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Interview Oblivion interview at Games.net

Claw

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Project: Eternity Divinity: Original Sin 2
MrSmileyFaceDude said:
No, I'm not missing the point, I got it Claw :) My response was to explain why we added potion limits -- and yes, I realize that it's more apropos to the use of long-duration fortifies and buffs, as opposed to instant healing potions.
My bad. I should have guessed you ignored it deliberately. :P
 

Elwro

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Divinity: Original Sin Wasteland 2
Vault Dweller said:
Somebody needed that exploit to win? Wasn't the game easy enough already?
That's a good question. I remember that the first time I played I never used any boosting potions in combat. For me the most important potions were "Restore Strength" and other restorers. Why would anyone need 500 Strength when you can kill anything if you have the attribute close to 100?
 

Crazy Tuvok

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I think the revealed improvements so far sound like just that - improvements. *Given that the combat is FP and RT,* this sounds pretty damn good to me; accounting for fatigue, wep skill, wep heft, armor of opponent, buff of opponent, etc sound like nifty and thoughtful changes to the dreadful combat of MW (altho I did rather like hiding in shadows and sniping the hell out of all my foes, even that got old after a while- but for me not for quite a while).
Moreover many of the changes also sound good to me and as if they will correct much of what was broken in MW. Whether they will or not or whether they will actually be implemented or not remains of course to be seen. But if the interviews/press bs is to be believed...

Naturally the graphics get the attention, but that is true in just about every fucking game that comes out. Christ on a corncob even Vogel mentions them in his interviews and one of the big improvements cited in the Combat Mission series was the graphics. If this slavish and exaggerated attention to graphics is surprising to you let me be the first to welcome you to the gaming community.

I also must say I have no problem with prejudgement of a game to some extent. If a the devs have created games that you consistently disliked in the past then of course you should be sceptical if not downright disbelieving that their newest game will be different. Alternatively, if they have have made games you love...

Personally there was a lot of stuff I really liked about MW. If they manage to keep that whilst fixing the shite...it'll be a must-buy for me. And right now it sounds as if they are on track to do just that.

Now what they plan to do with FO3 is another matter altogether. On this I am decidedly in the very-sceptical camp.
 

Atrokkus

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Well, basically, they need to completely rework four things:
- characters and their "dialogs" (get rid of that hyper-text-bot fetish)
- combat/magic system
- guilds
- quests

I think they are having big progress in the last three, but i'm no so sure about chars and dialogs... but i hope for the best.

of course, chars and dialogs is if utmost importance. And my love/hate of the game depends on that one single aspect.
 

Tintin

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mEtaLL1x said:
- guilds
.

What do you think needs to be changed with guilds?

BTW what do you mean not so sure about chars and dialogs?
 

Crazy Tuvok

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mEtaLL1x said:
Well, basically, they need to completely rework four things:
- characters and their "dialogs" (get rid of that hyper-text-bot fetish)
- combat/magic system
- guilds
- quests

I think they are having big progress in the last three, but i'm no so sure about chars and dialogs... but i hope for the best.

of course, chars and dialogs is if utmost importance. And my love/hate of the game depends on that one single aspect.

My problem with the dialogue had nothing whatsoever to do with presentation. It had to do with the fact that although you could talk to everyone, eveyone had the same shit to say. In fact I rather liked the "hyper text bot fetish". Unfortunately it resulted in pages and pages of the same shit said by every fucking villager, barkeep, town guard, and treetoad. Of course on the off chance that I might stumble across some new thread it couldn't be ignored resulting in ...blech.

Voiced NPCs are nice I suppose, but I don't really need every character in the game to be voiced. Surprise surprise the FOs did the mechanics of dialogue nicely - really important NPC -talking head, kind of important NPC - dialogue box, useless NPC - floating text. Saves me the trouble of talking to every useless wanker in the goddamned world and gives the important NPCs some character. Oh and the "ask about" feature. I loved that damn thing.

As long as there is plennty of dialogue and history and perhaps a chance for dialogue to be a bit more meaningful than tmerely as the oft-mentioned encyclopedia syndrome. Some meaningful dialogue skills would be keen.
 

Tintin

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Voiced NPCs are nice I suppose, but I don't really need every character in the game to be voiced. Surprise surprise the FOs did the mechanics of dialogue nicely - really important NPC -talking head, kind of important NPC - dialogue box, useless NPC - floating text.

I bet you if Oblivion had that we'd have hundreds of whiners saying it ruined the realism and immersion.
 

merry andrew

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Vault Dweller said:
I'm saying that you can stay alive as long as you have potions (vs D2 healing system), and as long as you are able to stay alive while consistently reducing health of your opponents, even at a very slow rate, you can win 90% of all battles easily.
Damn that sounds boring.

