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Starfield - "space epic" from Bethesda Game Studios - coming November 11th

Discussion in 'Bethesda Game Studios' started by LESS T_T, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. DJOGamer PT Arcane

    DJOGamer PT
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    That is besides the point Wunderbar was making. Sandboxes thrive on freedom and player agency, so by restricting those you are contradicting the main design principle behind that type of experience. So while Betheda's game worlds ever since Morrowind aren't in any way well designed, at least they don't make the dumb mistake of trying to implement "linear" progression/story in an experience that's suposed to be non-linear, like KCD, W3 and AC do.

    But those systems are shallow and most of the times outrigth broken.
    What they've been doing rigth is simple. They have a recognizable brand and decent marketing team with enough money to make huge hype campaigns guaranteeing big profits and good reviews on launch day, and they offer a very casual experience that gives of an ilusion of depth to plebs and appeals to people that like LARPing (which unfortunately is the vast majority of people that play RPG's nowadays).
     
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  2. Quillon Arcane

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    You can not entice thousands of modders only with marketing. A town in Skyrim with 20 npcs with schedules, living their lives and reacting to whatever's going on individually and even their death's(if not essential) impact on your experience going through that town is much more immersive than Novigrad with a thousand of generic spawned NPCs just to look right.
     
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  3. DJOGamer PT Arcane

    DJOGamer PT
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    The large numbers of modders is due to the fact Betheseda has that base since Morrwind and they've always given them good mod tools (well they've been getting worse Skyrim's Creation Kit is much more of a hassle to work with than Oblvion's).
    NPC's with schedules have existed since Gothic, they aren't impressive in this day an age. Novigrad, unlike any of Skyrim's settlements is an actual fucking city, so the devs trying to save work and performance by making generic NPC's is to be expected (fucking beats ending up with an Imperial city situation).
    Also don't nitpick systems. When I said systems I meant all of them that make up the gameplay, which are admittedly very weak.
     
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  4. Quillon Arcane

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    Having modding tools is handy but modders aren't motivated to create shit just cos there are tools.

    What did I nitpicked? All the systems contributing to that cliche "living world"? Which is about 2/3 of a bethesda game.

    NPC schedules are impressive and probably hard to implement, else everybody would do it.

    Novigrad is also impressive but I prefer persistent NPCs to generic spawns.
     
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  5. Molina Learned

    Molina
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    This forces to have immortal NPCs and also to use the compass.

    Yeaaaah...
     
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  6. Quillon Arcane

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    Wut how? Immortal NPCs are in nearly all RPGs, the ones with all killable NPCs are rare and NPC schedules didn't force Obsidian to have immortal NPCs in NV. Having essential NPCs is consequence of narrative requirements, not gameplay systems. Don't understand what you mean with compass.
     
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  7. Decado Prestigious Gentleman Old time handsome face wrecker Patron

    Decado
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    I like Morrowind.
     
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  8. Molina Learned

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    Why they use immortal NPC in Oblivion ? If your NPC can move anywhere, especially between cities, then he can be attacked because the player is in the same cell. And if he dies because of that, even though it's not the player's will... It would sucks. It more easier to make them immortal for this unique reason.

    Second, because your NPCs can move, even in minimal terms, between home and the tavern. And if the player wants to return the quest... There are three possibilities.

    1) Either, it's a pretty tightly woven project, and the writers and actors are aware of the NPC pattern, and in this case, it can be included in the description of the quest "at night I'm at the tavern, and at night I'm at home". But it requires a careful organization of the 100 people working on the project.

    2) Giving a tool like Daggerfall, where you ask the passer-by where the NPC in question is. But it seems incompatible with modern game design.

    3) Compass.
     
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  9. Quillon Arcane

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    NPCs can have and most of them have protected state between being essential and...free game for others, which means they can't be killed anyone other than the player if they are flagged as protected in gamebryo.

    In the second case, it depends, using common sense to find people or waiting for them to return should work before devs put any additional effort. A modern game named KDC over delivers with how much dialogue there is for finding people or asking info about people, big waste of resources imo.
     
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  10. Zombra An iron rock in the river of blood and evil Patron

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    This is only a problem for players who are either so antisocial or who care so little about immersion as to play serial murderers. Just saying.
     
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  11. JDR13 Arcane

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    Speak for yourself. I didn't find Skyrim's towns more immersive than those in TW3. You're exaggerating how complex Betheda's NPCs are. Piranha Bytes was doing more realistic NPCs almost 20 years ago.
     
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  12. rusty_shackleford Arcane

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    Skyrim was a massive step back from Oblivion in that regard, which wasn't that advanced to begin with.
     
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  13. fantadomat Arcane Edgy Wumao

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    LoL you can't even compare them mate. Witcher 3 has one of the best level design eva. Especially the blood and wine DLC,the towns look amazing and feel like they are alive. Most people haven't noticed it because they follow the quest marker like dogs tho.
     
