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CRPG Book - Updated version

Discussion in 'The cRPG Player's Handbook' started by felipepepe, Mar 2, 2020.

  1. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    I think it's time to begin working on the updated version of the book. so here we go.

    First, I want it to cover games up to 2019, so we need to add games from 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Here's a tentative list:

    2016
    Darkest Dungeon
    Tyranny
    Kim
    Steve Jackson's Sorcery

    2017
    Battle Brothers
    Prey
    Expedictions: Vikings / Conquistador
    NieR
    ELEX
    SpellForce III / series
    Slay the Spire
    Torment: Tides of Numanuma
    West of Loathing
    Grimoire
    Mass Effect: Andromeda

    2018
    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Pillars 2
    Kingdom Come: Deliverance
    Kenshi
    ATOM
    Star Traders: Frontiers
    Battletech
    Bard's Tale 4
    Cultist Simulator
    Dragon Quest XI
    Monster Hunter: World
    The Council
    Vampyr
    Gujian 3

    2019
    Outward
    Greedfall
    The Outer Worlds
    Stygian
    Disco Elysium
    Slay the Spire
    A Legionary's Life

    Other goals would be to add old games I missed/didn't have time, like Elvira, SpellForce, Black Crypt, Dragon Wars, Unreal World, BattleTech and Buck Rogers.

    We must also update current reviews with new info, like Wasteland Remaster or the new Titan Quest expansion, for example. Might be good to double-check some mods too. Some reviews might be worth to re-write or re-edit entirely.

    Finally, I really want to add that section about old computer platforms. Not having it in the original release is my biggest regret, hope to deliver it this time.

    I'm still working out the details, but if you want to help with any of this, even if it's just some suggestions, please tell me!
     
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  2. Alpan Magister Patron

    Alpan
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Slay the Spire is featured twice.

    Your memory skipped over Divinity: Original Sin II.

    There is no need to dilute the book with such mediocrities as Mass Effect: Andromeda, unless you want to reviewer to talk about how game studios have trouble retaining talent and managing projects in an era of outsourcing. That game has no redeeming feature, unlike DA: I which was at least some casual fun.
    Same thing with Bard's Tale 4.

    Consider featuring Pyre, a weird RPG-sports-visual novel hybrid.

    Cultist Simulator is not an RPG, and you featuring it in the Codex 2018 GOTY voting does not make it so. Vampyr is a teensy bit of an RPG, but having no significance in the grand scheme of things, it should not be featured in the book.

    Bloodstained should probably feature in 2019.

    ---

    EDIT (I'll add more as thoughts come to me):

    Grim Dawn should feature in 2016 as a solid, crowdfunded, moddable ARPG unhindered by connectivity restrictions.

    Shadow Warrior 2 ought to be considered as a vastly underrated refinement of the Borderlands formula.

    Though I have not yet played it myself, I have heard that The Banner Saga 3 is a masterpiece of choice and consequence and general reactivity, taking into account a huge amount of variables from the first two games (which I have played).

    Final Fantasy XV might be worth considering as a 2016 entry. It is, after all, the only mainline non-MMO Final Fantasy released during the 2010s, and featured significant changes to the Final Fantasy formula as well as having a storied development.
     
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  3. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    Made an excel file with the game list: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1EesmyPbsVzEkSwoNOmvqCs2w9V89lyiP0lL3XurZG_0/edit?usp=sharing

    Divinity 2 is already on the book, with the Divinity 1 review. And ME: Andromeda is a shitty but important game, it's the end of BioWare and one of the biggest series of the past decade.

    Cultist Simulator is definitely an RPG, its novel presentation only makes it even more worthy of being mentioned. Vampyr is as flawed as it is interesting, Ludo Lense made a great video review about it, I would like to have something like that on the book. Bard's Tale 4 you are right, I removed it.
     
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  4. Alpan Magister Patron

    Alpan
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    This is not correct. Mass Effect: Andromeda was a financial success, and the series may yet continue. It's Anthem which is better described as the end of BioWare. With highly anticipated yet poorly received games, there's always a mismatch associated with failure and the financial effects of that failure.
     
