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Interview Oblivion Q&A on GCM

Saint_Proverbius

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Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

There's an <A href="http://www.gamechronicles.com/qa/elderscrolls4/oblivion.htm">interview</a> with <b>Todd Howard</b> over on <A href="http://www.gamechronicles.com/">Game Chronicles Monthly</a> covering a bunch of stuff going on with <a href="http://www.elderscrolls.com">Daggerfall 3: Morrowind 2: Oblivion</a>. Here's a little bit about the features people want back from Daggerfall:
<br>
<blockquote><b>GCM: Are you planning on including features that were found in Daggerfall but left out of Morrowind, like banks, mounts, wagons, or the ability to climb or buy/own a ship or a house?
<br>
<br>
Todd Howard:</b> We’ve added a lot of new features, including some you mention. We’ve brought back the fast travel map to allow you to instantly travel to any location you already know about, and there are mounts you can buy and use for traveling "on foot" more quickly. Yes, there will be houses you can buy in each major town where you can keep all of your stuff. At the same time, we spent a lot of time and energy on “features” that people do and experience all the time in our games: talking to people, killing stuff, NPC AI, etc. We wanted to do some new things in these areas to make the overall experience more enjoyable. More time having fun and less "down time."</blockquote>
<br>
Fast map travel is nice. Not sure what the point of owning a house is, though. How come all these losers keep requesting owning houses? How about something useful, like owning a SHOP!?
<br>
<br>
<br>
Spotted at: <A HREF="http://www.bluesnews.com">Blue's News</A>
 

Fresh

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Perhaps the point is to have a place "where you can keep all your stuff"?

And a place where you can keep those kidnapped, drugged townspeople you regularly entertain yourself with. No more skulking in the backalleys!
 

Drakron

Arcane
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Considering the achemy system was somewhat complex in MW, yes there is a need to own a place to put it down.

I remenber dungeon raids in Daggerfall were I had to back to dump it in the cart because I run out of inventory space, I also owned a ship.

And fast tavel is more that needed, MW proved that traveling on foot is not fun, its a god damn chore.
 

Shagnak

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!HyPeRbOy! said:
Perhaps the point is to have a place "where you can keep all your stuff"?
That's exactly why. When I got a mansion, it was quite useful to have somewhere you could store your hoard.
And somewhere you could rest that was not dangerous due to wandering creatures, or illegal due to being in town limits, or that you didn't have to pay for.
Of course, the other option was just assassinating a dweller and using their house as a stop-over.
 

corvax

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Re: Oblivion Q&A on GCM

Saint_Proverbius said:
Not sure what the point of owning a house is, though. How come all these losers keep requesting owning houses? How about something useful, like owning a SHOP!?

well...in bloodmoon you could own a mead hall, order stuff, and gather revenue...sort of
 

Fresh

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Maybe one new surprise-feature in Oblvion is the ability to get married and have children. In that case owning a nice house would be nice.

Also it will be great for testing out home-brewed potions and devillish gadgets on them poor souls you keep locked up in the basement.
 

Saint_Proverbius

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Shagnak said:
That's exactly why. When I got a mansion, it was quite useful to have somewhere you could store your hoard.

Why not.. Sell it? There's no point in storing a shitload of things you're never going to use. Even if you DO want to store stuff, you really don't need a damned HOUSE to do it.

And somewhere you could rest that was not dangerous due to wandering creatures, or illegal due to being in town limits, or that you didn't have to pay for.

Which could easily be handled by doing a quest for an innkeeper. Or having a faction you join put you up for the night. There's really no reason in owning property when it's not actually as useful in the game as it is would be to a townsperson.
 

MrSmileyFaceDude

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SP, the same reason why some folks spent hundreds of hours just collecting ingredients in the wild and making potions. Some folks just like doing that sort of thing.
 

Shagnak

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Saint_Proverbius said:
Why not.. Sell it? There's no point in storing a shitload of things you're never going to use. Even if you DO want to store stuff, you really don't need a damned HOUSE to do it.
Obviously I sold a heap of shit.
But sometimes you accumulated stuff that you might need later if you were into making potions and the like. Or if you were not certain you needed it or not. "Save it for a rainy day" (err...hoarding) kind of mentality. If you just left it in your pack then eventually you would become encumbered. Some stuff I hoarded did become useful later on in Morrowind.
As "for not needing a house to do it", of course not. Maybe they could have banks n shit you could pay to store stuff for you. But if you did have a house then it became very convenient to use it for such, while you were passing by. Or teleporting to it if you had it 'marked'.
Houses, if I remember rightly, were also a reward for getting somewhere in the game. Call me insane, but having some of your own real estate in a fantasy world is kinda kewl. And in some ways it would be bizarre if you didnt have a mansion if you got to be Guildmaster Shaggers.:wink:


Which could easily be handled by doing a quest for an innkeeper. Or having a faction you join put you up for the night. There's really no reason in owning property when it's not actually as useful in the game as it is would be to a townsperson.
And there is no reason NOT to own property if you are a rich adventurer motherfucker with oodles of booty to spend, and the impulse to have your own private haven.
In many ways it adds up to the same thing as having a faction/tolerant innkeeper willing to put you up - so what is intrinsically wrong with it? In fact, if I became head of the faction I would demand that the fuckers gave me their headquarters as my mansion, and then the fuckers can pick up after me and protect me and say nice shit that gives me a big head. Heh.

