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Interview Gavin Carter promotes Oblivion

Vault Dweller

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Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

<a href=http://www.gamebanshee.com>GameBanshee</a> has posted a very informative <a href=http://www.gamebanshee.com/interviews/oblivion1.php>interview</a> with <b>Gavin Carter</b>, known in these parts as Kathode</a>, about <a href=http://www.elderscrolls.com/home/home.htm>Oblivion: Less is More</a>
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<blockquote><b>On Combat</b>:
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We’ve gone through three complete and fully realized combat systems prior to this one, and we really feel that we’ve achieved a very nice balance between the action-oriented combat that the Elder Scrolls have always featured, and the statistic-driven gameplay of a pen-and-paper RPG. (I guess some exaggeration's never hurt nobody - VD)
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<b>On Transportation</b>:
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Transportation around the world is another area people were very critical of in Morrowind. This time around we’ve taken a long look at how players get from one location to another, and gone to great lengths to implement improvements. We have reinstated a “fast-travel” system similar to what was featured in Daggerfall and Arena. Now, if you’ve visited a location, it will show up as an icon on your map. Simply click there and the game will take you there
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<b>On Char Creation</b>:
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Our character generation sequence takes place as a flight from the emperor’s assassins, and as you play through the opening, you get to experience different aspects of the game before you commit to a character type. Naturally, all the old options for creating your own custom class will be making a return as well, all wrapped up into this fluid experience. </blockquote>
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I love the new/old transportation thingy. I'm glad to see that many Daggerfall's features that were originally discarded for <i>innovashun</i> are back.
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Spotted at: <A HREF="http://www.rpgdot.com">RPGDot</A>
 

EEVIAC

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Gavin Carter said:
We have reinstated a “fast-travel” system similar to what was featured in Daggerfall and Arena. Now, if you’ve visited a location, it will show up as an icon on your map. Simply click there and the game will take you there.

Fucking YAY!

Our character generation sequence takes place as a flight from the emperor’s assassins, and as you play through the opening, you get to experience different aspects of the game before you commit to a character type. Naturally, all the old options for creating your own custom class will be making a return as well, all wrapped up into this fluid experience.

In game tutorials should be outlawed, along with unskippable intro movies. Its a decent idea but it should be seperate from the main game. Having a Danger Room, where you can invest a limitted amount of points into a character and then be able to test those skills out in a small scale scenario (alchemy table, combat arena, archery range) would be better. Just set the whole thing in a castle and it won't break the setting.
 

Vault Dweller

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EEVIAC said:
In game tutorials should be outlawed, along with unskippable intro movies.
Right on.

Gavin said:
Character creation in most RPGs is an abstract process. You stare at menus, pick some options, roll some dice, and a character is spat out at your feet. The entire process relates very little to the experience of playing the game. You’re largely taking guesses at what skills or stats might be fun or useful to you before you play.
Hmm, I wonder what that sword skill does? Could it be somehow related to swords and combat? Nah, it's probably a coincidence.

In Morrowind, we tried to move away from that abstraction by having character generation be an actual section of the game you experience
Thank God, a patch made it skippable.
 

Otaku_Hanzo

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I liked the approach they took with Bloodlines on the tutorial thing. You could skip it all together. Of course, then you have to purchase your lockpicks from the Pawn Shop, but that's not big deal. I can't recall if you got experience for doing the tutorial or not though.

The return of Fast Travel is definitely a nice thing to see. Wonder if they'll have horses. That would rock. Man, I miss being able to play Daggerfall. :(
 

Whipporowill

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2 xp for the Bloodlines tutorial, no biggie really - as it strikes me as something just there to explain what getting xp entails. 3 xp is what's least required to raise a skill, talent or knowledge.
 

Volourn

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Why does everybody like the BL tutorial? Other than jack being cool; it's almost exactly like the NWN tutorial only worse.

Oh yeah, I can't asneak past the guard so instead of just killing him I get to pretend the failure never happened.

Hahahaha!
 

