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Arcanum and Morrowind are still unsurpassed

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by JarlFrank, Jul 5, 2021.

  1. Beans00 Augur

    Beans00
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    [​IMG]


    >.>
     
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  2. Demo.Graph Savant

    Demo.Graph
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    The time has come.

    Hitler.
     
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  3. vota DC Augur

    vota DC
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    Never played arcanum but being half Ogre because half orcs aren't huge enough seems a very interesting concept, I mean half orcs are just humans with more muscles.

    Can you side with Dagoth Ur?
     
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  4. Ol' Willy Arcane Zionist Agent

    Ol' Willy
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    When I played dwarf gunslinger I just invested one point into the healing spell and healed myself. Self-healing worked even with 100% technical aptitude
     
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  5. jackofshadows Magister

    jackofshadows
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    That's why I said "worthless intellect": combat stats first, 2 points in gunsmith + 5 firearms - way less than Virgil's healing won't work and by then it's not a problem anyway but char points are saved. He can also heal with bandages, even it's not quite effective w/o apprentice perk.
     
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  6. Molina Learned

    Molina
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    Thank you JarlFrank. You understand my curse.
     
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  7. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    I like how this thread devolved into BG1 vs BG2 arguments because nobody can prove my thesis wrong :M
     
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  8. Hag Savant

    Hag
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    Better or worse than BG1 ?
     
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  9. Demo.Graph Savant

    Demo.Graph
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    Actually, there were Bloodlines. They're smaller, more American and at least as flawed as the other two. And they've managed to give me the same sense of wonder. That was a "social" wonder, not an explorer one. And there were less secrets. But still... I still remember my first walkthrough, where I've managed to get possibility to choose from all endings.
     
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  10. zool Cipher

    zool
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    Fortunately, because this is Morrowind, mods fixed it (18 years later).

    https://rpgcodex.net/forums/threads/another-morrowind-mod-list-rp-and-content-mods.131433/

     
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  11. Lonely Vazdru Pimp my Title

    Lonely Vazdru
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    Well, there's sex. Now if you mean in the CRPG department, I wouldn't hold my breath.
     
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  12. Funposter Magister

    Funposter
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    Right idea, but an underachiever.
     
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  13. honko Educated

    honko
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    In my opinion, Morrowind is a very poor RPG
     
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  14. jackofshadows Magister

    jackofshadows
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    Alright, instead of more angry shitposting I will try to address some of your points based on personal experience with RPGs.
    It's not the case in Morrowind. You can always grind and "fix" your build at least to a high degree. The only two major choices at start are the race and the sign. So, you can still gimp your mage-type char by not choosing atronach/altmer for example but that's the extend of it. Level scaling which is suppose to punish you for your mistakes can only make your life harder so much an even become obsolete since 23lvl or so in theory but in practice it's barely matter at all. Especially since you can always raise and use "misc" skills and don't even care about level scaling. Also those two major choices at start are barely matter because the game is very easy in general. Moreover, it's true for Arcanum as well mostly thanks to possibility of raising attributes along the way but to a far lesser degree due to race limitations and mentioned in OP tech/magic aptitude. To summarize, there's much harsher RPGs in this regard nowadays and the prime examples are very well known around here: UnderRail and The Age of Decadence.
    There was an RPG which could easily challenge Arcanum in that regard but it was made by the same people and called Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines.
    The Outer Worlds gives this opportunity as well. Does it make the game better? Hardly. In Arcanum, even if the ability to go full murder hobo was nice, the brilliance of this design manifested itself because the key characters were so well written and fleshed out. And the possibility of summoning their spirits and get your answers through torture was truly something else. Ironically, the other game in question, fails at this miserably. At least plot NPCs weren't immortal yet.
    Arguably, UnderRail. I take it you haven't played it. As in Arcanum, most of quests are straightforward there but few are truly amazing and inherit that very design. More related to the set of skills since there's no races but more than just that. Unexpected reaction on having quest item already is there for certain, acknowledgement of the chosen sex is there as well.
    This, to be honest, sounds pretty outdated. Even Pillars of Eternity (or was it only the sequel?) had the option to hide the tags already and what's more important, counting it as a clear advantage is controversial. It's a RPG we're talking about after all: how much do you want to hand over to the player himself and what to strictly tie to your char's progression system? As for hidden content, UnderRail once again. You'd be amazed to what extremes the devs went with that one (even involvement of random and ties to the highest difficulty aside).
    Guess which game comes to mind? Yes, UnderRail yet again. Even, I repeat, EVEN with the auto-map sometimes it's a real jorney just to get somewhere remote. But the game hasn't had the map on release and long time after while being huge. Reading through various complains about it was amusing as fuck back then. And some still consider that introducing auto-map made the game worse. Personally I would even tend to agree with them if expansion wouldn't be so damn big on its own.
    Well, there was also Rage of Mages (1998!) which featured double-layered armor and it was beyond cool. It's also worth mentioning that in WoW there's 16 slots counting 2 weapon slots and not counting 2 optional cosmetic ones. I wonder if it was inspired by TES in any degree or not. But what's important is that in WoW and I'm sure other MMOs which was inspired by it that's matter while in Morrowind - not really. Due to difficulty issue. What's the point of gathering full daedric armor (even if it was indeed a cool journey on its own) and then enchant all of it?