I dunno, maybe since they're making the 'to-hit at really close range' thing 'realistic', they'll also make using potions 'realistic', i.e. you basically get pwnd everytime you either drop your weapon or your shield to drink from a bottle. Even so, if you really want to make every battle long and drawn out by using potions and/or hit-and-run tactics, you probably deserve to win.

Anyway, I think most Morrowind fans liked being superduperuber, so... ha, I had one of my classmates last year say something like 'I don't understand why people think that games should be difficult. Games should just be fun and easy. I liked being totally powerful in Marrowind, that was my favorite part.'
 

Tintin

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Nobody has the time and patience to fight people with hundreds of potions and take a potion every two seconds to win (after an hour). Well, maybe you.

It had to do with the fact that although you could talk to everyone, eveyone had the same shit to say.

Quote from interview:

"we’ve spent more time giving them their own lives and unique dialogue in Oblivion."
 

Khajran

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Crazy Tuvok said:
My problem with the dialogue had nothing whatsoever to do with presentation. It had to do with the fact that although you could talk to everyone, eveyone had the same shit to say. In fact I rather liked the "hyper text bot fetish". Unfortunately it resulted in pages and pages of the same shit said by every fucking villager, barkeep, town guard, and treetoad. Of course on the off chance that I might stumble across some new thread it couldn't be ignored resulting in ...blech.
.

The thing that was a plus about the Morrowind system is that even the quest-less NPCs could be useful in directing you to the nearest tavern or temple, or giving you basics about their guild. The downside was, of course, the sameness and the difficulty in hunting out important dialogue options. Another means of implementing this would be to have a more tree-based system, where all of the "NPC in my category knows this information" options were grouped together (an extra click away) and the options specific to that particular NPC given more prominence.
 

Atrokkus

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The worst thing in Morr's dialog system was that the conversations were *DEAD*, therefore the NPCs were also DEAD - just some pretty-faced dummies with hypertext documents attached to them.
Tell me please the difference between any MOrrowind's NPC and a sign-post. There is no.

This led to the castration of the gameworld, stripping it of what is most important - the LIVELINESS and IMMERSION.
Voice-overs don't give immersion, they just contribute to it, but what is most important is the quality and abundance of dialogs. Torment and Fallout were not fully-voiced, but they had so many LIVE, INTERESTING conversations. And it was the cornerstone of their success as RPGs. (who gives a fuck about their combat system or RT/TBness?)

That's why Morrowind is not an RPG. It's just a hack'n'slash with some minor elements of RPG.

That's why it's so important now for Bethesda to rework the conversation system really thouroughly.
If they fail again, then.... well, then they are completely incapable of making RPGs.

What they must do is a tree-based system, like in so many other RPG.
Due to the nature of the game, KOTOR's model would do just fine.
Just as long as there are actual conversations, because i haven't seen any conversations in Morr.
For those, who don't know what human interaction sounds like, here's an example:
NPC: Hello, traveller. Where are you going?
1. Nowhere in particular, just roaming about.
2. To the village over there.
3. None of your fucking business, berk.
4. (silence)
5. Sorry, I'm in a hurry.

You couldn't have such simple, yet live conversation in Morrowind.

What do you think needs to be changed with guilds?
Guilds were shit. They had no value, they were just checks in uber-character's list of uber-deeds. They were all as one, and character could have become a leader in almost all guilds at the same time. It's just moronic. And he had almost nothing to do for that: just some dull quests, the same pattern in every fucking guild. And that's it: once you've become a guild-master you have NOTHING else to do in *your* guild. I repeat, *YOUR* guiild. Can you imagine a guildmaster who DOESN'T attend to guild's business once he's been entitled? Idiocy.
BG2, Gothic - they all had MUCH better guild systems.


So, again, Morrowind is not a RPG, it's just a MUNCHKINARIUM!
 

Vykromond

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Tell me please the difference between any MOrrowind's NPC and a sign-post. There is no.

Did you actually play the game? If so, you probably should be able to tell the difference between Vivec, Almalexia, Dagoth Ur, Crassius Curio, Divayth Fyr, the Khajiit fisher with all the weird untrue trivia, the Skooma-addicted orc who thinks he's a cat, the priestess who's in the middle of the campaign, whatever the fuck the name of the guy who actually gives you all the opening quests in the campaign is, the host of other personalised NPCs in the game, and, yes, a signpost. But I'm pretty sure you actually did play the game, so you're really just full of shit.