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  5. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    Bro, of course it was a failure, a huge one. They cancelled all DLCs & sequels and even its producer calls it out for what it is:



    You may say that Anthem was the nail in the coffin, but the body was already long dead by then.
     
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  6. Grauken Incorrigible Mapmaker Patron

    Grauken
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    I'll say it was the ME3 ending debacle that killed them, lost a lot of goodwill there
     
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  7. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    I think we can safely say that ME2 in 2010 was the height of Nu-BioWare in general, everything in the past 10 years has been pure decline... not only in Codexian tastes, but for the general audience as well.
     
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  8. Alpan Magister Patron

    Alpan
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    You're not reading what I actually said. I'm not disputing that the game is deeply flawed - I called it mediocre myself in my original post, imploring you to not cover it! - the question is whether it constitutes "the end of BioWare". To answer that, the metric we should be looking at is not critical reception. It is whether it made money, and it did. Mass Effect: Andromeda is not a financial failure, period. Refute me.

    Of course DLCs and planned sequels would be DOA, that much is obvious. This is what I meant by the mismatch between critical reception and financial performance. ME: A was a bad game, but it did the job. Call it a scam. But it did the job.

    The Mass Effect series is not dead, and it certainly did not kill BioWare. Anthem did that. The ME IP is lying in cryosleep until EA decides the backlash is no longer a sales risk for the future. Expect a reboot or a reimagining in its future.
     
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  9. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

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    Everyone fucking knew what would happen eventually when Bioware sold out to EA.

    Westwood, Origin, Maxis etc. It happened to all of them. No exceptions.

    There is not a single exception in EA's long history of cannibalizing studios. They get bought, release one, two, maybe three good games (which might even surpass their earlier titles). But after that it's downhill until the entire original dev team left the studio or EA cancels new projects due to bad market performance and all that's left is IP names.
     
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  10. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    I just flipped through the book I got on my desk and didn't spot any of the ultra-obscure Macintosh only RPGs released during the late 90s and early 00s.

    I might cover some of them if you're interested.
     
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  11. Alpan Magister Patron

    Alpan
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Also,

    Cultist Simulator is a card game, but if you think that's merely a style of presentation, then sure, it's a strategy game.

    Also, speaking of "shitty but important" games, Underworld Ascendant would make for one hell of an entry. Beloved classic franchise defiled by the original designer, veterans and their terrible team.

    Re: Vampyr, I watched Ludo Lense's excellent video after you mentioned it, but the guy concludes the video by literally saying the game "doesn't even do anything so bad that it's memorable" and is "a mixture of mediocrities and missed opportunities", and that he didn't even want to finish the game. Again, your book should not be in the business of handing out participation awards. Vampyr just isn't interesting, it's less interesting than even Underworld Ascendant.
     
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  12. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    You clearly have no idea of how business works. Initial sales are not the main goal, MEA was supposed to be the start of a new trilogy of games that would bring bucket loads of cash to EA. Instead, it didn't even get to do DLCs. it failed miserably, as a game AND as a business. Even BioWare won't dispute this, I have no idea why you insist on this point.

    The devs also call it an RPG. You play a single character, there are stats you train, skills you learn, classes/professions, quests and tons of choices & consequences. Calling it a strategy game makes no sense.

    To be honest, there aren't many of note... I'm adding Quarterstaff, but I don't think Legends of the Lost Realm or Citadel: Adventure of the Crystal Keep are interesting enough. Samurai Mech would've been cool, I played it, but it's Japanese only :/
     
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  13. Alpan Magister Patron

    Alpan
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Again, I'm only disputing your claim that "it was the end of BioWare". Initial sales are not the goal, return on investment always is. If ME: A recouped its initial investment and provided good return for EA, and all signs claim it did, then it's not right to call ME: A a failure. "Cancelled plans for DLC and sequels" is not failed investment, it's cancelled plans. It has no bearing on whether BioWare remains functional as a studio or not. And I know of no BioWare employee who called ME: A the end of BioWare.