Vault Dweller

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Otaku_Hanzo said:
I can't recall if you got experience for doing the tutorial or not though.
2 xp

Wonder if they'll have horses. That would rock. Man, I miss being able to play Daggerfall. :(
The horses are in. We shall ride again, pardner :D
 

Vault Dweller

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Whipporowill said:
2 xp for the Bloodlines tutorial, no biggie really - as it strikes me as something just there to explain what getting xp entails. 3 xp is what's least required to raise a skill, talent or knowledge.
Add 1 xp for seeing Mercurio, and you've got 3 points right off the start. Add free lockpicks and it becomes a big deal. RPG players are known for being incredibly cheap :lol:
 

Volourn

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Espicially at the start of a game when you don't have lots of cash. :D
 

Mendoza

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Personally I just skip the tutorial now and use the xp command in the console to give me the missing xp. The extra cash for the lockpicks I can cope with.

I hate the way some interviewees say things like 'you may find an unexpected ally' in a part of a interview which makes you 75% certain you know who the ally will be, and so makes it pretty expected when you get round to the game.
 

Otaku_Hanzo

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Vault Dweller said:
The horses are in. We shall ride again, pardner :D

Oh hell yeah! Hope we get to cast levitation and fly spells while riding them. I love parking my horse on top of buildings in Daggerfall. :P

Guess I should actually go look up info on the game. Kind of not wanting to though because then I'm afraid I'll get my hopes up only to have them dashed.
 

Vault Dweller

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Not much is known at this point. If you want an overview, click here. That's the info from the first article in GameInformer
 

Vault Dweller

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MrSmileyFaceDude said:
I can also answer some questions, to an extent.
Cool

1. Anything you can tell us about the magic system. Why was it changed in the first place, what didn't work before in your opinion, how the new changes affect the gameplay, few spells examples, etc

2. The ranged weapons have been reduced to bows. Should we expect the same or similar treatment of melee weapons and spells (less diverse spells, but with more spectacular effects)

3. Horses. They are still in, right? Are there carriages Daggerfall style? What about mounted combat?

4. Replayability. What would be main reason for people to replay the game?

5. Boss battles. I saw that being mentioned on the TES forums. Can you comment on that please?
 
Self-Ejected

dojoteef

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Vault Dweller said:
Gavin said:
Character creation in most RPGs is an abstract process. You stare at menus, pick some options, roll some dice, and a character is spat out at your feet. The entire process relates very little to the experience of playing the game. You’re largely taking guesses at what skills or stats might be fun or useful to you before you play.
Hmm, I wonder what that sword skill does? Could it be somehow related to swords and combat? Nah, it's probably a coincidence.

I think you're looking at it wrong. If they do the character creation thing in an informative way it might actually be a nice thing. Sure you know what the skills are, but you have no idea how useful they will be in the game. It's like ranged combat in Morrowind. Sure you can see the different skills and figure out what they mean, but it certainly doesn't help you understand in what ways it can actually be useful in the game. It's more than an issue of balance as well when you have a game world that's a large as those of the Elder Scrolls. You can't expect that they have the time to make sure every sort of character type will be able to play the game in their own unique way. That's why I think it would be useful for them to help you along with character creation. I do think they should do it like Bloodlines, where you can skip that part if you don't want to do it. Alternatively they might make it so you only have to do it the first game you play or whatever so you don't have to do it again if you start a new game as a different player. Anyway, that's how I see it.
 

Vault Dweller

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dojoteef said:
If they do the character creation thing in an informative way it might actually be a nice thing. Sure you know what the skills are, but you have no idea how useful they will be in the game. It's like ranged combat in Morrowind. Sure you can see the different skills and figure out what they mean, but it certainly doesn't help you understand in what ways it can actually be useful in the game.
I see your point, but I don't see how a relatively short tutorial would help you there. Take Bloodlines for example, you can use the tutorial to figure out what kinda character you want to play, but the game changes as you play, and what worked great in tutorial no longer works in mid-game. Gothic, ToEE, BG, etc did the same thing.
 

MrSmileyFaceDude

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Vault Dweller said:
MrSmileyFaceDude said:
I can also answer some questions, to an extent.
Cool

1. Anything you can tell us about the magic system. Why was it changed in the first place, what didn't work before in your opinion, how the new changes affect the gameplay, few spells examples, etc

Can't really say anything significant about the magic system yet, though I'd love to as it's my baby :) One thing I can say is that we're trying to make it so that you can successfully play the entire game as a pure mage, which was not the case in Morrowind. Basically the three archetypes -- warrior, thief, mage -- should all be equally successful in the game.

