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Starfield - "space epic" from Bethesda Game Studios

Bliblablubb

Arcane
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Mar 1, 2014
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Copium Den
Ironically, Bethesda is a lot better at creating an "optional urgency" than other open world game designers, by creating logical break opportunities or simply escalating only if the player does something.
E.g. Skyrim: don't go to the embassy. You have dragons, your complete FusRoDa, go dick around while you "wait for the embassy party date". It just works!

As opposed to CDPR.
Twitcher 3 felt already weird with Ciri's disappearance. But TW3 was never meant as a true open world, where you explore at your leisure. In fact, many players thought it sucks, after getting burned out from boring exploration before even reaching Novigrad.
Because you weren't supposed to explore on your own, just follow the mainquest and do some sides on the way, or a monster hunt if you need money.

And Cyberbug77 even escalted it by reminding you every moment you are dying. Don't get off the mainquest train! Now there was no reason to do any sidequest/gig after the heist at all. Plus the weird game decision of taking your car away, as an incentive to explore Watson on foot, but at the same time slapping TWO timed missions in your face the required you to LEAVE Watson asap. Sad.

I like shitting on Todd and his cronies like everyone else, but you can't deny they got at least the open world vs story balance right. :obviously:
 
Unwanted
Joined
Jan 14, 2018
Messages
50,711
Codex Year of the Donut
There's very, very few games that have any sort of tension and a non-linear world simultaneously. The rise in designer handholding is a large reason for this. Witcher 3 does it better than cyberjunk because you have no idea how to find Ciri and at best a few clues.
 

Daedalos

Arcane
The Real Fanboy
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Denmark
Best sense of urgency to the MQ was done no better than in Fallout 1 imo. It had the perfect balance of fucking about just enough to get around, but staying focused on the main quest.
A good RPG should bob and weave MQ and sidequests, so u get to experience alot of the game and have variety, but keep the sense of urgency and engangement to the MQ throughout
 

Harthwain

Magister
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
3,437
Twitcher 3 felt already weird with Ciri's disappearance.
It did? I didn't care about her at all. Story-wise there is no difference between "looking for Ciri" (while doing everything but that) and delaying "urgent" mission in any other game. Including Bethesda ones.

If anything, in Skyrim you were constantly reminded/alluded about certain matters. I liked it, because it helped maintaining that illusion of the alive world, but contrary to what you are trying to say it served as reinforcement of the urgency of the matter. Oblivion is even worse offender when it comes to urgency-versus-reality issue, because it starts with a big bang and never manages to deliver (on all levels) that built up "omph" you expect after the beginning.

But TW3 was never meant as a true open world, where you explore at your leisure. In fact, many players thought it sucks, after getting burned out from boring exploration before even reaching Novigrad. Because you weren't supposed to explore on your own, just follow the mainquest and do some sides on the way, or a monster hunt if you need money.
Bullshit. You can do whatever you want and go wherever you want (although there are some exceptions). Burning out because you explored too much side stuff is on you. I should know, because that's exactly what I did.
 

Mortmal

Arcane
Joined
Jun 15, 2009
Messages
8,065
Todd just said that the chess-club-membery StrangerThingy geeky persona, that he likes to wear in public like Buffalo Bill wears women skin jackets, really liked two games - Sundog: Frozen Legacy from Apple II and Traveller tabletop.
The protagonist of Sundog: Frozen Legacy by FTL was their inspiration for the character Zed Duke of Banville in FTL's next game, Dungeon Master:

CHneBIK.jpg

DkVFonP.jpg


wUVVU7A.jpg
He certainly has good taste in gaming, but he's also a business man who knows what is really wanted today.
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2017
Messages
2,886
Best sense of urgency to the MQ was done no better than in Fallout 1 imo. It had the perfect balance of fucking about just enough to get around, but staying focused on the main quest.
A good RPG should bob and weave MQ and sidequests, so u get to experience alot of the game and have variety, but keep the sense of urgency and engangement to the MQ throughout

Dead Rising does it better by putting everything on a timer. In that game the timer is so integral to your actions that time itself becomes a currency, and until you reach a high level you aren't even really expected to be able to do everything in a single play through. I could easily see what that game did being applied to quest in a RPG. Or at least I could see that working in a RPG, I however have a hard time imagining most modern RPG developers designing quest that may be missed simply because of lack of time.

