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RPG Dot 2003: The biggest disappointment

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Vault Dweller, Jan 13, 2004.

  1. Diogo Ribeiro Erudite

    Diogo Ribeiro
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    And why is it that talking for five hours isn't roleplaying? Why wouldn't my character would react like that in a given situation (or in this case, a group)?
     
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  2. Zombra An iron rock in the river of blood and evil Patron

    Zombra
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    The point is that in Pnp gaming you can do WHATEVER YOU WANT. If you want to make a fighter triple specialized in glaive-guisarme and never say a word and kill everything on the planet, and your GM and group are into that style of game, you can do it. If you want to make a political character who can't pick up anything as dangerous as a rubber ball without cutting himself and try running for mayor in a campaign of intrigue and propaganda, you can do it. Personally, I find it fun to play lots of different kinds of characters in lots of different types of situations. It's kind of mind-expanding and actually has some real social value to try to put yourself in the position of, say, an abused young woman, or a paladin who only fights as a last resort. But without getting too preachy, I guess I'm just reiterating my point that PnP vs. CRPG is an apples and oranges discussion. And, yes, I will go so far as to say that "real" role-playing games are those in which you assume a "role" and attempt to "play" it as a good actor plays a convincing role in a movie etc. A computer "role-playing game" in which you kill things and build up stats is essentially no different from Space Invaders in which you shoot things and build up points. Sure, in a CRPG you can spend those points to become more efficient, but the principle is the same. ARE YOU PEOPLE SAYING THAT SPACE INVADERS IS AN RPG??!?!1

    Combat does not equal role-playing. But role-playing can certainly contain combat. End of story.
     
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  3. taks Liturgist

    taks
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    what zombra said.

    mark
     
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  4. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    No, it's not. Ever played Fallout? You can play as a dumb fighter and kill everything that moves although Im not sure about glaives, and you can make a "political" which is I guess a diplomatic character, etc. Arcanum is the same way.

    Agree, that's why we dislike Bioware games here. There are plenty crpgs that are about role-playing not killing stuff

    I do hope that you haven't played Fallout yet. Otherwise you are running out of excuses :wink:
     
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  5. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    what I said to zombra :)
     
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  6. Zombra An iron rock in the river of blood and evil Patron

    Zombra
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    You bring up a good point with these games. There are a number of games that give you a lot of freedom of action. But no CRPG can ever give you *complete* freedom of action. I mentioned combat monsters and politicians actually because these were obvious choices probably ingrained in my mind by Fallout itself. But you still can't play an anthropologist in Fallout. Or a town guard. Or any character who doesn't like traveling, for that matter. Or a character who actually challenges you as a player to come up with convincing dialogue, since dialogue trees are all you have. I'm not saying that CRPGs should TRY to be PnP. They can't. If you've ever had a PnP session where two of the players get into an argument and one of them leaves the party to go pursue his own goals for a while, you know what I'm talking about. This will never happen in a CRPG unless it is pre-scripted. And if it is pre-scripted, everybody on every message board everywhere will have played out that plotline.

    Long story short, in a CRPG you can't make stuff up, except in your own head (which I often do while playing computer games, actually, but that's beside the point). Computer games are not completely flexible. PnP is. With a computer game, you are playing something that some company somewhere made as an entertainment product. In PnP, you are actually creating the experience, and not just consuming it.
     
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  7. Elwro Arcane

    Elwro
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    Oh, come on, no one's saying it can. I think that CRPGs may resemble PnP games to a degree. Score 1 point for each occasion on which you asked yourself "Hey, I wonder if I can do / say that..." and the answer was YES!. The game that gets more points is more similar to a PnP game.
    You'll see that Fallout scores better than BG. Planescape (due to its dialogue) and Arcanum would also get high marks imo.
    Anyway, that's just an idea. I don't think PnP RPGs and CRPGs are incomparable.
     
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  8. Anonymous Guest

    Anonymous
    Roleplaying to me is where the role is defined by your play/character, you just play it on out and there's nothing wrong with roleplaying your speeches and actions (as you should do so), but it's not exactly good at all to do only that, just in the same manner that 100% pure combat isnt that great. I think they should all weave within each other, but what I was saying is that D&D is combat centric, almost doubly so in Greyhawk's setting, so thats why I felt ToEE was true on being a D&D game (gameplay-wise).

    I've had very good roleplay spurts in Greyhawk, but we certainly didnt ditch our combat.

    Really man, sitting around for 5 hours and just talking about how you're such a pretty Elf or some shit? It's not fun and its goofy as hell.

    HELO IM AN ELF WITH PURPEL EYEZ AND IM SAMRT!1

    rawrr iam dorf ware si teh beer n womans

    I AM DARK RANGER I AM HALF-ELFEN AND FORSAKEN WERE IS THE TREES SO I CAN HIDE IN THEM (IM SNEAKY (AND I LIKE TREES))
     
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  9. Diogo Ribeiro Erudite

    Diogo Ribeiro
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    @LlamaGod: I completely agree with that, though what i was contesting was Volourn's idea that apparently talking for five hours in a PnP session isn't roleplaying.
     
