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Incline RPG Codex's Top 50 cRPGs - Results and Reviews

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by felipepepe, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. TheImplodingVoice Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

    TheImplodingVoice
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    Problem is that every game that has a leveling system or drops loot is considered a roleplaying game. And most of the RPGs out there have nothing actually to do with roleplaying at all.
     
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  2. Sigourn Arcane

    Sigourn
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    This is true. But then again, how much roleplaying is there in Wizardry?
     
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  3. Funposter Scholar

    Funposter
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    Yes, but it also has an entire set of dialogue options and responses from NPCs which offer a unique experience. It doesn't just stop the game from happening. Playing a Mage in Oblivion is effectively crippling yourself in a mechanical sense due to how level scaling works, but it's absolutely part of what makes Oblivion a (bad) RPG. Take a look at a DnD campaign - all of your friends have picked tier 1 or 2 classes (Wizards, Cleric, etc.), and the DM is preparing a campaign for such a party. You then rock up and say "I'm playing a Monk". You have probably crippled yourself, but its the very essence of roleplaying in this case.

    LARPing is obviously different to roleplaying, and most people on this forum would agree. No sane person wants to "get inside [their] character's head" by sitting on a chair and eating Bread for an in-game hour. Roleplaying is largely dictated by what your character can and cannot do in terms of combat or exploration, but it's also in terms of social interactions. How well do you barter or persuade? Perhaps the game has different forms of Speech which are important for different parts of society (Etiquette/Streetwise in Daggerfall or Age of Decadence, Common/Latin in Darklands). I'd argue that "roleplaying" is, at its most basic, being presented with a problem and then being forced to ask "how would my character deal with this?", which the mechanics and systems of the games (such as skills, attributes, etc.) then reinforce.

    Which gets more to the heart of the problem with CRPGs than anything else. No game with as much mechanical depth as even New Vegas can provide meaningful choices for every skill, at least not in the same way that a DM and player can in a traditional PnP. It tries very hard to do so, but it's 100% right that my character never "feels" like a Scientist, or a Trader. Part of that is because no matter what, you're the Courier first and foremost. I'd argue that rather than "morality roleplaying" the game best expresses itself through the different factions and people that the player can associate with. Deciding to side with the Legion or NCR, House or the Yes Man - these are meaningful roleplaying choices which allow the player to project a certain philosophy onto their character. They are certainly more meaningful than killing every NPC in the game because you're a psycopath, and then saying "well shit, I'd better reload because now I have nothing else to do".

    minor edit here: I said previously something to the effect of "locking yourself out of content isn't roleplaying" but obviously that isn't true if there are mutually exclusive portions of content depending on what your character does, ala New Vegas' faction-based main quest, or Age of Decadence. This is why I like Morrowind too. You are only able to join one of the Dunmer Great Houses, and your position in these houses as well as other factions will dictate your reputation with other characters. Of course that system is poorly implemented, but it's the thought that counts.

    It's not meaningful because there's no point to any of it. It's a video game. Like it or not, most of this shit needs to be expressed through incentives. Oscar ends up hollowed when you return to the Asylum, and you have to kill him (well I guess you can just run away forever, but for what purpose?). If the player's previous interaction with him somehow played into how this new encounter plays out, then yes, it would actually be meaningful roleplaying and would potentially be interesting. Let's suppose that either way, he hollows out, but maybe if the player just talked to him, etc. he only aggroes when you enter the room and never chases the player out of it, almost as if a small part of his memory is still there and he's trying to ward you off. He's protecting you from himself. If however, the player killed him, he just aggroes and chases you to the ends of the earth until you kill him. This is a hypothetical, but it takes a "choice" and turns it into something that is slightly more meaningful in terms of how the player experiences the game.

    As stated, my definition of "roleplaying" would be something along the lines of solving problems according to your character's skillset - a skillset which the player has likely explicitly selected at the beginning of the game (class system) or one which they plan to grow into (build as you go). This probably doesn't apply to Fallout 3, because the game doesn't ever allow the player to solve problems intelligently.
     
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  4. IncendiaryDevice Self-Ejected Village Idiot

    Self-Ejected
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    I agree, Hordes of the Underdark is a really good cRPG.
     
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  5. Sigourn Arcane

    Sigourn
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    But this is present in Dark Souls, social interactions aside (and even then you can choose how some interactions unfold). Take Wizardry: you interact with NPCs when you leave the maze, but you cannot ask for lower prices (unless I'm mistaken). That's one of the most basic social skills in RPGs: the ability to haggle prices.

    Fallout 3 does let you solve problems depending on your build. Fallout 3 aside, what about Fallout 1? If I play the game as I see fit, does it constitute "roleplaying" if there's no intention to roleplay behind it?
     
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  6. Funposter Scholar

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    I agree with this. Builds in Dark Souls have a tremendous impact on how the game is played, absolutely. A character focusing on VIT and END is able to effectively tank hits (at least in NG) thanks to the Poise mechanic which scales up with heavier armor. A character focusing purely on FAI is able to cast Lightning and heal, and even use melee weapons which scale with it, while an INT character can focus purely on casting for damage. DEX and STR play differently, DEX/INT is an effective combination due to weapon buff spells, etc. There's a huge variety of builds that the player can choose from, all of which affect how the combat encounters play out. The one caveat to this is Pyromancy, which any character can effectively use, and which allows some characters to easily overcome problems which would otherwise require the player to play against their strengths. For instance, a DEX character using an Estoc or Rapier may have problems fighting mobs of enemies due to their weapon have piercing attacks, rather than the wide swings of an STR weapon. Equip Great Fireball on your Pyro Glove and that problem completely disappears. The same applies to pure STR character not having any good way of dealing even simple ranged damage - just throw some fireballs.

    I was being somewhat facetious with the Fallout 3 remarks. It does let you solve some problems using your character's skills, but very often it is a branch of Speech/Lockpicking/Science/GUNS AND MURDER. The vault escape at the start of FO3 in comparison to 'Ghost Town Gunfight' from FO:NV effectively displays what I mean. Even playing the game as you see fit, I'd argue that most players find a role which they are comfortable with or find fun, and so start to take on that role. "I've been speccing Speech, so I'll see if I can persuade my way out of this situation? No? OK, what else is my character good at?" etc. Even if the player doesn't have an idea of what they want to do at the outset, they usually take on some sort of archetype.
     
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  7. sorinmask Just like Yves, I chase tales. Patron

    sorinmask
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    This was a very nice experience for me - to read all these opinions and ways to look at the game! It was great. :)

    While I agree with some ideas, and disagree with others, it's always nice to speak to your peers, and exchange ideas. :D

    Chapeau, gentlemen. ^__^
     
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