The Persona games do it really way too by overlaying a whole time management game on top of the JRPG.
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2021
Messages
698
Best sense of urgency to the MQ was done no better than in Fallout 1 imo. It had the perfect balance of fucking about just enough to get around, but staying focused on the main quest.
A good RPG should bob and weave MQ and sidequests, so u get to experience alot of the game and have variety, but keep the sense of urgency and engangement to the MQ throughout

Dead Rising does it better by putting everything on a timer. In that game the timer is so integral to your actions that time itself becomes a currency, and until you reach a high level you aren't even really expected to be able to do everything in a single play through. I could easily see what that game did being applied to quest in a RPG. Or at least I could see that working in a RPG, I however have a hard time imagining most modern RPG developers designing quest that may be missed simply because of lack of time.

The Persona games do it really way too by overlaying a whole time management game on top of the JRPG.
If you want to limit the number of side quests you can do in a normal play through, you either have to make more content than you expect any given player to see, which is kind of a waste of dev time, or you gotta make the game attractive to replay, which doesn't jive that well with AAA cinematic on rails stories. Or you make the side quests procgen garbage, but then you might as well just not have them for the most part...
 

ropetight

Educated
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Dec 9, 2018
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Lower Wolffuckery
Best sense of urgency to the MQ was done no better than in Fallout 1 imo. It had the perfect balance of fucking about just enough to get around, but staying focused on the main quest.
A good RPG should bob and weave MQ and sidequests, so u get to experience alot of the game and have variety, but keep the sense of urgency and engangement to the MQ throughout
When sidequests are needed for better alternative resolutions to main quest or other side quests - best way to weave them to narrative.
Despite of time slipping away in Fallout 1, I never had the feeling that you should skip any resources or help - world looked very dangerous (random encounters are often deadly in the beginning), you were seriously ill-prepared and knew very little about outside world.
ATOM RPG uses this same technique, combination of mystery and danger to keep you on path.

Bethesda never builds that feel of urgency and I always get lost in the side quests completely losing track of MQ.
Never finished Skyrim, but I traversed quite a lot of breathtaking scenery and got lots of different pants.
Fallout 4 is the probably worst offender - the world is your oyster, you get fucking power armor after an hour of gameplay, and everything is watering down from there.
I never got invested into main quest, side quests felt like separate entities that are more fun than the ...
 

deuxhero

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Morrowind was the best implementation of main quest vs. side quest in an open world game. A horrible fate for the world is clearly looming, but in a manner of years. More importantly you're a spy and told to build a cover identity as a freelancer.
 
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^And they explicitly tell you to fuck off and do some side quests before coming back to the main quest on several occasions over the course of the story.
 
Last edited:

Zed Duke of Banville

Dungeon Master
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Morrowind was the best implementation of main quest vs. side quest in an open world game. A horrible fate for the world is clearly looming, but in a manner of years. More importantly you're a spy and told to build a cover identity as a freelancer.
The player is even provided with a document detailing Dagoth Ur's long-term plans and explaining how the Sixth House has gradually expanded over decades:

...
Phase 1:
Secure Red Mountain against Tribunal intruders. Deny Tribunal access to the Heart, weakening the Temple while securing Red Mountain for the creation of Akulakhan. Keep the construction of Second Numidium a secret.

Phase 2:
Create passive servants in ever-widening circles around Red Mountain by broadcasting compulsions couched in dream imagery to susceptible subjects in their sleep. Establish a major operational base at Kogoruhn for further operations in the ash wastes. Establish smaller bases near small port villages and in lower-class waterfront districts in Vivec. Infiltrate and subvert smuggling syndicates. Recruit willing followers from disaffected populations, including the underworld, the poor, and rabid anti-Imperial activists.

Phase 3:
Expand from smaller bases to other towns and villages, and recruit and indoctrinate subjects made susceptible by dream sendings. Occupy abandoned towers and ruins, and train corrupted cultists as raiders and irregular troops. Identify, discredit, and decimate possible sources of political resistance.

Phase 4:
Use assassination and terror to weaken, distract, and disrupt the Legions and the Imperial bureaucracy, along with their Hlaalu sympathizers. Inspire popular uprisings of the native poor against the foreign rich and powerful. Summon Sleepers and Dreamers to Dagoth Ur to work on Second Numidium.