    Anyway, since you are not addressing my actual position, it is pointless to carry on with this.

    Alright, I am not going to dispute it if the devs themselves prefer to call it an RPG, but there are very obvious reasons why Cultist Simulator can be called a strategy game. The predominant activity in Cultist Simulator is resource management, far more so than most RPGs, and like turn-based strategy games, the game revolves around meeting very specific victory conditions.
     
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  14. Grauken Incorrigible Mapmaker Patron

    Grauken
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    Wrong, investors don't give a fuck about the long tail or whether the game has overall made its cost back, they look at how it performs for the first few sales months. And these days, you always also look at franchise potential, because these are the real money cows. And ME:A was absolutely disastrous in that regard

    That's true, because it has stopped functioning as a self-independent studio years before, but EA cut them some slack when they made money. They had their own culture slightly independent from EA. Not anymore. Whether there's an internal department at EA called Bioware doesn't matter, but they have become fully absorbed and are just another arm of EA
     
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  15. Zed Duke of Banville Zo Kath Ra Patron

    Zed Duke of Banville
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    Salt & Sanctuary is mentioned with several others at the end of the existing Dark Souls review, but with the expanded timeline it deserves its own review as the best CRPG of 2016. :M

    Your list for 2017 should specify NieR: Automata, since its predecessor NieR was released in 2010 and remains a console exclusive.

    Pyre has slight character advancement elements, zero exploration, and the only "combat" is a sportsball game. It isn't remotely close to being an RPG.
     
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  16. Alpan Magister Patron

    Alpan
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Felipe himself said that initial sales are not the goal, my comment is merely mirroring his. Of course whether a game recoups investment or not is heavily dependent on initial sales. Regarding franchise potential, I don't disagree.
     
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  17. Alpan Magister Patron

    Alpan
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    This is correct, but it should be in the book for the same reason as The Council: A mainly non-RPG entry (The Council is an adventure game first and foremost) doing interesting things with RPG mechanics.
     
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  18. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    I'm specifically thinking about this little baby:

    https://www.qnote.com/Jewel/jewel.html

    It's somewhat mediocre, but I have a soft spot for the 1001 Nights setting and it has some interesting quirks unique to Mac-only RPGs of the era.
     
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  19. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    I'm 95% sure that this game is a re-skin/commercial reuse of Realmz. I mean:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This cannot be a coincidence, right?
     
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  20. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

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    More like heavily inspired by Realmz, and following general Macintosh RPG trends of the era. Kinda like how you'll find dozens of Ultima clones in the 80s and early 90s.
     
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  21. Alpan Magister Patron

    Alpan
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    It just occurred to me that Final Fantasy XV might be worth considering as a 2016 entry. It is, after all, the only mainline non-MMO Final Fantasy released during the 2010s, and featured significant changes to the Final Fantasy formula as well as a storied development.

    Also, an older game suggestion: I would like to suggest Nox (2000) as a game which should have had its entry. That game is an evolutionary dead-end in the timeline of ARPGs with some very well-executed mechanics. I had to double-check the existing book to see if it really was missing.
     
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  22. Ludwig von Eisenthal Arbiter

    Ludwig von Eisenthal
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    As I'm playing part 1 again at the moment: I'd strongly suggest to give Dark Disciple 2: Rise of the Earth Spirits (2009) an entry. It's one of these almost unknown gems that are both unique and classical with tons of features, much originality, clever quest design and a very characteristic atmosphere. I know I'm heralding this game everywhere like a crazed cultist, but it's really that good. One of the best RPGs I ever had the pleasure to experience.

    https://ancient-architects.com/?page_id=716
     
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  23. Zed Duke of Banville Zo Kath Ra Patron

    Zed Duke of Banville
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    Warlock of Firetop Mountain (2016) is a computerized version of a classic gamebook from 1982, and therefore not a full RPG, but I think is worthy of an entry.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  24. Ninjerk Arcane

    Ninjerk
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    Looks cool. Fun to play?

    felipepepe typo in the title.
     
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