Oh noes!!
Another option given to the player!
Another fantasy I can live out!
Terrible!
 

Saint_Proverbius

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MrSmileyFaceDude said:
SP, the same reason why some folks spent hundreds of hours just collecting ingredients in the wild and making potions. Some folks just like doing that sort of thing.

Those people are obviously sick in the head and you shouldn't encourage them. Instead, you should isolate them and either make sure they get psychiatric help or shoot them.

Wouldn't a better method be some sort of inventory storage system where the ingrediants for alchemy are stored outside the typical place where you put your swords and heavy ass dwarven coins? If Kwi Chang Caine could store everything he needed in that leather purse he carried, surely you shouldn't be able to fill up a backpack you normally carry a half ton of metal objects in.

Hell, it beats spending the time working in how players own houses and not to mention it sucks a lot less to have your weeds on hand versus having to travel to and from your house when you want to mix up some magic tea.

Shaggy said:
If you just left it in your pack then eventually you would become encumbered.

Which is why it sounds more like an inventory design problem than it does a reason players need to be able to buy a house.

Houses, if I remember rightly, were also a reward for getting somewhere in the game. Call me insane, but having some of your own real estate in a fantasy world is kinda kewl. And in some ways it would be bizarre if you didnt have a mansion if you got to be Guildmaster Shaggers.

Well, the problem is that you're not a homemaker. You're an adventurer. You're not going to settle down during the course of the game, so it's rather silly to up and buy a house when you're never really going to be home.

Now, I can see an adventurer wanting to own a GUILD, like you said. After all, guilds bring in revenue as well as allow you to gather additional party members if needed.

If you're going to own property, it should be property that actually makes sense for an adventurer to have. Having a house is rather silly.

Oh noes!!
Another option given to the player!
Another fantasy I can live out!
Terrible!

Buying a house isn't an option. It's half assed and senseless.
 

Shagnak

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Saint_Proverbius said:
If you're going to own property, it should be property that actually makes sense for an adventurer to have. Having a house is rather silly.

Oh, I think I see where you are coming from.
By "house" I am being rather generic, and don't necessarily mean just "a village dwelling". Though I'm sure there are enough formulaic iron-thewed nordic barbarian types who would be quite happy with that. And a wife with big breasts to keep the home fires burning and all that. Get some hot lovin in between massacring baby orcs in the cradle etc etc

For an adventurer to have some sort of base of operations is not necessarily silly.
From, say, a Thief's point of view it would be great to have some sort of bolt-hole in a city (a city that perhaps they spend a lot of their time in)...perhaps even in the sewers away from the watch's eyes. A mage might have a secluded away wizard-tower thingy that he could store all his alchemical reagents/components at, and return for a bit of good old fashioned brewing in preparation for the next sortie.

A "house" does not need to be some sort of permanent asset either. There is nothing wrong with buying/selling according to some shorter term goal, assuming that you have the resources (I'm also assuming that this sort of thing would only be open to more 'successful' adventurers), and depending on what sort of dwelling it is.
Or if you are truly the entrepreneur, what should stop you from buying multiple abodes dotted around the landscape. I'm sure Guildmaster Shaggers would like to have cottages conveniently located between every city on the continent. :D

As for "inventory design problem", if Morrowind had allwoed me to carry an unlimited amount of weapons, armour, and other heavy loot...now that would have been crap.

Buying a house isn't an option. It's half assed and senseless.
Well, I'm glad Bethesda doesn't think that. I'm looking forward to my very experienced uber-adventurer buying up bases of operation (or getting them through advancement in guilds). I don't care if I'm the only one that is, either. :wink:

Unlikely to happen, but If they could fit in objectives that are assciated with them, that would be even better. E.g. your Thieves guild being raided by the 'Feds'.
 

Azael

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I like the idea of having a base of operations in different towns, although it doesn't necessarily have to be your very own mansion (though it doesn't hurt either). Besides, I doubt that my character is going to be an adventurer out to save to the world (or destroy it, whatever seems the most fun) for all eternity, so might as well plan for retirement.
 

