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Company News The end of Elder Scrolls?

Sir_Brennus

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Brother None said:
Kingston said:
I wouldn't mind seeing the Elder Scrolls die. The only decent one was Daggerfall.

Am I the only one with no taste for the old ones? I disliked all the ES games, but personally I liked Morrowind best (or least worse, I guess). At least it was fun, versus the boring Oblivion and TES I and II that just didn't offer anything.

cutterjohn said:
Oh well, at least I have MotB and The Witcher to look forward to in the near term, and then we'll see....

Go on keeping an eye on Europe. Drakensang and Hard to be a God are both around the corne.

I know, double post and full ACKing gets no love on the Codex, but I wholeheartly agree with both of your statements, albeit I think Drakensang and Hard to be a God will actually be modern classics. It seems to me, that apart from Obsidian noone in the US still knows what old farts like us want to play.
 

Jasede

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Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Codex Year of the Donut I'm very into cock and ball torture
But Drakensang seems so.... watered down compared to venerable RoA. I don't know about you, but I would rather have RoA 4, with the same old engine and all.
 

Sir_Brennus

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Jasede said:
But Drakensang seems so.... watered down compared to venerable RoA. I don't know about you, but I would rather have RoA 4, with the same old engine and all.

I really loved the Northland trilogy, but they never were without flaws. The clunky control system and the non intuitive GUI only were some of them. Hell, even Guido Henkel admits that it was a bad mistake to include so many skills that never were to be used. The bugs (in DSA1 they were of the exploid kind) annoyed the hell out of me and prevented me from completing Riva.

And no, I don't want the same engine back, because the unfiltered 3D of Star Trail and Riva gave me nausea even back then. And I only remember Descent to Undermountain as another game that did that to me.
 

Jasede

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Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Codex Year of the Donut I'm very into cock and ball torture
I thought the UI was fine, the graphics neat, and the unused skills were great too- you never knew what you will or will not need so the game rewarded specialising some characters and teach others a broad skillset. I loved it. Plus, I think very, very few skills were actually useless: riding is the only one I can think of right now, and knots (fesseln), geography and history. And that chimaera spell. And I never met any bugs! Except for RoA 1, the infinite XP exploit in the mine.

Of course, I am also quite weird: I had more fun replaying Serpent Isle the 387583th time than I had playing Bloodlines once.
 

Lingwe

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non-linearity (in which the quest has branching paths) and sandbox play (in which you choose the order in which you perform your quests)

It should be relatively easy to see the difference. Oblivion is a sandbox game, not a non-linear game.
 

Jasede

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Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Codex Year of the Donut I'm very into cock and ball torture
Fallout isn't all that non-linear either, truth to be told. I think the only non-linearity it has is "Do I destroy the master first and then take care of the military base or do I do it in the opposite order?".
 

Jeff Graw

StarChart Interactive
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Lingwe said:
non-linearity (in which the quest has branching paths) and sandbox play (in which you choose the order in which you perform your quests)

It should be relatively easy to see the difference. Oblivion is a sandbox game, not a non-linear game.

Don't reply to yourself. It's not cool. Also, why exactly do you think that sandbox games are linear?
 

Micmu

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Previous avatar was from the "this site sucks and your opinions are not surprising" guy.
 

Jasede

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Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Codex Year of the Donut I'm very into cock and ball torture
But that only leads to the Lieutenant and hence basically the same thing: destroy military base, if I remember correctly. I find the current definitons of non-linear confusing since everyone seems to have a different one. The only game I know of that would satisfy all definitions of non-linear is Daggerfall.

What IS non-linear?

* Main quest that branches, but leads to same outcome in the end?
* Main quest with branching and different outcomes?
* Main quest with different objectives that can be achieved in any order?
* Linear main quest, but free-roaming sandbox play? [Ultima 7, Oblivion]
 

roshan

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Jeff Graw said:
There's no such thing as a nonlinear plot-line. You can have all of the choices in the world but when you finish the game, the plot is still going to be linear. Let me spell it out: Plotlines are by definition linear. In case you haven't noticed, line is the operative word.

Playing games with semantics is not going to make your point.

Non-linearity and C&C in games are two completely different things

Wrong. Nonlinearity is a result of C&C.

one let's you do things in a different orders

As pointed out to you by someone else, that isn't nonlinearity, that's sandbox play.

the other allows you to shape the character and/or the game world via choices.

Which then results in nonlinear plots, ergo, nonlinearity.
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
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roshan said:
Non-linearity and C&C in games are two completely different things

Wrong. Nonlinearity is a result of C&C
Incorrect. Non-linearity, much like C&C, is a design element. A game can offer you some choices & consequences in a completely linear game or it can offer you no choices, except for where to go (see Oblivion), in a very non-linear game.
 

roshan

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Vault Dweller said:
roshan said:
Non-linearity and C&C in games are two completely different things

Wrong. Nonlinearity is a result of C&C
Incorrect. Non-linearity, much like C&C, is a design element. A game can offer you some choices & consequences in a completely linear game or it can offer you no choices, except for where to go (see Oblivion), in a very non-linear game.