Dagoth Ur thinks on a large time scale -- for the most part, in the outside-of-time scale of the divine consciousness. He thinks that only obstacles of mythic scale are worth consideration. He believes he is fated to rule Morrowind, to free Morrowind of the Empire, and to become the new hard-loving Father of Morrowind. Given that perspective, the only opposing forces Dagoth Ur worries about are the Tribunal, the Daedra, the Emperor, and the Incarnate.
...
3E 400: Kogoruhn reoccupied by Dagoth Uthol and fortified as an advance base for Sixth House operations. Blight storms more frequent and widespread. Soul sickness spreads in regions close to Red Mountain.

3E 410: Sixth House bases founded near Gnaar Mok and in waterfront areas of Vivec. Sixth House operatives exploit smuggler organizations and communications to spread their influence among victims unbalanced by Dagoth Ur's dream sendings.

3E 415: Small cells of Sixth House cultists in every town in Vvardenfell. Larger Sixth House operations are concealed in remote dungeons where creatures are bred and cultists are trained for the coming struggle.

3E 417: Almalexia and Sotha Sil lose the artifacts Keening and Sunder to Dagoth Odros and Vemyn. Vivec rescues Almalexia and Sotha Sil, but failing to recover Keening and Sunder, the Tribunal retreat from Red Mountain in disorder. Surviving Buoyant Armiger companions know the Tribunal was forced to retreat, but do not know how serious a reversal the Tribunal has suffered. The Three Tribunes return to their respective capitals and continue to perform their ritual functions. The Tribunes continue to grow weaker without access to the Heart, and because of resources required to support the Ghostfence. The inner circle of the Temple priesthood has begun to suspect the Tribunes have suffered seriously from wounds and demoralization in the wake of reverses at Red Mountain, but do not recognize the scale of the problem.

3E 426-427: Campaign of Sixth House assassinations of prominent Imperial citizens and Hlaalu Imperial sympathizers. Sudden increase in number and seriousness of attacks by cultists and victims deranged by soul sickness.
...
 

HarveyBirdman

Savant
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
989
It did? I didn't care about her at all. Story-wise there is no difference between "looking for Ciri" (while doing everything but that) and delaying "urgent" mission in any other game. Including Bethesda ones.

If anything, in Skyrim you were constantly reminded/alluded about certain matters. I liked it, because it helped maintaining that illusion of the alive world, but contrary to what you are trying to say it served as reinforcement of the urgency of the matter. Oblivion is even worse offender when it comes to urgency-versus-reality issue, because it starts with a big bang and never manages to deliver (on all levels) that built up "omph" you expect after the beginning.
Skyrim: Occasional dragon fights, guards question the existence of dragons, sometimes you see Alduin necromatize a dragon. In the end, you mash attack with three friends you meet exactly one time. Afterwards, the world is physically unchanged.

Oblivion: By midgame, the wilderness is taken over by Oblivion gates, the sky is always red, and you can't go anywhere without getting attacked by a daedra. In the end, you hold off Mehrunes Dagon in single combat, which you are literally incapable of winning, until Martin Septim transforms into the avatar of an Aedra to do Kaiju battle. Afterwards, the Oblivion gates remain visible as ruins, the kaiju are forever preserved in stone, and a statue dedicated to your heroism is erected (based upon the armor you wore).

Both main quests are kind of bad, but I know which one was executed better in terms of reminding you the main quest is affecting the world.
 

HarveyBirdman

Savant
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
989
Morrowind was the best implementation of main quest vs. side quest in an open world game. A horrible fate for the world is clearly looming, but in a manner of years. More importantly you're a spy and told to build a cover identity as a freelancer.
It's in the top tier. Wouldn't say it's "the best" and not sure any game deserves that title. Others that do it well (and without timers):

PST -- you are the plot, so of course it moves at your pace.
New Vegas -- NCR and Legion are in a stalemate until you decide to tip the scales
Here's a list of Traits shown so far :

Dream Home, Kid Stuff, and one of the factions seems obvious. Money is always trivial in any game.
 
Unwanted
Joined
Jan 14, 2018
Messages
50,711
Codex Year of the Donut
Didn't notice it before, but it's interesting they're including religions when most sci-fi material tends to either ridicule or ignore the topic. Despite it being a very important topic in its own right due to the setting.
Based Todd does it again!
 

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