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About the Big Total Conversion Mods like Skywind/Skyblivion

Discussion in 'Bethesda Game Studios' started by Steedless, Aug 24, 2019.

  1. Steedless Literate

    Steedless
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    I don't get the appeal of them. What's the point in porting a game to a newer version of the same flawed engine? It seems like a big waste of time and energy, especially so when Elder Scrolls VI eventually comes out, all just for the sake of novelty.
     
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  2. luj1 You're all shills

    luj1
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    Those aren't total conversions, stuff like Arktwend and Enderal are.

    And to answer your question - passion. Just like in any big modding project, people like being creatively stimulated.

    EDIT: Also there's no reason to think TES VI will make all other entries obsolete.
     
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  3. Steedless Literate

    Steedless
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    I agree. Skyrim definitely didn't, which is why I don't understand the need to port the older games to it.
    I'd agree if it was something like Enderal as you mentioned, but they are just ports. At most it seems like modding exercise rather than creative stimulation.
     
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  4. ShaggyMoose Learned

    ShaggyMoose
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    Morrowind is my favourite TES game, but the engine is shite. I would appreciate it playing it in something modern.
     
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  5. Butter Magister

    Butter
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    https://openmw.org/en/
     
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  6. ShaggyMoose Learned

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    Thanks. I always put off trying this type of project until I think I won't run into any game-breaking bugs. However, they rarely seem to reach that level of polish. Open MW seems to still be at a "car parts all over the lawn" stage of development.
     
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  7. Lemming42 Arcane

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    A big part of these games - even Morrowind - is sightseeing and feeling like you're exploring a real living world. With a talented team that respects the original art direction, the Skyrim-era Creation engine offers opportunities that the Morrowind-era Gamebryo engine doesn't. Other than graphics, this could mean things like NPC routines and what-have-you.

    But I think the main reason is because people just find it fun to work on as a hobby. The end results will be fun for us, the dipshit gaming public, but the real fun in these projects is all the artists and programmers and sound designers working together for years and watching a project develop from scratch into something really impressive.
     
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  8. AW8 Arcane

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    Skyrim players generally aren't interested in playing an old(er) game like Morrowind. They are, however, happy to play a Skyrim mod that let's them experience Morrowind through a more modern game.

    Bethesda focusing on other games than TES VI is a blessing for these projects. It allows them to make headlines and still have a big following. If they fail to release before TES VI however, it will be drowned out by TES VI news and lose a lot of its popularity. Especially since a mod to re-create Skyrim in TES VI is sure to be announced and make headlines shortly after the construction kit has been released.

    As to why the modders work on these projects? Like Lemming said, people find it fun to create stuff and get recognition.

    Coming up with an entirely new setting and story is an incredibly difficult task. Re-making an existing game is in no way an easy task, but certainly less difficult.
     
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  9. luj1 You're all shills

    luj1
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    The problem with OpenMW is that by using it you're forfeiting MCP, MGE XE, Lua and 90% of the body of work of Morrowind modding. The only reason for using OpenMW is multiplayer.
     
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  10. ShaggyMoose Learned

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    Well, fuck that then. Why would I want to ruin Morrowind with other people?
     
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  11. Circuit Self-Ejected

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    Why? It's the only gamebryo game where the engine doesn't do crazy shit. It still looks gud and allows many graphical enhancements with minimum modding, UI is great and perfomance was acceptable even back then when it was released. If you are talking about weird models, creepy walking animations and unimpactful combat - it's a gamedesign's fault, not engine's
     
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  12. Fedora Master Arcane Patron

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  13. cretin Learned

    cretin
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    Those newer versions of the same flawed engine are markedly better. Come on you definitely understood that.

    And unlike the LARPers who pretend to really enjoy incredibly dated games for cool points on the codex, some of us would like to revisit those games but find their original versions to not be enjoyable anymore and imagine it would be markedly more enjoyable on the updated versions of that same flawed engine. Listen ARMA 3 is 'just' an updated version of the ARMA 2 engine which in turn arma 1 and OFP etc but it you're going to pretend they offer identical experiences I'd have to accuse you of being either dishonest or stupid. And FWIW with that example remakes of the OFP campaigns have been among the most popular third party content for every iteration.
     
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  14. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    Morrowind is actually better than its successors. Just count the number of equipment slots, look at the options the spellmaker has, etc. A lot more complex than what came later.

