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Interview Oblivion Q&A on IGN

Elwro

Arcane
Joined
Dec 29, 2002
Messages
11,749
Location
Krakow, Poland
Divinity: Original Sin Wasteland 2
From MisterSmileyFaceDude's responses I get a, completely groundless, impression that there won't be any dialogue trees in the game. (I mean real trees, not the ones you can emulate in TESCS by the Choice variable). I repeat that this is just a conjecture. I strongly hope that it won't be the case.

I really, really liked Daggerfall. I liked Morrowind very much - DESPITE the dialogue system. Please change it - not "add new features", but change it completely. Enable the PC to engage in a simulated conversation, as in other RPGs.
 

triCritical

Erudite
Joined
Jan 8, 2003
Messages
1,329
Location
Colorado Springs
Elwro said:
I really, really liked Daggerfall. I liked Morrowind very much - DESPITE the dialogue system. Please change it - not "add new features", but change it completely. Enable the PC to engage in a simulated conversation, as in other RPGs.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could actually play the game and solve some quest at least partially from a speech oriented character.
 

Jaesun

Fabulous Ex-Moderator
Patron
Joined
May 14, 2004
Messages
37,274
Location
Seattle, WA USA
MCA
MrSmileyFaceDude said:
It's far, far more complex and flexible than you describe, dojoteef, and the NPC schedules actually don't need to involve scripting. We have new tools in the TESCS that make it easy to set up simple or complex "packages" to do a wide variety of AI tasks, and new stats on NPC's that can be used to govern how the NPC accomplishes those tasks. A designer can say "Every day at noon, eat something", and the NPC will obtain food in a manner depending on their personality traits, legally or illegally. Alternatively, the designer could say "Every day at noon buy food from this market and eat it at this tavern", and that's what the NPC will do. Where the designer is less specific, the NPC's personality traits govern behavior. It's a very cool system, and we've actually got it working really well already.

As far as CPU usage, all the NPC's operate at different processing levels, depending on where the PC is in relation to them -- sort of like AI levels of detail, so that helps balance out CPU usage. NPC's at lower processing levels don't update as often or make such complex decisions, so they have a minimal impact on performance.

We haven't gone into huge amounts of detail about much of the game yet -- notice we've said almost nothing about magic, for example -- but that doesn't mean we haven't thought it through or even implemented it yet :)

That is really cool to hear from you guys. If you guys are also overhauling the combat, I'm thinking you will have a gamn good game. :wink:
 

Mendoza

Liturgist
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
277
triCritical said:
Elwro said:
I really, really liked Daggerfall. I liked Morrowind very much - DESPITE the dialogue system. Please change it - not "add new features", but change it completely. Enable the PC to engage in a simulated conversation, as in other RPGs.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could actually play the game and solve some quest at least partially from a speech oriented character.

There's plenty of quests where you could use speechcraft to complete them rather than combat. And some where you needed to use speechcraft to complete them successfully. I can only think of one case in the main quest that speechcraft was useful though, and even then it wasn't by much.
 

germx

Novice
Joined
May 28, 2004
Messages
33
Location
Sweden
Ok. It's nice that the AI is better than MW, and the dialouges too... But that wasn't the biggest problem in MW :shock: (But hey. thats my opinion).
I think the combat needs a lot of work. To have it real time is ok (even if i like turn based finalfantasy games) but the thing is the stats controlled "hit percent". When you play a realtime combat, you control the character and you SEE that you hit your opponent, but still you miss all the time! That feature is EXTREMELY annoying, and makes all the fights in the fisrt playing hours VERY luck based.
You never really know if your're going to win against the "5 times weaker enemy" because you'll miss all the time...
That is what i think about it....
 

germx

Novice
Joined
May 28, 2004
Messages
33
Location
Sweden
But, I liked the game anyway... i can live with such things, but other persons, like my brother, can't.
He got bored after VERY short time because of this:
He began with buying a sword and armor and whent out in the forest... he found a rat, and attacked it... Resut: He died because his character din't hit a single blow...
Is that really realistic????
 