Depends on your definition of nonlinearity.

non·lin·e·ar [non línnee ər]
adjective
1. not in line: not lying on the same straight line
2. not predictable from past: varying markedly as a result of individual factors or circumstances and so difficult to anticipate or likely to depart from previous patterns

Microsoft® Encarta® 2007. © 1993-2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

While the first definition supports the idea that sandbox play is nonlinearity, I argue that the second definition is C&C, as without it, the replay of a game would result in a high level of predictability.
 

denizsi

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TESOL vs. TES SP is the wrong discussion.

Meet TES V Online:

The game will take place on whatever other province they will decide on, most probably Skyrim as that's the one that's been trademark-registered by ZeniMax.

Some supposedly epic and massive shit -just like the Daedra invasion :roll:- will be going on, most probably due to the recent events in Oblivion, and whatever it is, you won't be able to leave the province because of it. There you have your single player TES game, typical of last two games in the series.

Once you finish the main quest, you will be able to leave the province, thus join the online network -for a monthly fee of course.

Because Beth is stupid, they will realize only too late that having to finish the original game first to be able to join the network was a bad decision; but because they will have designed the original game to be a heavily single player experience, with lots of scripted events and hand-holding, they will most likely stick to it. However, they may offer a "stoy lite" mode playable online, where many of the "finer details" will have been axed.

After that, you will most likely be able to visit one or two more other provinces though, and again, most probably not the whole of them at once. As the "online main quest" progresses, you will be able to go to other areas of the present provinces.

Expect all kinds of micro-economics, like the official plug-ins for Oblivion.

Expect the first expansion 6 to 12 months following the release of the original game. You will now have one more province as per the "story", which will open up zone by zone within the province on a global time and individual quest-solving basis.

This 6 to 12 months until the first expansion will serve as an unofficial play-testing phase to smooth out the problems. Bethesda may pump out lots of free content to compensate for the lame tech-support they will unmistakably have and the unstable online component. I'd wager that the online components will even corrupt the offline game data (like game saves and characters) for some players.

With each expansion/province, desiring players will be able to continue the game offline, but their online and offline characters will be separate past the original game. Additionally, online game will offer a lot more of the same stupid quests.

A faint modding support will persist for those who want to mod the offline game.

Expect official contests to "push the story forward". Some story bits will be given, and works of modders who can come up with the best material, will make it into the official game, in the name of "innovative dynamic and always changing world of TES online lets players shape the world to their liking". Modders will be made to do the work of developers once more, and this time, only officially. Bethslaves.

Also expect guilds to play a insignificantly large role. Expect guild-master players who probably won't serve any purpose other than Xbox Live points (or whatever they are called).

Summer and her minions will be given the power to obliterate misbehaving players online.

I'd say that they will make the game a cross-platform, where PC, X360 and PS3 players will be able to play together, but Beth is severely lacking the technical expertise to even make their SP games work right, *BUT*, that's where $300.000.000 is coming in.

Now thinking again, the online portion of the game might be a X360 and PS3 exclusive, with only an offline version for PC players. They might show mercy and enable custom network worlds for PC players though, but that would mean an unnecessary allocation of the $300 million, and is way over Beth to realize as developers, being incompetent developers themselves. However, a year or two past the release date, some tech-sawy modders may discover some implemented but non-executed leftover network code, due to the game being a port from X360.

Years later, after several expansions, probably one for each province, the final expansion may see the rediscovery of the Akavir Islands off Tamriel and a whole new threat of epic proportions from there. Then the game will last a couple more years, before the next game which will "carry The Elder Scrolls saga to whole new leves" will come.

Morrowind and Cyrodiil will probably never be covered by any of the expansions/provinces, and these two provinces will always be off-limits.

Mark this post.

edit: Hmm, another option would be to put a few thousands of years between the SP game and the online game.
 

Briosafreak

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Why would you make two Elder Scrolls games that are going to compete with each other within the same PC game market?

Two TES games in the console market makes sense, in one you have established a following that will provide constant sales, the SP consoles market, and now you try to dwell into one that won't have much competition, the consoles MMO market. Perfectly logic, in a next gen way.

At the same time the PC sp following will continue to buy the sp games and try out the MMO game, that's a good basis to expansion.

Then after a few years, if the MMO and a bunch of expansions succeeds then yes, migration will be complete on the TES series to the MMO model, a model that makes serious money on the PC, by being less prone to pirating, and they will start with new or acquired IPs the same process, creating a sufficient number of followers that will allow the move to MMO only follow up games, slowly.

But that takes years, not going to happen suddenly.
 

Callaxes

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Jasede said:
I thought the UI was fine, the graphics neat, and the unused skills were great too- you never knew what you will or will not need so the game rewarded specialising some characters and teach others a broad skillset. I loved it.

Come on! Even I admit that Darklands has stupid combat. Weak storyline and all sorts of repetative elements in the gameplay despite the fact that I'm absolutely in LOVE with the game. But this is just pure fanboyism.