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  14. rusty_shackleford Arcane

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    meh, I kind of see where they're coming from. Giving AIs a goal and multitude of ways to get to the goal often creates pretty interesting results(even if many of them can be janky/goofy) that you just don't encounter with pre-programmed AI. I don't believe Skyrim did this, but Oblivion did to some extent.
    I'll reference Oblivion again: when an NPC gets hungry, it has to obtain food. How it obtains the food is never specified, and some interesting scenarios end up happening because various systems start interacting with each other. Each NPC has a stat referred to as 'responsibility' that will determine how law abiding they are, so therefore some will resort to stealing to get items they want/need. If they get noticed stealing by a high-responsibility NPC they will be reported to the guards and the guards will confront them. Of course, Bethesda is lazy so they never implemented arresting NPCs, therefore the guard kills them for stealing a wedge of cheese.
    Watching this happen and piecing together what you just saw (IMO) creates a better experience for the user than just watching a preprogrammed AI go about doing things. Instead of seeing exactly what the designers wanted you to see, you got to see one version of events out of many, and depending on how complicated it was it's possible(no longer referencing the Oblivion example) you were the only one who has ever seen this specific series of events play out before. It's why things like "Dwarf Fortress stories" are so interesting.
     
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  15. Zombra An iron rock in the river of blood and evil Patron

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    I appreciate the IMO in there. Fair enough.

    Watching artificial intelligence (however primitive) interact with an environment is fascinating ... but to unilaterally declare it "better" than, say, a believable, immersive city backdrop is very biased, implying that there is one single goal in gaming.

    I liked watching Skyrim AIs lurch around and blunder through their various behaviors in their little 12-building "cities", but honestly that's not what I was there for and there are better AI-building games. Witcher 3 had an immeasurably stronger sense of place and culture, due to the scale alone if nothing else. Going back as far as Witcher 1, I never looked around a town and thought, "Well no one could actually live here, this isn't a town." In Skyrim, that Disneyland sense of artificiality is constant and impossible to ignore.
     
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  16. rusty_shackleford Arcane

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    I've barely played Skyrim so I can't really comment, the only reason I own it is to play Enderal :M
     
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  17. Quillon Arcane

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    It isn't immersive for me cos its built to look right therefore NPCs are more like props, they've just spawned there a few secs ago for player's viewing pleasure, where in gamebryo they are more part of the game.

    ps: I'm talking about NPCs, not level design or whatever else. Ofc Novigrad & Toussaint are the best looking medieval cities in games.
     
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  18. fantadomat Arcane Edgy Wumao

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    Yeah,the ai routines were better in oblivion.
     
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  19. Zombra An iron rock in the river of blood and evil Patron

    Zombra
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    I respect that. Witcher style environments are definitely more immersive to me, though; because it's not like I actually see the NPCs spawn. They're there, they look good, and most importantly they behave like I expect them to behave. Whereas a Skyrim AI drone is more like a broken robot spraying electricity out its eyes. To me, having weird AI routines doesn't make an NPC less of a prop. It just means there are more things to go wrong and break the illusion.
     
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  20. Quillon Arcane

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    Witcher did have some NPC schedules too tho, running away from rain, people going to sleep(closed shops at nights) etc. better than nothing. And more than that would probably be too heavy on system resources/engine whatever with high NPC count, especially in cities. So I don't fault Witcher 3 for not having more, they opted for immersion in numbers and did whatever they can over that. But I fault a game like TOW for not having any such system despite low NPC count in areas, maybe even lower than Skyrim/FO4. Warhorse's efforts on KCD is admirable, Obsidian's phoning it in is despicable.
     
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  21. Zombra An iron rock in the river of blood and evil Patron

    Zombra
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    I haven't played Outer Worlds so I have no opinion there. And we've finally gotten to a post that has absolutely nothing to do with Starfield.
     
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  22. DalekFlay Arcane Patron

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    There's a balance to be had. Too many Bethesda games have "capital cities" that feel like small towns, where you're expected to stop and talk to nearly everyone you see. That's stupid. However Novigrad is maybe filled with too much pointless stuff, so it doesn't feel like you're being rewarded for walking around and checking things out. I think Piranha Bytes honestly nails the happy middleground, and it's one of the better aspects of even their recent games.
     
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  23. RNGsus Arcane

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    How do you not end up a murderhobo in their games?
     
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  24. Quillon Arcane

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    and here's [partly]why :D :

     
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  25. Trash Pointing and laughing.

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    Ultima 7 already had better npc schedules than the Bethesda games. Always boggled my mind how those games had people having a full daily schedule, including conversations, while later games hardly ever got close. Until PB that is.

    Also I liked the npc schedules in The Witcher better than in The Witcher 3. Kids running after you and yelling at you for being a freak, streets clearing out when it rains with people complaining about the weather, different things happening depending on wether it was night or day. They really nailed the atmosphere in the original game and while I actually really like TW3 it felt like a step back in that department.

    Anyway, Starfield. They really keep silent on that one huh?
     
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