    As for the lore/immersion - highly subjective, I'd say we rather suffered from too many bland uninspired fantasy-like settings (essentially thanks to one thing: motherfucking DnD). And genre being half-dead in general. See also: TESO. Something tells me you haven't played Morrowind expansion despite it takes place guess where. And lastly, UnderRail has pretty fascinating lore and it takes some effort to actually reveal its details.
     
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  15. Harthwain Magister

    Harthwain
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    This is easy to explain: by trying to copy the most popular thing you hope people will be more likely to pick your game up as a good enough substitute in place of the real thing. Making something of your own takes time, effort and creativity.

    Great thing about Morrowind was that its lore reinforced its narrative, with you being a stranger in a strange land (or, to be more precise; an outlander). And the natives were always keen to remind you of that by dropping various remarks. I know it was automated and essentially meaningless, but little things like that really added up to make the whole experience more immersive. Another good example is Gothic - the premise is very simple (even stupidly so), but it's really well executed: the Barrier acts like a natural limit to where you can go, the ore is a currency, etc. Again you can see how lore is reinforcing narrative.
     
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  16. Lacrymas Arcane

    Lacrymas
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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Unsurpassed in being overrated.
     
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  17. Shaki Learned

    Shaki
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    Arcanum is never going to be surpassed, even back then Troika was something special, but in current times and going forward, there is absolutely no way that someone can get a team as talented and as passionate about their work at the same time, and have them work at such ambitious projects. Demand for great RPG games is simply too low to justify that, it can only end up in financial failure.

    There is space in the market for smaller studios, to make good games, don't be too ambitious, focus only on the most important parts, keep the costs low. It can be sustainable and produce enjoyable games. But if you want to go bigger, you have to sacrifice quality and cater to the mass market, become one of the soulless corporate machines, pumping garbage for casuals, that's the only way to stay afloat.

    We were given some true gems in the past, when studios still were led by dreamers, when they thought by creating truly outstanding games, they could achieve financial success, which would let them create even better games... They were able to make those masterpieces, because they believed that whatever sacrifice they made in the process, it would turn out to be worth it. But they were proven wrong. Now we know, it just doesn't work like that, and to achieve greatness similar to some of those oldschool games, a studio would have to consciously put itself on a road to failure, which is not going to happen. We had one Golden Age, we're never going to get another. Now the only way forward for RPG fans is to either accept that, and be content with simply good, less ambitious games that small devs can still produce, or keep hopelessly looking for that greatness that we experienced in the past, forever unsatisfied.
     