Elwro

Arcane
Joined
Dec 29, 2002
Messages
11,749
Location
Krakow, Poland
Divinity: Original Sin Wasteland 2
Tell him to play some roguelikes. He'll then gladly return to MW as an easy game.
BTW, some of my friends complained about Daggerfall having uber rats in the beginning. I never had too much problems with that.
 

Otaku_Hanzo

Erudite
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Messages
3,463
Location
The state of insanity.
The rats could be nasty if you didn't have a combat oriented character from the start. It was never a problem for me either though since I always made sure I had at least one combat skill in the mains.
 

germx

Novice
Joined
May 28, 2004
Messages
33
Location
Sweden
But still, it looks kinda wierd with the character animations... cuz you dont see if you really miss or hit.
And the aiming is cinda crap too, you couldn't be to sure about what you where aiming at, so allies were only in the way...
 

Stark

Liturgist
Joined
Mar 31, 2004
Messages
770
yep, about the earlier comments that it'll be very similar to Gothic, keep in mind Gothic used purely scripting to achieve the effect of NPC schedules, so whatever BethSoft is attempting this time is rather interesting, and new for rpg.

I believe what MrSmiley said though. Sims 2 already has similar concept (needs, wants, able to go to toilet themselves) so the technology is already there, more or less. I believe it can be implemented.

I previously come to the conclusion scripting is a much easier method to acheive similar level of believabilty (Gothic and Ultima 7 are good examples), which probably explains why no other rpg games are attempting it so far.I'm rather glad Bethsoft is trying new technology, and i'm looking forward to it. :)

about dialog... a mixture of keyword selection (for key info) and dialog tree would be great. now fix the dull combat and we'll be looking at an excellent game. :) kudos to BethSoft for their willingness to try new things.
 

Otaku_Hanzo

Erudite
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Messages
3,463
Location
The state of insanity.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is supposedly going to introduce an extremely advanced AI system as well. Supposedly even the animals and monsters will be affected. They will hunt each other, wander all over the place, eat, sleep, and other things. Same goes for the people. Be nice if everything they list in features actually makes it into the game and works.

I will definitely give Oblivion a chance despite the fact I hated Morrowind. Arena and Daggerfall were (and still are) great RPGs despite their flaws. I hope Oblivion brings back the glory days of Daggerfall. Minus the bugs, of course. ;)

As far as realtime combat goes, I like how Bloodlines handles it (in the melee department, that is) with the fact that everytime I've swun my weapon at someone, I've hit. It's just that your melee or unarmed skill versus their defense skill as well as what weapon you are using determines how much damage you do. At least that's what I've assumed from playing.

Ranged combat is different and something they definitely need to tweak because until you get to an above average skill level in it, you'll be missing ALOT, and even when you do hit, you might not do much damage.
 

MrSmileyFaceDude

Bethesda Game Studios
Developer
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
716
germx said:
Ok. It's nice that the AI is better than MW, and the dialouges too... But that wasn't the biggest problem in MW :shock: (But hey. thats my opinion).
I think the combat needs a lot of work. To have it real time is ok (even if i like turn based finalfantasy games) but the thing is the stats controlled "hit percent". When you play a realtime combat, you control the character and you SEE that you hit your opponent, but still you miss all the time! That feature is EXTREMELY annoying, and makes all the fights in the fisrt playing hours VERY luck based.
You never really know if your're going to win against the "5 times weaker enemy" because you'll miss all the time...
That is what i think about it....

Here's a post I made over at the Oblivion forums about a month ago, describing how a combat encounter might proceed in Oblivion.

You're walking through a seedy part of a town in Western Cyrodiil. People mill about, some engaged in conversation, others minding their own business, out on their own errands. Suddenly, an ugly man decides he doesn't like you. Maybe he's drunk, maybe he's just a bully, maybe he's just showing off in front of his friends -- but for whatever reason, he has taken your measure and decided he can best you.

He comes charging at you, with a nasty looking mace in his hand and a look of hatred on his face. Onlookers move back to make room for what should be an entertaining fight.

Quickly drawing your sword and shield, you wheel around to face him. He's upon you pretty quickly though, and you barely have time to raise your shield [hold right mouse button] before his first blow thunders down upon you.

But you block well, and as he recoils from the collision, you quickly perform left & right slashes with your sword [left click, pause, left click]. The bully realizes this isn't going to be easy.