The problem with Morrowind's NPCs WAS NOT inherent in the Wikipedia system of dialogue, and I think it's completely missing the point for the Codex hivemind to harp on it. The problem was that most vanilla NPCs, and even NPCs who were given something to say, would spout the party line (read: their faction or location's line) about any of the "topics of discussion." Since persuasion was, after maybe two levels of being a crapshoot, pathetically easy, getting people to friendly relations (and thus getting them to give you the "good" answers) was a no-brainer, at which point many NPCs started sounding like clones of each other. Bethesda's failure was in not having enough NPCs who were brusque, non-chatty, and not very knowledgeable. A unique response to "topic of discussion: Ebonheart" for every single NPC would be a waste of manpower, but a far larger number of plugged-in responses, including far more in the way of vague or non-commital statements that included (if possible) some emotional weight behind it. Far more NPCs should have been too busy to talk to the PC for any length of time. This would have worked wonders.

Recap: THE PROBLEM WAS NOT THE DIALOGUE SYSTEM, IT WAS THE DIALOGUE ITSELF. I may have dittoed Crazy Tuvok using a large number of words, but here's where I'll go farther than he did: I like the Wikipedia system better than a more "traditional" dialogue tree. It strikes me as far more realistic that you would be able to bring up whatever topic of conversation you please than, for instance, the BG system, where it seemed like you would only either get to talk about your current mission, or one or two things related to the NPC. This is fine when that's all the NPC wants to talk about- with the half-dead creatures in the vats at the beginning of BGII, for instance, a dialogue tree makes some sense, and with some NPCs in Morrowind the same thing was actually true and the game *did* rail you into choosing dialogue options. However, if I'm talking to someone in a bar, I want to be able to ask them about anything and everything, regardless of whether I get a meaningful answer for it or not. It's not that big of a jump from "ask about" to "topics of discussion," anyway, so I don't know why folks around here pretend it is.

One last time: Morrowind's problem lay not in the fact that each NPC was a Wikipedia, but that they were the same Wikipedia.
 

Atrokkus

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No, Wikipedia system is just a simplification. It's still dead to the bone, there is no role-playing value in it. No EMOTION, and it is VERY important in RPG.

When I think of the IDEAL dialog system, TORMENT springs up in my mind.
THat's where the interaction was realistic and live. And dialog is the only reason why Torment's NPCs were so outstanding. No fancy graphics will ever surpass that.
 

Diogo Ribeiro

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Vykromond said:
It strikes me as far more realistic that you would be able to bring up whatever topic of conversation you please than, for instance, the BG system, where it seemed like you would only either get to talk about your current mission, or one or two things related to the NPC.

Of course, this is another aspect where realism isn't being achieved successfully (or at all), because while it is indeed more realistic to bring up whatever topic that I want into a discussion, I can't do this in Morrowind. I have to bring up words or subjects I learned previously, not whatever I can think of. Meaning that I won't be able to ask a female NPC about her 'striking gold hair' or her 'silverplated, jewel-encrusted underwear', because whatever topic of conversation I want simply isn't possible to ask, as all words or subjects I can bring up are limited, based on player experience, and hardcoded into the game.

I think a system which incorporates the standard set of specific dialogue trees for NPC, quest or event (as seen in Fallout or Baldur's Gate), combined with a parser-based system for further information on other topics or themes (as seen on Wizardry 8 and Morrowind) would likely quell complaints from both sides as well as actually providing a more indepth experience.

On one hand you could engage in dialogue by choosing any premade dialogue line, and advance in conversation trough navigating dialogue trees. This would be present for pretty much all important NPCs. You'd retain the characterization of the NPC without any sacrifice.

On the other hand, you'd be able to interact further with NPCs by also asking them about given topics. While these wouldn't generally appear in dialogue trees, you could select a given word you learned (or added to the text parser by clicking on a word in any dialogue; again, as seen in Wizardry 8), and a generic question would be created (ie, "What have you heard of the mighty Sword of Valor?") and a response by the NPC would be given. Adding, subtracting, and basically asking what you want, when you want - unlike Morrowind - from a list of words or topics.
 

Crazy Tuvok

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mEtaLL1x said:
No, Wikipedia system is just a simplification. It's still dead to the bone, there is no role-playing value in it. No EMOTION, and it is VERY important in RPG.

When I think of the IDEAL dialog system, TORMENT springs up in my mind.
THat's where the interaction was realistic and live. And dialog is the only reason why Torment's NPCs were so outstanding. No fancy graphics will ever surpass that.

I don't think there was anything earthshattering or spectacular about the dialogue *system* in Torment. It wasn't too different than any other IE game in that regard. What was spectacular about it afaic was the content of the dialogue and the amount of it. It was well written, if you like that sort of thing and I do and there was boatloads of it. The system itself was no great shakes.

I prefer, if done right, the style of MW to dialogue trees which by their nature are usually far too constraining.
 