Sol Invictus

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I hope that their implementation of houses will be a good one, like say, a secret hideaway for the thief character hidden in the mountains, like Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves or perhaps something more urban like Garrett's apartment in the Thief games, a secluded wizard's tower for wizards and alchemists, like the wizard's tower in Gothic 2, a small keep for warriors, a lodge for engineering types, and a little hut in the wilderness or somewhere on the outskirts of town for players inclined towards herbalism, or Rangers.

I don't want a townhouse.
 

Hazelnut

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Shagnak said:
Saint_Proverbius said:
If you're going to own property, it should be property that actually makes sense for an adventurer to have. Having a house is rather silly.

For an adventurer to have some sort of base of operations is not necessarily silly.
From, say, a Thief's point of view it would be great to have some sort of bolt-hole in a city (a city that perhaps they spend a lot of their time in)...perhaps even in the sewers away from the watch's eyes. A mage might have a secluded away wizard-tower thingy that he could store all his alchemical reagents/components at, and return for a bit of good old fashioned brewing in preparation for the next sortie.

Buying a house isn't an option. It's half assed and senseless.
Well, I'm glad Bethesda doesn't think that. I'm looking forward to my very experienced uber-adventurer buying up bases of operation (or getting them through advancement in guilds). I don't care if I'm the only one that is, either. :wink:

Unlikely to happen, but If they could fit in objectives that are assciated with them, that would be even better. E.g. your Thieves guild being raided by the 'Feds'.

Me too - like my tower in Morrowind! Surely the more sensible options we have, the more freedom we get in how we can role-play - I don't see how it's silly. Some characters will want a house or guild or whatever.

A couple of pics of one of my characters' 'collection' room in my tower in MW: :wink: Pic 1 Pic 2

One of the most important aspects of a role-playing game is how your actions can affect the game world! Well being free to own a house counts towards that I reckon.

H.
 

crpgnut

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To me, the best thing that owning a house does is it gets rid of extra cash. Carrying 1,000,000 gold pieces around is unrealistic. The whole thieves guild would rob me enmasse and split up my spoils. It is much harder to steal real estate. I'm going to have the title/deed and so if thieves move into my property, I can have the local guards remove them. It is also a way to keep score for a game that doesn't have multiplayer. It would be an entertaining goal for uber characters to purchase every house that is available for sale in the game. Of course you could console in unlimited amounts of money to do this, but it'd give a great sense of accomplishment if you were able to do it legitimately. Other people have stated that it is just a place to store your stuff. If Bethesda really wanted to flesh out home owning, they could allow you to hire staff to keep up the house while you're away.
 

Diogo Ribeiro

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The problem with houses is that they're mostly used as large areas where players stash cool loot to take pictures of and post on the net. Unless we're talking of a spellcaster who wants to store spell components which he might need, there's not much else. Fighter-types get progressively better gear (and sometimes progressively better looking gear), so why store largely inferior weapons and armor? Nostalgia? I don't know of many players who have nostalgia over their gear, and that can remember how many blows a Dragon against their chestplate, and what was the first weapon they ever used to kill a Golem.

Again, it just seems to end up in the attention whoring department.

Even for roleplaying purposes, I don't see the point, mainly because I know of nothing Bethesda has changed to improve the situation of "Hey, I've got a house, but what am I doing there?". Is the gameworld reacting to this other than NPCs scripted to say a random comment out of of a pool of pre-written sentences regarding my ownership of it? Are the local thugs and thieves keeping an eye on the stash I have and attempting to steal it? Do I have to pay the rent? Can I rent it to someone, or hire some underlings to watch over it while I'm gone? Apparently, the ability to drop items in any household I take over by killing its owner still remains, so why should I bother? What happens if the house I get is terribly puny whem compared to the mansion next door owned by a trivial NPC? Doesn't take long to figure what happens next in players' minds.

The idea of houses or strongholds isn't a bad one, but for the most part I've seen them turn into nothing more than empty shells where players just stash away their items for purposes of attempted coolness. There's not much else, if anything at all, present in the gameworld that actually involves any roleplaying based on player houses. I guess it comes down to the old excuse of just sitting smack in middle of the house and pretending you're King Kool. O'course, imagination is worthless in that scenario because the game doesn't react to it.

Even using it as a base for fighter types risks becoming obsolete. The higher the level a character is, the less chances he needs to backtrack and sell items and rest. And the idea of settling down doesn't seem like a viable choice in the game. This isn't Fate, where you get the option of retiring. Retiring would be more of the same. "Look at my pics of me imagining I'm retired - I'm even in my civies and unarmed, which means I'm so roleplaying a retired warrior!". No thanks, I'm tired of sad excuses. If I'm masturbating over the thought of Vida Guerra, I'm just masturbating, I'm not actually screwing her. Same deal here.