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  10. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
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    RP: I never said. I said that *some* people think the only way to role-play is to talk and somehow if you are fighting; youa ren't. That's why you here people bragging abiut "we talked for x amount hours with no blood spilled; we are the coolest evar role-players". If you thought I meant otherwise; it isn't what I meant.

    That is all. :twisted:
     
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  11. POOPERSCOOPER Prophet

    POOPERSCOOPER
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    I thought TOEE was my biggest let down. I was expecting a short, very polished, and with alot of replay based on the different alignments. Everytime I heard the troika team talking they said they were polishing everything up so I was expecting a very stable game, but it just ended up being a sloppy joe. Playing different alignment only have different beginnings and ends, basically all the same quests with crappy alternate ways to solve the quests. I dont like the DnD rules that much, but I started to enjoy Toee combat quite a bit. I think the 3.5 edition converts alot better to computer games than 2nd edition did, I still dont think DnD is good in CRPGs though. Toee also had a pretty high learning curve if you never played anything DnD before, i've only seriously played a couple of IE games so it was pretty hard getting into it. Crpgs now adays is pretty much just DnD games for DnD players now.
     
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  12. Diogo Ribeiro Erudite

    Diogo Ribeiro
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    Understood, then. It just seemed weird that simulating social interaction wasn't roleplaying.
     
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  13. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    I disagree. Anything that a person who plays PnP can think of, a developer can think of as well. No big deal. Engine limitations could be bypassed with text messages when appropriate (like crossing the wire fence in FO2). If there is a will, there is a way.

    Regarding different professions, you can't play them in Fallout, but there is no reason why it couldn't be done. Skill-based systems=flexibility, and it certainly shouldn't be that hard to make random quest generators for different professions. As for the convincing lines, players shouldn't come up with lines, their characters should if you know what I'm hinting it. If your char is of sufficient intelligence then he'd come up with a line, if not, then he should seek anotehr way.

    One thing for sure is that CRPGs wouldn't be able to replicate party interactions, but I disagree that "everybody on every message board..." line. If you played Arcanum, then you know that it's highly unlikely that you did every quest and explored every nuance of the game, and that for every cool thing that somebody told you about there was something else that you managed to do. You are still thinking of Bio games that have one or two things that you can do and that everybody else did.

    Any given situation has a limited number of potential outcomes. When you are presented with a problem, you don't invent the solution, you merely check all available options and pick one. A CRPG, if done well, can present the same options for you easily replicating the experience.
     
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  14. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
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    None has. Period. Some do better than others; but none has.
     
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  15. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    None has, doesn't mean that none would and that the concept is impossible.
     
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  16. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
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    Don't hold your breath unless you can hold it for at least a decade +.
     
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  17. triCritical Erudite

    triCritical
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    Why do you say this? Is it because you don't believe it can't be done? A lot of what VD talked about was being done on Jefferson. Really its just a matter of people spending 2-3 years making that kind of game. However, most of the emphasis is placed on lip syncing and animations. Its no wonder why so CRPG's are so shallow these days.

    Heck, I was thinking with the exception of combat, that Jefferson could have had better interaction, character customization and ROELPLAYINGE then Fallout.
     
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  18. Zombra An iron rock in the river of blood and evil Patron

    Zombra
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    OK, VD. You seem to be moving in the direction of positing uber AI game software that can adapt and respond to any possible input from a human user I formally agree that this is indeed a valid concept and a distinct possibility in the realm of future human technology. As a lad I often used to fantasize about a freaking TEXT ONLY game that could do this. The sophistication of computer technology in the last 10 years, not to mention the last 50, truly astounds me, so I could be wrong, but I don't believe that I will see such a computer game in my lifetime.

    That said, I hope to bring the discussion back to the realm of modern-day technology.

    True, but the telling differences is interactivity. Depending on how I act and play in a PnP game, a good gamemaster will change his style to accomodate me. If in a fantasy game the characters hang around in town for 4 or 5 sessions, and I get sick of it, I can say to the GM over beers after the game, "This town stuff is getting old. Why don't you work up a mission in a deep jungle or something?" and he can do it. In a CRPG that takes place mostly in cities, the only appeal you can make is to complain on a dev's message board and hope that the sequel will have some jungles (and that you'll still think jungles are cool by then). Yes, yes, in a megagame (see first paragraph), the developers can design an entire omniverse and fill in every pencil stub and orange peel across a billion planes of existence, but I'm talking about reality here. If a GM decides that he's been giving out too many magic items, he can have the party kidnapped and stripped of all their equipment. If, to lighten the mood of a serious game, the GM throws out stupid bathroom jokes at every opportunity, he will see on the faces of the players that he is spoiling the mood. Until we reach uber-cyber-brain levels of AI technology, CRPGs will not and cannot adapt in these ways, regardless of whether a development team is pretty damned talented or not.