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  18. Bigg Boss Arcane

    Bigg Boss
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    This is bullshit. Studios are still led by dreamers they are just broke and usually make one or two games then go bankrupt. They aren't at Bioware, Bethesda, EA, Ubisoft, Activision, Konami, Capcom, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo...the people that make things like UnderRail exist. All the classic games did not come at once. It took time. I am shocked UnderRail and AoD and Atom even exist but they do. Basically you are wrong. You are in the bubble. The greatness was due to the era we lived in being the foundation of the genre we like. Creative people did not vanish off the Earth. Starting a company is expensive and basically 90 percent of the people that try fail.
     
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  19. Shaki Learned

    Shaki
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    Games like Underrail, AOD are Atom are some of the best RPGs in recent times (Underrail is imho THE best modern RPG), but they still aren't even close in scope and ambition to projects like Arcanum - which is not a bad thing, since this is how they can survive and keep producing good games. They are primes examples of those smaller studios that I talked about in my post - "There is space in the market for smaller studios, to make good games, don't be too ambitious, focus only on the most important parts, keep the costs low. It can be sustainable and produce enjoyable games.".
     
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  20. Bigg Boss Arcane

    Bigg Boss
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    That scope made Arcanum review like shit, sell like shit, and everyone went out of business. I just think the comment that these people suddenly stopped being passionate after the 90's is based on nostalgia. No, the price suddenly skyrocketed to develop software after the 90's. All of a sudden you needed 200 people to make a shitty game.

    Arcanum still sells like shit.
     
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  21. Shaki Learned

    Shaki
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    I never said that people stopped being passionate. My argument was never about it. Passionate devs simply learned from the mistakes of studios like Troika - because, like you said, being too ambitious made them go out of business. That's why successful devs these days, who are passionate and want to keep producing good games, stay small and more focused. They abandoned the idea of growing bigger and bigger, and creating better and better games, pushing boundaries. They don't reach for greatness, they're content with their games being just good, as they learned that's the only viable way to survive in this market, without selling your soul.

    Studios like Troika would go wild with their passion. New generation of devs simply keeps it in check.

    But yeah, while this will let them produce good rpgs for a long time, and let us enjoy good rpgs for a long time, it also means that they will not reach the same highs, and old games will remain forever unsurpassed.
     
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  22. Kainan Learned

    Kainan
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    So in other words, everything is shit and decline.
     
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  23. Darth Canoli Arcane

    Darth Canoli
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    And that's why you put Morrowind and Arcanum on a pedestal...

    Arcanum: Good quest design, no encounter design (average combat system overall)

    Morrowind ... There's absolutely nothing there...
     
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  24. Ravielsk Scholar

    Ravielsk
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    Thing is Troika was sabotaged from outside. Its first two games (Arcanum and Temple of elemental evil) both received so little marketing that they were obscure pretty much from day one which naturally sabotaged their sales. I myself learned of their existence only years later when Arcanum was packaged with a gaming magazine I was subscribed to at the time. You could argue that it was partially Troikas fault for trying to make CRPGS just when they were going out of style but the same definitely does not apply to VTMB.

    Being their last game VTMB was sabotage entirely by Activision. At the time Activision was already huge and they were very much aware that the game was not ready for launch but forced it out because of "muh quarters". Worse yet they forced it out to compete with Half-life 2. They did not even wait a week or so, no they forced it out shoulder to shoulder with Half-life 2. Even if VTMB was a bug free experience on launch that alone would have rendered it a complete failure. Meaning that Activision consciously burned whatever their investment into the game was with absolutely no chance of recuperation. From the info I could find Troika needed like a month or so to fix up the game and maybe in that time HL2 hype would have died down enough for the game to have a chance, it could have in fact worked in its favor as people might have been more interested in more source games after finishing HL2. Instead the early launch sank both the game and Troika. The actual quality of the(ir) game(s) had little to do with their failure as a company.
     
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