He backs off a bit, and starts dodging around you. First to the left, then to the right. You maneuver to keep him in view, looking for an opening. Suddenly he steps back, raises his mace in both hands, and steps forward, bringing the mace towards your head in a crushing blow!

But you're quick -- you step to the side as he attacks. As he passes by, you execute a spinning maneuver and slash him in the side [hold left mouse button and left maneuver key]. The hit is solid, and your foe staggers from the blow.

But it's not over yet. The bully swings his mace wildly -- his first swing misses, but the next one connects for a blow that sends you staggering. Pressing his advantage, the bully bears down on you with a power attack of his own. OUCH. This isn't going well. You take a glance at your health meter, it's getting a bit low. You quickly back up out of the bully's reach and raise your shield [hold right mouse button].

He's hurting, too. You circle each other for a time, looking for an opening, trying to recover some fatigue. Finally the bully charges forward with a devastating overhead blow, perhaps hoping to break your shield. But the shield holds and the recoil send him staggering back. This is your chance! You perform a mighty forward power attack [hold the left mouse button, press forward] and connect solidly. The blow staggers your foe once again, and you perform 3 slashing attacks in rapid succession [left mouse button, pause, left mouse button, pause, left mouse button], and finally the bully collapses to the ground, defeated.

The crowd disperses, going back to their own business.

The "to hit" roll has been removed -- if you swing your weapon and an enemy is in range and you're facing it, you'll hit the enemy. Then stats come into play -- your skill with that weapon, fatigue level, luck, strength; the weapon damage rating and condition; and then a bunch of stuff on the opponent (armor coverage, quality and condition and the wearer's armor skill, luck and fatigue, if the opponent is blocking their block skill, shield quality and condition, plus defense bonuses). A lot goes into the formulae to determine how much damage actually gets done to the opponent.

As the player, you're responsible for moving your character, deciding when to attack (and what attack to perform) and when to block. But your character's stats determine how successful the attacks & blocks are, and how quickly you can move.

There's a lot more to it that we'll talk about later. But the main idea is to make combat fun and exciting (which is something a lot of people wouldn't say about Morrowind's combat) while maintaining a similar control scheme.
 
Self-Ejected

dojoteef

Self-Ejected
Joined
Oct 26, 2004
Messages
970
I hate to be a nitpicker, but isn't their an unarmed statistic that rogues would tend to use a lot? So if you get hit with a mace and you have absolutely no armor on and take no damage because of your high skill levels, wouldn't that seem wierd since all attacks appear to hit?

I don't want to make more work for you guys but I do have an idea that I think might warrant some consideration. If you used kinematics you might be able to make it so that a person actually seems to dodge an attack. If you could imagine an invisible rigid body that connects from a weapon to the other person's head or torso when you swing the weapon, the person seems to move/dodge away from the weapon. I've always wanted to see that in a melee combat game and I have yet to see it.

I don't believe this technique has been tried before. I think it would be very interesting.
 

kris

Arcane
Joined
Oct 27, 2004
Messages
8,867
Location
Lulea, Sweden
MrSmileyFaceDude said:
As the player, you're responsible for moving your character, deciding when to attack (and what attack to perform) and when to block. But your character's stats determine how successful the attacks & blocks are, and how quickly you can move.

There's a lot more to it that we'll talk about later. But the main idea is to make combat fun and exciting (which is something a lot of people wouldn't say about Morrowind's combat) while maintaining a similar control scheme.

How would that handle someone that uses martial arts that are closeup to someone using a halberd? And can you shoot with your bow even if someone is beating away at you in Melee or can it be interrupted?
 

Mendoza

Liturgist
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
277
dojoteef said:
I hate to be a nitpicker, but isn't their an unarmed statistic that rogues would tend to use a lot? So if you get hit with a mace and you have absolutely no armor on and take no damage because of your high skill levels, wouldn't that seem wierd since all attacks appear to hit?

I don't want to make more work for you guys but I do have an idea that I think might warrant some consideration. If you used kinematics you might be able to make it so that a person actually seems to dodge an attack. If you could imagine an invisible rigid body that connects from a weapon to the other person's head or torso when you swing the weapon, the person seems to move/dodge away from the weapon. I've always wanted to see that in a melee combat game and I have yet to see it.