    Uh. Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse here, but only in a supergenius AI game would this really, really, really, truly be able to be done. A trite example off the top of my head: PC in tavern. Bully starts harassing waitress. Now, we've seen this little piece of melodrama in countless games, movies, whatever, so if we adhere to the rules of common literature, there is only ONE possible outcome: PC beats up bully, saves girl. But I bet you that I could get together with my cleverest friends and put in a 40 hour work week coming up with all the possible outcomes to this situation we could think of, and I bet that you could still think of something we hadn't covered. PC laughs it off, PC becomes convinced that the beer is too strong and he's hallucinating that anyone could be that rude, PC talks to bully and discovers that they are long-lost brothers, PC encourages bully, PC blows both their brains out, PC blows his own brains out, blah blah blah. Again, maybe a super AI could cover everything. But whatever. The same goes for the number of possible professions, skills, interests a character might have.

    Forgive my hyperbole. My point was that in computer games nobody can come up with a unique solution to any problem, because in order for it to work the developers would have to have thought of it beforehand and programmed it in. The same goes for unique dialogue. Have you ever had a character who developed an hilarious catch phrase over the course of the campaign? Not gonna happen in a CRPG.

    Anyway, dead horse, wham, wham, wham. I hope you'll respond thoughtfully but forgive me if I don't work up the energy again to keep this argument going. gg
     
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  19. chrisbeddoes Erudite

    chrisbeddoes
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    What Vault Dweller says is possible today but not economical.

    I have no doubt that if some crazy rich dictator spend 1 $ billion on it it could be done. ( for 1 game only)
     
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  20. Zombra An iron rock in the river of blood and evil Patron

    Zombra
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    Well, if one game like that was made, we'd never need another one :)
     
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  21. DemonKing Arcane

    DemonKing
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    Well, of course we had plenty of sessions where we did nothing but combat - for example in our long Dark Sun campaign every year we had an annual gladitorial contest where each player created their own "gladiator scenerio" with pre-generated NPCs for the preliminary bouts and then for the grand finale we would pull out our treasured PC gladiator characters and pit them against the worst the regular DM could throw against us.

    However, in some cases we were involved in political scenerios for example where ripping out your +5 swords of Republican Slaying was not an option. Other times we were on infiltration missions. Sometimes we were in civilised areas where we were relatively safe from physical harm and there was no need for us to swing our swords wildly as we went about our business.

    I'm just saying that PnP roleplaying does not have to be combat-heavy to be fun/cool. Saying that, a good memorable hard -won combat can last in the imagination for a long time.

    CRPGs are generally played solo so there is not the same level of social interaction as a PnP game which is why I believe they need more combat/quest doing/puzzle solving rather than pages of pages of text/conversation trees to move their plots along.
     
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  22. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    No, actually what VD says is not teh future, it's been done in the past, look at the Nethack and ADOM, and think about the truckload of actions and consequences these games have. Whatever you can think of has already been thought of and implemented many many years ago, and that's the fucking point. I wouldn't waste nobody's time with tales of the future.

    Fallout and Arcanum proved that the concept is real, it just needs to be developed further, may be and probably at the expense of fancy graphics and sounds, like Spiderweb games do, but the bottom line it's possible today and it was possible yesterday.

    Here a well designed CRPG like Arcanum has the advantage, tired of big city, go adventuring for awhile, visit new places, etc.

    Once again, I think CRPGs win here, the loot could be easily balanced and matched to char levels and power, and it takes a couple of sailor looking NPCs in a tavern to provide stupid jokes for those who would dig it.

    That I think is the common mistake and a reason for the current state of gaming. People used to technology, rely on it, and expect it to do the work for them, i.e why think of a way to replicate the abundance of choices now when we can wait 50 years till we have some uber AI who'd respond to players actions. I believe that we should see more of games like Prelude and Geneforge coming from small companies featuring much deeper gameplay then that of mainstream pseudo rpgs. Hell, may be even I will do one :) It would feature the ugliest graphics ever, but it would have roelplayin' :lol:

    Like I said, there is no AI involved, there are predicted options:
    1. PC beats up the bully
    2. PC kills the bully
    3. PC ignores the bully
    4. PC talks to the bully, results in 1 or 2
    5. PC talks to the girl and ask for payment in return for protection
    6. PC kills the bully and the girl
    That's about it, 6 logical options. 1, 2, and 6 don't even require much work, so we are talking about 3,4 and 5. Profession and/or skills would be a factor determining success, i.e. smooth talking character would be able to talk to the bully and convince him of anything, while a fighter might only intimidate him or provoke him to fight, etc.

    If a game is designed right, it should provide every possible solutions that make sense. Some of them would be unique for all intents and purposes, as some characters wouldn't think of it, or wouldn't be able to walk the path that leads to that unique solution, etc. Once again, Nethack is a good example here.

    Can't argue with unique dialogue and party interactions, although PST did a very good job there.

    Yeah, no problem, we exchanged opinions, and that's what a good discussion is all about. :) Hopefully it was entertaining.
     
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  23. Zombra An iron rock in the river of blood and evil Patron

    Zombra
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    I hereby agree to disagree with you. :)
     
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  24. Elwro Arcane

    Elwro
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    Damn right. Of course, it's easier to do if you work in text mode. But who needs graphics anyways.
    BTW, I think I might be finishing ADOM for the 3rd time in my life, as I have gotten very far :D
     
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