    Morrowind clearly wins.
     
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  15. Butter Magister

    Butter
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    Hi. Can you be a dragon in Morrowind? Thank you and good evening.
     
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  16. Modron Arcane

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    Daggerfall is actually better than its successors. Just count the number of equipment slots, look at the options the spellmaker has, etc. A lot more complex than what came later.

    Daggerfall clearly wins.


    *unironic posting.
     
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  17. Thal Arbiter

    Thal
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    I'd be interested in replaying Morrowind with a more involved combat system, provided that enemies and encounters were appropriately challenging. Sadly, I'm not really optimistic that a mod team can achieve the latter, but I'll try it unless the word of mouth is terrible.

    Morrowind redux is an appealing concept because the best parts of the game were the setting and world space, which were lacking in Skyrim and Oblivion.
     
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  18. thesheeep Arcane Patron

    thesheeep
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    Codex 2012 Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Nothing wrong with the Morrowind combat system.
    It's actually the last of the series to feature RPG combat (indirect control, your character does the attacking) instead of trivialized action combat (direct control, you do the attacking).

    I wish more games would feature Morrowind style combat. Or both variants, as it would be very easy to implement both (just set to-hit chance to 100% in case of action combat mode).
     
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  19. MotherMachinae Arcane

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    They make nice entry in their portfolio/cv/other papers/Linkedinwhateversites.
     
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  20. cretin Learned

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    There might be nothing wrong with the system on paper. In practice it's not suitable for the medium of a FP action rpg. Ask anyone what's the first thing they could change about morrowind and the answer is almost invariably the combat because it feels odd and is boring/ involves no player skill which is absolutely appropriate for a classic turn based rpg but TES really isn't that and thus it feels wrong.

    I'm partial to the idea that it would be more enjoyable with more dynamic animation and better feedback but I still think it is all wrong for the type of game TES games are
     
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  21. Thal Arbiter

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    Morrowind exists in that narrow space between RPGs and Simulations, which results in some idiosyncratic gameplay mechanics. Melee works fine, but if you're firing a bow, you will have to aim for the hitbox of a moving target AND pass the roll after. So it's skill based and stat based at the same time, not fully satisfying either type of game. Simulation is what Bethesda has always wanted to make, and TES lineage starts from Ultima Underworld rather than from Wizardry or Pool of Radiance. Arena and Daggerfall work as RPGs same as UU, because the graphical fidelity is low enough and interface as well as character movement are clunky enough for the game become an abstraction of "being there". With Morrowind they reached the uncanny valley where something begins to feel off. If you take Morrowind as a VIDEOGAME rather than as a CRPG, the complaint that your sword goes right through the enemy like air becomes valid.

    Ultimately, I think simulations are bound to diverge from rpgs for good, as evidenced by Bethesda's increasing stripping down of rpg elements. Skyrim is barely an rpg anymore. The problem then with these games is that the trend towards simulation is accompanied by increasing pandering to mass appeal, which makes the new direction very superficial. Environmental interaction, genuinely inventive level design and complex combat mechanics should be the bare minimum requirement. But these things would make the game too hard for the sub 110 IQ player, and so we'll never see a good simulation from Bethesda either.
     
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  22. Alex betthurt

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    Actually, there are a few things Daggerfall could borrow from Morrowind in that department, such as more options on the spellmaker and the alchemy system. Making enchanting a skill was also an improvement, I think, although it was nice that using soul stones was only a part of enchanting in Daggerfall, not all of it. Oh, and summoning spells.
     
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  23. Lemming42 Arcane

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    Yeah I'm not sure how people can defend Morrowind's combat. Archery is bullshit for the reasons already mentioned, but did everyone forget that melee is basically the player making the choice between holding left mouse to do power attacks, and click-spamming left mouse to do loads of mini attacks? It's a laugh-out-loud terrible system. The only benefit of it is that it lets the player feel the benefits of stat increases as he or she sees less missed attacks and more successful hits (allowing for increasingly greater reliance on power attacks), but that doesn't offset how jarringly awful it all is. I don't really buy the usual talk about how it's cool that you start off as a wimp unable to hit anything and eventually become an unstoppable demigod - there's nothing cool about being laughably shit for the first two hours of the game and then virtually invincible from that moment on.