The whole "you never knew" thing only works well for the first time you play it. After that there's no way you're going to pick up geography or riding again. This is basicly the same problem that every other game has.

"I only use science like 3 times in Fallout"

So it's a flaw. Most games are critisized even for 1 or 2 unballanced skills. I haven't played RoA 2 more then once (mind you, it's a great game), but I'm convinced that are alot more useless skills then the ones you've listed. This works in a PnP RPG, because the GM makes new campaings over and over in which you use the skills that were useless in the previous campaing, but in a CRPG the campaing doesn't change and all you're left with is replaying the (broken) game.

Fallout isn't all that non-linear either, truth to be told. I think the only non-linearity it has is "Do I destroy the master first and then take care of the military base or do I do it in the opposite order?".

I'll admit that the second time you play it, it doesn't seem that non-linear, because you allready know the locations. But the first time it seems like the antithesis of linearity, because you don't have a clue what to do and your just building your way to the objective, by colecting clues and exploring the world.

Add to this the fact that more then half of the quests have multiple solutions (combat, stealth, diplomacy).


Edit: BTW, am I the only one who's freaking out when hearing that ZM has 300 millions? I mean. I mean I even thought that Wicther had a big bugget with 20 million, I guess I underestimated the game market. But still - 300 mill is a fucking truckload of money.
 

Brother None

inXile Entertainment
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The only game I know of that would satisfy all definitions of non-linear is Daggerfall.

I'd say the label is pretty useless if it becomes that exclusive, truth be told.

Sir_Brennus said:
I know, double post and full ACKing gets no love on the Codex, but I wholeheartly agree with both of your statements, albeit I think Drakensang and Hard to be a God will actually be modern classics.

I doubt it. Have you given the HtbaG (or ТбБ, whichever) demo a spin? Limited choices, very limited dialogue, mostly focused on not very good combat. My preview for GameBanshee will be up somewhere this month, more info there. But simply put; so far, Hard to be a God looks more mediocre than great. There's a lot of potential in the setting, though, so I'm not exactly without hope for the game.

Same goes for Drakensang. The design intention to cut down dialogue because people don't like to read and to turn to RTwP just 'cuz worry me. They have a few things going for them, sure, and DSA is a good system and world to build on, but I'm not convinced either way.

Edit: BTW, am I the only one who's freaking out when hearing that ZM has 300 millions? I mean. I mean I even thought that Wicther had a big bugget with 20 million, I guess I underestimated the game market. But still - 300 mill is a fucking truckload of money.

It would be if it were intended for the production of a SP game. Oblivion and Fallout 3 both have budgets of like 25-30 million. But it's intended for development of an MMO and/or expanding publishing to Europe. For that purpose, it's a fair amount of money.
 

Jeff Graw

StarChart Interactive
Developer
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803
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Frigid Wasteland
roshan said:
2. not predictable from past: varying markedly as a result of individual factors or circumstances and so difficult to anticipate or likely to depart from previous patterns

While the first definition supports the idea that sandbox play is nonlinearity, I argue that the second definition is C&C, as without it, the replay of a game would result in a high level of predictability.

The second definition doesn't sound a thing like C&C (consequences to choices are often very predictable), or even what I'd associate with non-linearity for that matter. The definition sounds like it's describing an unforeseen plot twist more than anything else. It's so poorly written and ambiguous that I might be wrong though.
 

Xi

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Consider this, each elder scrolls game(minus Arena) has been set in a specific province. Now take this concept and apply it to an MMO game and you've got a truck load of future expansion material. I think this is the competing factor you'd run into with developing a SP ES vs an MMO ES. They can potentially compete for the same content, which can be a limiting factor for sales. The MMO variant, if it turns out to be a success, has far more headroom for making money then does an SP version. So, when you are charged with how to make the most of this franchise, it becomes immediately clear that TES:Online should be the entire future of this series. Otherwise you risk losing money by producing an SP game in the same province, or utilizing the same content - as others have argued, and ultimately this leads to a potential risk for loss in profit.

What's unclear is whether they will even attempt to create another TES SP title. I'm thinking Oblivion was successful enough to ride out the long development time that an MMO requires. They will be paying for news media coverage that links their successful Fallout title with TES, and then talk about how TES:Online will be the next best thing since sliced bread. We'll see....

Now the other side of this is that the MMO fails horribly. If this is the case it's most likely that Bethesda, TES, Fallout, etc will be sold(EA would nab it guaranteed) to recuperate the massive loss. So, it does add the high risk of completely destroying both series if not purchased by another capable developer. This is the biggest concern for me personally. While I don't like the current direction of the company since OB, I still have some faith that they can deliver another game that is as good as Morrowind. Morrowind was still a respectable ES title, and I wouldn't mind this one bit.

Maybe ES:Online will finally be the MMO to bring about the needed change in MMO gaming. Like certain threads around here have been arguing about, there is still huge room for improvement in playability. The real question is whether these sinister corporations will want to change a perfectly profitable system and incur the risk of potential failure and utter loss in profit. I'll remain somewhat optimistic for now, but the future is looking bleak for the ES crowd.
 

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