Atrokkus

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I don't think there was anything earthshattering or spectacular about the dialogue *system* in Torment. It wasn't too different than any other IE game in that regard. What was spectacular about it afaic was the content of the dialogue and the amount of it. It was well written, if you like that sort of thing and I do and there was boatloads of it. The system itself was no great shakes.
WHo needs new system? It's good enough already. Better is only PnP (or DMed Multiplayer) where people actually talk while roleplaying.
ANd Torment's dialogs were stylistically perfect, no other RPG has such depth and eloquency.

I prefer, if done right, the style of MW to dialogue trees which by their nature are usually far too constraining.
It is VERy constraining by nature, so it doesn't matter if it's "done right," or not.
Say, how can you actually express emotian in Morr's dialogs? How can you really insult the character (not those moronic "intimidate options")? How can you really see NPC's stylistics, accent, mood?
Torment, BG or Fallout's dialogs expressed all of these things really well.
And MOrrowind's "tell-me-about" option is not unique, it's been in all real RPGs for a long time.
Remember, Fallout/Torment/BG had the same shit with ordinary townspeople - you just ask them questions about surroundings and recent events - it's natural.
 

Saint_Proverbius

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Vykromond said:
Did you actually play the game? If so, you probably should be able to tell the difference between Vivec, Almalexia, Dagoth Ur, Crassius Curio, Divayth Fyr, the Khajiit fisher with all the weird untrue trivia, the Skooma-addicted orc who thinks he's a cat, the priestess who's in the middle of the campaign, whatever the fuck the name of the guy who actually gives you all the opening quests in the campaign is, the host of other personalised NPCs in the game, and, yes, a signpost. But I'm pretty sure you actually did play the game, so you're really just full of shit.

Yeah, those characters were all so interesting, I barely even remember who any of them were. Daggoth Ur was the bad guy and Curio was the spymaster guy, right? Hell, if you hadn't bothered telling me their names, I wouldn't remember them just because they weren't exactly interesting people PRIMARILY due to the dialogue interface rather than the writing.

Dealing with the spymaster guy, I got to the point where I just stopped fishing around his BOOKMARKS for new information because it was a jumbled list of crap, most of which I'd already seen before.

The problem with Morrowind's NPCs WAS NOT inherent in the Wikipedia system of dialogue.

Yes, it was.
 

Diogo Ribeiro

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The only NPCs I remember from Morrowind are Fargoth, Cassius Curio, Vivec and Dagoth Ur. Fargoth was a nobody who for some reason had a sort of cult following, and people tended to call him Fagget. Never got into that cult.

I remember Curio because he wanted PCs to undress for him so he could help us. Which I found pathetic and pointless. I remember Vivec because I enjoyed turning his ass into foie gras.

Dagoth Ur, because he was one of the most boring villains I remember. And all them hints at joining him led nowhere.
 

Atrokkus

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Actually, Fargoth (aka Faggot) is actually the only pretty good NPC in the entire game. At least he had some pretty interesting behavior and quest, plus some glimpse of a dialog.
 

Tintin

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Role-Player said:
Interesting behaviour = asking for a ring. If we give it, he'll be happy. If we don't, he'll never know. Whoa.

He may have also been referring to the later quest where you have to find his money hiding spot.
 

Vykromond

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Saint_Proverbius said:
Yeah, those characters were all so interesting, I barely even remember who any of them were.

Haha, good one! Except I wasn't telling you to remember the NPCs in a game you hated, just refuting mEtall1x's moronic assertion that there was no "difference between a Morrowind NPC and a sign-post." All of the NPCs I listed are clearly discernible in terms of the way they act. I probably should have listed Fargoth, too. And Almalexia was cheating a bit because she's in the first expansion.

Daggoth Ur was the bad guy and Curio was the spymaster guy, right?

Yes. No.

Hell, if you hadn't bothered telling me their names, I wouldn't remember them just because they weren't exactly interesting people PRIMARILY due to the dialogue interface rather than the writing.

What the hell is this? The NPCs aren't interesting because of the interface, and not because of the writing? Is the story bad because you think the GUI is clumsy? :roll:

Dealing with the spymaster guy, I got to the point where I just stopped fishing around his BOOKMARKS for new information because it was a jumbled list of crap, most of which I'd already seen before.

You didn't have to do that, actually. The game gave links in his speeches that would take you to the new information without having to go through the "bookmarks."

Yes, it was.

Your reasoning is unassailable.
 

Atrokkus

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Now tell me plaese, is there at least one real dialog node?
Like, NPC points out something and you have at least 5 different responses?
I finished Morrowind (w/o addons) and seen only monologues, with very rare appearnce of 2 options at most (like "yes/no").

Dialog is a cornerstone of any real RPG, but I fail to see such in Morrowind, which lead to certain conclusions...
 

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