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Preview Games Radar previews Shivering Isles

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
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Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Another <a href=www.elderscrolls.com>Shivering Isles</a> <a href=http://www.gamesradar.com/us/pc/game/previews/article.jsp?sectionId=1001&articleId=2007021311239577089&releaseId=20070105111946415055>preview</a>, courtesy of <a href=http://www.gamesradar.com>Games Radar</a>. Here is an overview:
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<blockquote>So who will you side with, the Duke of Mania or the Duchess of Dementia? This is just one of the many choices you'll make during your 30+ hours in the Shivering asylum.</blockquote>What weapon will you use, a sword or a blunt axe? Which dungeon will you visit first? Will you uninstall the game or continue torturing yourself with it? Speaking of torture...
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<blockquote>Because Shivering Isles' total area is only about ¼ the size of Tamriel, the game's designers were able to really flesh out NPCs and storylines. In one morbidly fascinating mission, the Duchess of Dementia assigns you a <u>companion who you can order to torture anyone as you see fit</u>.</blockquote>I'm surprised that someone would call this idiocy aimed at sadistic little fucks a fascinating, fleshed out design.
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Spotted at: <A HREF="http://www.rpgwatch.com">RPG Watch</A>
 

JarlFrank

I like Thief THIS much
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The torturing part thingie stuff actually sounds interesting, but I don't think Bethesda can manage to do it well. It would be nice though if torturing certain people can have consequences. It would suck though if you can torture them and, after that, raise their disposition to 100 again by speechcraft and bribing. Oh what fun, bleh.

But the choice of joining one of two dukes is actually interesting, if it has consequences. Like, getting some exclusive quests and conflicting storylines, which I doubt it will have.
 

JarlFrank

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The Shivering Isles will be available from the beginning of the game, and creatures will scale in strength to better match the level of the player.

And all hope is turned to dust.
 

GhanBuriGhan

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Vault Dweller said:
Another <a>Shivering Isles</a> <a>preview</a>, courtesy of <a>Games Radar</a>. Here is an overview:

<blockquote>So who will you side with, the Duke of Mania or the Duchess of Dementia? This is just one of the many choices you'll make during your 30+ hours in the Shivering asylum.</blockquote>What weapon will you use, a sword or a blunt axe? Which dungeon will you visit first? Will you uninstall the game or continue torturing yourself with it? Speaking of torture...

<blockquote>Because Shivering Isles' total area is only about ¼ the size of Tamriel, the game's designers were able to really flesh out NPCs and storylines. In one morbidly fascinating mission, the Duchess of Dementia assigns you a <u>companion who you can order to torture anyone as you see fit</u>.</blockquote>I'm surprised that someone would call this idiocy aimed at sadistic little fucks a fascinating, fleshed out design.


Spotted at: <A HREF="http://www.rpgwatch.com">RPG Watch</A>

I know you are probably beyond any positive feelings towards Bethesda, but isn't the mere fact that they are putting the word "choice" into their PR campaign this time a tiny light at the end of the tunnel?
 

JarlFrank

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GhanBuriGhan said:
I know you are probably beyond any positive feelings towards Bethesda, but isn't the mere fact that they are putting the word "choice" into their PR campaign this time a tiny light at the end of the tunnel?

Not if you look at one of the choices they already revealed. Choose between two doors - each leads to another region. If you choose the one you didn't want to, you can go back and choose the other.

Choices need consequences. It is good Behtesda consider including choices, but they also need to put in some consequences to these choices.

Although I must admit that the joining one of two dukes sounds good. We might even hope on conflicting storylines [like both dukes are enemies, and if you join one, you have to do quests damaging the other one.]
 

Vault Dweller

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GhanBuriGhan said:
I know you are probably beyond any positive feelings towards Bethesda, but isn't the mere fact that they are putting the word "choice" into their PR campaign this time a tiny light at the end of the tunnel?
Words are meaningless, especially considering Bethesda's fondness for making shit up and the lack of actual examples other then:

You must choose a door, young padawan, and you must choose wisely. You should know that both doors lead to pretty much the same place, and when you get there, you will find the other door nearby! Ah, for fuck's sake, choose already!!!
 

