the TOEE engine with the vastness of Arcanum. Put it on a DVD for all I care. If they'd been given to work on a much larger campaign (Against the Giants), and put a lot more work on the story and NPCs, it would have probably been regarded this year's best RPG.
     
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  19. Spazmo Erudite

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    Given the competition, Rex, it probably still is.
     
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  20. Azael Magister

    Azael
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    Never thought I would say this, but as a roleplaying game KotOR offers a better experience than ToEE.
     
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  21. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

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    Not according to Exitium, Spazmo. :wink:
     
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  22. Otaku_Hanzo Erudite

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    He started it. :P
     
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  23. Sammael Liturgist

    Sammael
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    The game that deserves "RPG of the year" is Gothic II without a doubt.

    EDIT: But KotOR will get it, given its media treatment.
     
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  24. Rosh Erudite

    Rosh
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    Star Whores. :D
     
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