I don't believe this technique has been tried before. I think it would be very interesting.

A big part of unarmoured combat would be about absorbing the impact of blows, and deflecting away the brunt of the attack. So you could get away with attacks hitting to some degree. It would start to get less realistic as the weapons got pointier though, so you'd probably need some kind of dodging for the likes of swords and daggers. You could possibly go the route of the unarmoured skill giving you a kind of zen monk like impenetrable skin, but it wouldn't really fit in with the previous games.
 

kathode

Novice
Developer
Joined
Jul 13, 2004
Messages
76
"BTW, you guys wouldn't by any chance have an opening for a junior member that'll be graduating in December with a dual major in CS and Math would you?"

Check out our ad for a game programmer here. We are not totally averse to hiring right out of college, provided of course that you've got the skillz to pay the billz ;) And survive the grueling interview with the likes of me :twisted:

Hey if someone could change the bethesda guy's avatars to this, I'd be appreciative. It's our new logo for internally developed stuff. [/url]
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
MrSmileyFaceDude said:
Deacdo, and I mean this with the utmost respect, but that's a bunch of BS. Morrowind was not "dumbed down", and neither will Oblivion be.
...
But you're making claims that simply aren't true. "Dumbed down" is not in the eye of the beholder, it's a conscious decision and NOT one we have made.
Ok, then, thanks for clearing that up for us. Now, I don't know if you noticed but DF was bigger and definitely better (more of everything - I posted the full list before, so here is a brief version: more option during char creation, more skills, more guilds, more gameplay options like climbing walls, more stuff like witch covens, banks, horses and carriages, houses and ships to buy, better storyline, etc). So, considering all that, MW does look dumbed down A LOT, wouldn't you agree?
 

Mendoza

Liturgist
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
277
Vault Dweller said:
MrSmileyFaceDude said:
Deacdo, and I mean this with the utmost respect, but that's a bunch of BS. Morrowind was not "dumbed down", and neither will Oblivion be.
...
But you're making claims that simply aren't true. "Dumbed down" is not in the eye of the beholder, it's a conscious decision and NOT one we have made.
Ok, then, thanks for clearing that up for us. Now, I don't know if you noticed but DF was bigger and definitely better (more of everything - I posted the full list before, so here is a brief version: more option during char creation, more skills, more guilds, more gameplay options like climbing walls, more stuff like witch covens, banks, horses and carriages, houses and ships to buy, better storyline, etc). So, considering all that, MW does look dumbed down A LOT, wouldn't you agree?

Yeah, I'm slightly concerned that the number of guilds has been knocked down to 6, even if it sounds like they may be more involved than in Morrowind. Particularly because the most characterful guilds are the ones that have gone (I'm not expecting the Great Houses, Morag Tong and Tribunal to crop up in Cyrodil for obvious reasons) and not been replaced with anything as interesting. The fighters, thieves and mages guilds in Morrowind felt like generic guilds for character types, despite the factional rivalries they all had, an whilst this was probably partially because of the name, it was more because they seemed to have a lack of history and not really fit (and I know they're new to Vvardenfell, but I didn't have this issue with the Imperial Legion). The Dark Brotherhood sounds pretty interesting though.

On the plus side, horses are in, and I'm hopeful about climbing as they have a Thief dev on the team.
 

Briosafreak

Augur
Joined
Oct 21, 2002
Messages
792
Location
Atomic Portugal
Well the game doesn`t sound dumbed down at all, it`s turning out to be some sort of cross between on one hand the good aspects of Gothic2, like the world that feels alive and a sense of direction while beeing able to take diferent paths, wich is good since Morrowind was confusing and tiresome since it seemed rather pointless, almost like a MMORPG, and the bad things (the combat), although it does sound better than the Morrowind mess, and on the other hand some new solutions for the A.I. wich will prove to be a pain to make a balanced game, with the people that will test it having to be ready for a daunting task, like the STALKER guys are learning the hard way, but quite interesting nevertheless.

I`m still more worried about the Fallout game though, we`ll see, this doesn`t sound so bad.
 

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