I'd rather see some better motivations to own real estate. Renting it out to guilds, passing by adventurers, or as Saint brought up, setting up a shop. Or even have an NPC propose the player a 'game within a game', propose the PC to set out and find full sets of every armor type and give them to the NPC so he can put them up for display in every town, using the PC's vacant estates. Figure out some reward for that (ie, one-time reward of money or items, a share of the profit by the exhibition of the items, better reputation for the player with its own attached perks like discounts at shops, etc.), and it would be much more interesting than standard houses. Just make the house a worthy extra, not just generic and pointless fluff to please players who want every possible feature to exist in the game.
 

Eclecticist

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We would all rather see a better implimentation of houses, but we're not going to get it with Oblivion, so I say ce la vi.

I know it goes against Codex cynicism, but let's just be happy with what Bethesda do give us.
 

Volourn

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"but let's just be happy with what Bethesda do give us."

Hahahaha.

A. They're not giving anything. Afterall, last I check Oblivion isn't gonna be free.

B. I'm not gonna be happy because they're 'giving' shit, anyways like the rest of their games.

C. I'll just enjoy NWN2 when it comes out as it's sure to be better. Or Gothic 3. Or DA. Or, for that matter, any game not made by Bethesda is pretty much guarnateed to be better...
 

space captain

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Eclecticist said:
so I say ce la vi..

its "cest la vie" you metalhead ... and shouldnt you be a hell of alot more belligerent??

I was in my room and I was just like staring at the wall thinking about
everything but then again I was thinking about nothing
And then my mom came in and I didn't even know she was there she called my
name and I didn't even hear it, and then she started screaming MIKE! MIKE!
And I go:
What, what's the matter
And she goes:
What's the matter with you?
I go:
There's nothing-wrong mom.
And she goes:
Don't tell me that, you're on drugs!
And I go:
No mom I'm not on drugs I'm okay, I was just thinking you know, why don't
you get me a pepsi.
And she goes:
NO you're on drugs!
I go:
Mom I'm okay, I'm just thinking.
She goes:
No you're not thinking, you're on drugs! Normal people don't act that way!
I go:
Mom just give me a Pepsi please
All I want is a Pepsi, and she wouldn't give it to me
All I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi, and she wouldn't give it to me.
Just a Pepsi.
 

Saint_Proverbius

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Role-Player summed up nicely what I was getting at. For far, people have tossed out TWO whole reasons for owning a house. The first is it's a place to store your bounty of weeds. The second is that it's a place to rest for free.

Well, the second reason is just idiotic. For one thing, your house won't move so it completely lacks the usefulness of the local inn which is always going to be close to where you are. If Oblivion is anything like Morrowind, you're never going to be hanging around one town for long. You either have the local inn for resting, or the LONG MARCH to whatever town there is.

The first reason is also pretty lame because components for spells, weed for potions, etc. really should never encumber you in a game where it's possible to walk around with several suits of armor in your back pocket.

Now, you could argue that you have many houses, which eliminates the problem of having a place to rest that's close, but then you make the storage thing a bigger problem because you have to stock up all your houses with the crap you need to make potions.

And Role-Player is right. Houses aren't nearly as useful as you guys are making them out to be. Other than taking screenshots of the house like Hazetnut did to show your friends who aren't nearly as impressed with that as you think they might be, there's no point to it. They're probably going to look at those shots, think you're a complete idiot for not selling all that useless crap, and wonder why the hell you bothered spending all that time arranging the plates and candles like that.

That's a nice collection of crap you have there, Hazelnut. You have enough stuff there to open up a shop. Oh, wait, you can't open up a shop. You can just arrange it and take a screenshot because it's USELESS property. Maybe you can offer those as rewards for your own, personal adventurer's guild. Oh wait, you can't do that either, because it's just a USELESS HOUSE. Maybe you could use them as a collection like a museum, charge admission for.. Oh, snap! I keep forgetting it's a USELESS HOUSE. Wall decorations for your tavern? Nope! Because it's a USELESS HOUSE!

You can't even argue it's an option because it's optionless! Other than owning it, what else is there? Not much. Nothing remotely useful. Hell, it's even more useless than that horse you get to buy - the one you have to dismount every time you want to kill something.

If you're going to actually allow property ownership, it should actually be useful. A house is pretty meaningless for anything other than taking a screenshot or two to annoy your friends.
 

MrSmileyFaceDude

Bethesda Game Studios
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Bottom line -- it's an easy feature to add in and it makes a certain group of people happy.
 

Avin

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can i hire employees for take care of my house while i'm out getting ingredients for making potions??? :p
 

Elwro

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There could e.g. be a quest giver from nobility that wouldn't consider giving you any missions until you invited him to dinner to your own house.
I'm sure any designer could come up with dozens of ways of making the house owning feature interesting and important. I hope Bethesda does so.
 

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