Micmu

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GhanBuriGhan said:
I know you are probably beyond any positive feelings towards Bethesda but isn't the mere fact that they are putting the word "choice" into their PR campaign this time a tiny light at the end of the tunnel?
Why? :shock:
Because of the typical bullshit PR or because, for some reason, they've decided to "fix" the braindead design of the vanilla product, alienating millions of xbox kids who take this design as the best RPG evar?
Also, in one of the previews posted here the author explains ULTIMATE TWO REALM/DOOR CHOICE: second door awaits you at the other side near the door you've chosen... and it's two-way, too. How predictable.
JarlFrank said:
Although I must admit that the joining one of two dukes sounds good. We might even hope on conflicting storylines [like both dukes are enemies, and if you join one, you have to do quests damaging the other one.
IIRC, they hyped that shit for the vanilla version, too, talking about some politics and rivalry inside factions and between counts. I guess you've seen it for yourself how it worked out.
 

suibhne

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Vault Dweller said:
Words are meaningless, especially considering Bethesda's fondness for making shit up and the lack of actual examples other then...

It's not just that their PR words are meaningless (tho that's true :wink: ) - it's also that Oblivion already provides choices, even hundreds of them. The problem is that they all have essentially no consequences. Bethesda is all about "choices", but to them that apparently means a total lack of consequence, accountability, meaning, etc.
 

GhanBuriGhan

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suibhne said:
Vault Dweller said:
Words are meaningless, especially considering Bethesda's fondness for making shit up and the lack of actual examples other then...

It's not just that their PR words are meaningless (tho that's true :wink: ) - it's also that Oblivion already provides choices, even hundreds of them. The problem is that they all have essentially no consequences. Bethesda is all about "choices", but to them that apparently means a total lack of consequence, accountability, meaning, etc.

While thats all true enough, it indicates to me that they are at least thinking about that issue. And they must know it's an issue, because by now "lack of meaningful choices" is a common complaint even on the TESF (I guess this site is not entirely innocent for bringing that topic to some prominence) - therefore some thought processes might indeed be going on, and designers like Emil are inherently sympathetic to the idea anyway, and I would say quite capable if let of the leash. I don't expect a FO or even a Gothic, but I wouldn't be entirely surprised if we see some minor progress either. The door example of course is (if reported correctly) extremely dumb.
 

suibhne

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GhanBuriGhan said:
I don't expect a FO or even a Gothic, but I wouldn't be entirely surprised if we see some minor progress either.

Well, what particularly disappointed me about Oblivion is that the Morrowind expansions did make progress. Tribunal was a much tighter narrative with better-drawn characters, and Bloodmoon actually introduced some limited alternative choices with some limited consequences. On its release, it was plain that Oblivion had reversed those trends and reverted to much more simplistic design.

Maybe we'll see Bethesda continue to use expansions as opportunities for some (minor) experimentation and better-considered design decisions, but on some level I don't even care if they're unable to learn from any of those lessons. The transition from Morrowind through its expansions to Oblivion was truly one step forward, five steps back.
 

elander_

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They always improve their games a bit with the expansions. It's when they release a new episode of the series that crap shows with key team members being replaced by inexperienced people.
 

GhanBuriGhan

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suibhne said:
GhanBuriGhan said:
I don't expect a FO or even a Gothic, but I wouldn't be entirely surprised if we see some minor progress either.

Well, what particularly disappointed me about Oblivion is that the Morrowind expansions did make progress. Tribunal was a much tighter narrative with better-drawn characters, and Bloodmoon actually introduced some limited alternative choices with some limited consequences. On its release, it was plain that Oblivion had reversed those trends and reverted to much more simplistic design.

Maybe we'll see Bethesda continue to use expansions as opportunities for some (minor) experimentation and better-considered design decisions, but on some level I don't even care if they're unable to learn from any of those lessons. The transition from Morrowind through its expansions to Oblivion was truly one step forward, five steps back.

I more or less agree with that asessement, except that I would see a continued positive trend in narrative creativity in the quests from MW over expansions to Oblivion. Offset unfortuantely by a considerable setback in design (linearity), journal mechanics (popups, compass), and other elements you cited.
 

elander_

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GhanBuriGhan said:
Offset unfortuantely by a considerable setback in design (linearity), journal mechanics (popups, compass), and other elements you cited.