2. The ranged weapons have been reduced to bows. Should we expect the same or similar treatment of melee weapons and spells (less diverse spells, but with more spectacular effects)

There are TONS of melee weapons, and the melee combat in particular is very cool. The idea with ranged combat is to focus on bows and make them as cool as possible -- from a gameplay standpoint, a role-playing standpoint, visually, audibly, etc. So we spend a great deal of time on bows. There are so many other game systems we need to focus on that we just didn't want to give thrown weapons & crossbows short shrift. So for now, we give bows the full treatment.

3. Horses. They are still in, right? Are there carriages Daggerfall style? What about mounted combat?

There are horses -- can't really say too much about them yet.

4. Replayability. What would be main reason for people to replay the game?

I would think it'd be similar reasons why people would replay Morrowind. To try out the different character types. Can't really comment on the quests at this point. And of course I'm sure the mod community will be as huge as Morrowind's.

5. Boss battles. I saw that being mentioned on the TES forums. Can you comment on that please?

Can't really comment on that.
 

Otaku_Hanzo

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MrSmileyFaceDude said:
Lots of info in the Elder Scrolls forums, too. In fact we posted a fan interview in the Oblivion General forum just yesterday.

I can also answer some questions, to an extent.

Well that interview pretty much cleared up a couple of more questions I had about the game. That only leaves me with two more to ask. One is Oblivion related and the other not.

1.) The loving care to sneak is good news to me, for sure. My question however is, will we be able to scale walls as a means of sneaking into a place?

2.) Any chance you guys might find it in your hearts to put more spit and shine on Daggerfall? :D I would gladly shell over money for a new release of it with all the bugs fixed and some tweaks here and there. *hint hint*
 

Brillo

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MrSmileyFaceDude said:
I can also answer some questions, to an extent.
Cool. :) Wonder if you'd be willing to answer a few quickies from me:

1. Can you talk about how dialogue is handled this time around? We've heard it's all spoken. Are there subtitles as well? Any sort of branching dialogue, or will it be similar to Morrowind's?

2. I'm also curious about how things like alchemy/enchanting/lockpicking/trap disarming are going to work. Mini-games were mentioned in an earlier interview. Could you maybe lay out how one of those works, similar to the combat descriptions we've heard?

3. We've seen and heard a lot about the forests/mountains and outdoor environments, any comments on the look and feel of the urban environments or the caves/dungeons/ruins?

Thanks for answering if you can. :)
 

Old Scratch

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From all the info, Oblivian is starting to sound pretty damn interesting, and I didn't really enjoy Morrowind that much.

My main concern is still the dialogue system. The keyword system of Morrowind was tedious and boring. It would be nice if it followed a similar dialogue tree system like most other RPGs these days. It would really help bring more life to the NPCs too.
 

crufty

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News about horses and travel is awesome. How about land deeds? We want it all, you know :lol:
 

Deacdo

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I'm curious about how Bethesda intend to handle multiplatforming the title. My impression from Morrowind was that it hurt the game significantly.

Are they going to use MS's XNA system, or whatever it's called? Are there separate teams working on each version?

Will Oblivion go back to being "M" rated like the first two games? With Morrowind I was hoping that along with improved graphics the impact of combat would be hightened. Obviously it wasn't, as combat turned out to be about as visceral as water painting.

I hope character creation has the depth Daggerfall did. Morrowind was a big disappointment in that area (hated the way it was done and how many options were cut).

I've always detested the "use to improve" skill system in Elder Scrolls games. Will anything be implemented to ease the tediousness of such a system?
 

PennyAnte

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I like the improved combat system. Walking up to a creature in Morrowind and repetitively and aimlessly flailing away at it in a "fight" was a letdown.

Sounds like they've got an ideal hybrid system, with twitch "skillz" governing hits and dodging and stats covering damage, etc. That's probably the best way to go. It will let players feel involved in combat, but also keep stats meaningful and reward good stat investments.

Hopefully there are no cliff racers every three feet either. I want an Easter egg where I can find one caged in a small, dark room and kill it over and over and over and over...
 

ArcturusXIV

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My main concern is still the dialogue system. The keyword system of Morrowind was tedious and boring. It would be nice if it followed a similar dialogue tree system like most other RPGs these days. It would really help bring more life to the NPCs too.

Just give me back the damned text parser! I'll make do!

Anyway, I only have one question:

Will there be mounts other than horses, and perhaps mounts with special abilities of their own?
 

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