    The only part of Morrowind combat that's potentially fun is magic, and that's chiefly down to the spellmaker. Plus spell effects like Paralysis at least let you change the way combat works in a way that just standing still and clicking left mouse until things die doesn't.

    Arena/Daggerfall combat isn't great either but at least the directional swing system lets you feel like you're doing something, even if it's actually doing precisely jack shit, and you don't get carpal tunnel syndrome from having to left click 50 times to kill a shitty rat. I think they made the right choice in stripping Skyrim's combat down to the point where stats do almost nothing - people play these games as murder hobo simulators anyway, nobody's expecting RPG mechanical greatness. It's like how Deus Ex HR/MD made the right decision in having combat just be standard cover shooter stuff - it sucks, but it's ultimately better than the alternative offered by the original Deus Ex where you're a billion dollar cyborg who can't aim a fucking pistol at something in front of his face. I respect what Morrowind, Deus Ex and others are trying to do, but there's no way to blend FPS combat with stats-based combat. It doesn't work. Same for New Vegas, it would have worked better if they'd accepted that making a real-time first person game in a 3D engine means that you're not going to be able to recapture what's fun about Fallout's combat, so they should have just cut their losses and tried to turn combat into a serviceable FPS rather than the clunky janky VATS-reliant shit they inherited from Bethesda.
     
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  24. gurugeorge Educated

    gurugeorge
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    You're cutting up the chicken in a weird way there - equating CRPG with not-simulation. To me, the whole point of a CRPG is simulation (of a virtual world and a virtual character). The relevant distinctions seem to me to be:-

    1) degrees of abstraction on the one hand, and degrees of direct ("actioney") control of the avatar on the other, and
    2) simulation priorities vs. gameplay priorities (i.e. depending on where the balance is in 1), too faithful a simulation might be clunky or tedious gameplay-wise).

    I agree with you on the point of there being a divergence though, of a kind. I think it lies with 2) really - the "dumbing down" of games is the gradual removal of simulation elements, and the gradual streamlining of gameplay to suit the "actioney" side of the 1) dichotomy.

    It's always been interesting to me that some of the most popular mods for Bethesda games seem to be the "realism" mods - the mods that introduce realism to the weather, to camping, to stamina and encumbrance, etc., etc. There does seem to be a sizeable audience out there (and I include myself) of people who want something like the real world to immerse themselves in (but with magic, s-f elements, whatever) with real world rules that are already ingrained in us and intuitively understood, but just with time and space compressed, and certain elements that would otherwise be tedious or inconvenient to real life somewhat compressed too (some compression of time and space, for example, the ability to save anywhere, maybe a fast travel option, that sort of thing).

    With that sort of game, you can have either a lot of abstraction (as in the traditional CRPG) or you can have a good deal of realtime "actioney" control, it doesn't really make that much difference, and it is itself an element of preference. Elements of gameplay that are under the player's direct "twitch" control can easily be accommodated to the more abstracted elements of the gameplay (twitch ability might ensure that you tend to always hit, but an "accuracy" abstraction can make the hit a glance or a crit, that type of thing).
     
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  25. Thal Arbiter

    Thal
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    This depends on what we're talking about. When I said simulation, I meant it as an distinctive genre, which was the genre name tagged on to Ultima Underworld by contemporary reviewers. The notion was that UU was different beast from CRPGs like Dungeon Master, Wizardry or Pool of Radiance (all dungeon crawlers or crpgs where the main draw is combat (described as hack and slash rpgs). So strangely UU was lumped in with Flight Sims, Space Sims, Sim City and other builder games. Not a very good grouping, but the popularization of the term Immersive Sim kind of points out that there are some first person games that aren't FPS or action games but something distinctively different. My point is that TES games always wanted to be Immersive Sims rather than CRPGs. I suppose you could say that a traditional crpg tries to simulate pen and paper playing where as immersive sim tries to simulate what pen and paper tries to simulate.

    Yes, and I count myself among those people as well. And Bethesda knows about them too. However, it's quite telling they are happy let modders to the heavy lifting for them, and produce the good stuff like Frostfall for them. In a vanilla TES, that shit would never fly. Hence, what we are getting are theme parks instead of the real thing. That doesn't mean that Bethesda doesn't try to improve their formula, but they simply have to do it in an inoffensive way. And they've found it with the most popular mods, houses. Hence, Fallout 4 and settlements. So, maybe the grouping that includes builders won't be that inappropriate in the future.
     
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