A rather obvious and i would say scandalous offset, considering how all the problems they had could simply be avoided had they used Daggerfall system. Problems like useless skills and people not being able to play the game because they ... gasp ... tried to roleplay something else besides a fighter by building a character whose primary skills did not include a weapon skill or offensive skill or simply because they have leveled for too much time doing idiotic things like picking up flowers or doing the thieves guild quest branch the right way, using thief skills.The complete failure in terms of rp and immersion of the scaling system was also astonishing considering that Daggerfall did it so much better and Oblivion is just a crippled and poor version of it.
 

HardCode

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GhanBuriGhan said:
While thats all true enough, it indicates to me that they are at least thinking about that issue.

Not really. All that indicates is that PR Pete has a new catch-phrase to use, with no actual implemetation of it in the game. The only thing they are learning is that they can use the catch-phrase and shout, "SEE! Our game has choices like an RPG should!!!gargle!!"
 

Gwendo

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Can someone list here games that really had choices? It shouldn't take too long to make it... :P
 

elander_

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Gwendo said:
Can someone list here games that really had choices? It shouldn't take too long to make it... :P

Role-playing choices means that the way you play the game must be compatible with your choice of character. This is not just i'm playing a wizard so i kill stuff with a rocket launcher staff or i play a fighter so i kill stuff with a sword.

At an higher level this implies customized quests, dialogs, gameplay. This should help you remember some games that have choices with a minimum quality.
 

suibhne

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Gwendo said:
Can someone list here games that really had choices? It shouldn't take too long to make it... :P

You're joking, right? Every single game has choices; that's interactivity for you. What do you really mean to ask? (I presume you mean "Which games have choices and consequences for those choices?" - but I'm really not sure.)
 

jiujitsu

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The torturing sounds ridiculous to me. How can that possibly fit into the game, I wonder. It's probably BS. :cool:
 

GhanBuriGhan

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HardCode said:
GhanBuriGhan said:
While thats all true enough, it indicates to me that they are at least thinking about that issue.

Not really. All that indicates is that PR Pete has a new catch-phrase to use, with no actual implemetation of it in the game. The only thing they are learning is that they can use the catch-phrase and shout, "SEE! Our game has choices like an RPG should!!!gargle!!"

That may be so or may not be so. You know that no more than I do, and we both base our more or less negative opinions (or in mathematic terms, the probability of seeing something in the choice and conseqeunce department that we would like) on our subjective evaluation of the previous performance. I just tend to doubt my own convictions (which are not too favourable for Behtesda right now) a little more than you and most other members here.
 

Journeyman

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The torture is knida insane. So I can be a bad guy or a really really bad guy. I would think it is something compared to the dialog mini game. maybe if I choose to slightly torture people then I might end up just a tough good guy

I really wish they would flesh out their Rep modifiers more like give more of them and have them make more sense.
 

Journeyman

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kingcomrade said:
It would suck though if you can torture them and, after that, raise their disposition to 100 again by speechcraft and bribing.
Anyone want to make a bet?

I don't mind the dialog mini game but they need to add consequences for cohersion, boasting, and admiration instead of just joke telling, although the torturing could help out with that.
 

Journeyman

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suibhne said:
Vault Dweller said:
Words are meaningless, especially considering Bethesda's fondness for making shit up and the lack of actual examples other then...

It's not just that their PR words are meaningless (tho that's true :wink: ) - it's also that Oblivion already provides choices, even hundreds of them. The problem is that they all have essentially no consequences. Bethesda is all about "choices", but to them that apparently means a total lack of consequence, accountability, meaning, etc.

I does seem to me that people don't give me quests if they hated me right???
Plus if I am in the dark brotherhood noone wants to care if I am the hero of Kvath while if I'm good they praise me..

EDIT: I did notice that if I max my dialog past 80 that no matter what I can get a quest (beyond maxed disposition). Is that true? I swear they must have took out consequences for Cohersion and boasting. i would love to walk into a bar and have people laugh and chant. "Hey it's that bloody boaster bastard, Hahhaha!!"
 

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