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Preview There is no dialogue in Oblivion according to 1UP

DarkUnderlord

Professional Throne Sitter
Staff Member
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Jun 18, 2002
Messages
28,390
Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

<a href="http://www.1up.com">1UP.com</a> have <a href="http://www.1up.com/do/previewPage?cId=3146906&did=1">posted a preview</a> of <a href="http://www.elderscrolls.com">Oblivion</a>, which I guess means it's closer to coming out soon. However, for all of those who hoped the dialogue in Oblivion was actually going to be better than the wiki system of Morrowind, think again!
<br>
<blockquote>We then visited a town, which seemed a little quiet -- not the bustling center of trade we were hoping to see, but the citizens we managed to talk to were quite animated. Each character in Oblivion has a voice and lip-syncing, the idea being to enhance the immersiveness of each encounter; but conversation trees progress, unlike in games like Knights of the Old Republic, without your answer. <b>In each conversation you have a list of topics from which to choose, but your replies and questions aren't written out. This is a design choice held over from Morrowind.</b></blockquote>
<br>
Of all the things they had to bring over from Morrowind, that was the one they could've done without.
<br>
<br>
Thanks <b>Master Thief</b>!
 

Zomg

Arbiter
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Oct 21, 2005
Messages
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I could see that being used for "spot conversations" with nobodies (where dialogue trees would be wasteful, like the floating text folks in FO), but it's a shame they didn't give you a few key places where you get to speak.
 

spacemoose

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I hated the wiki dialogue of Morrowind, but I am OK with the wiki dialogue of... the Exile series. And it seems to me that Oblivion dialogue will be more like the Exile - style wiki! Which makes me happy.

Its funny really - when I first read about Oblivion my anticipation meter went off the scale, I admittedly bought the hype, I wanted to believe :lol: Then I was brought down to Earth by the Codex and spent some time dwelling on the apparent inadequacies of the game. But now, I've reached a sort of middle ground - I have no great expectations, but I'm anticipating Oblivion anyway, and I'm going to enjoy it for what it is, and not what I would like it to be.
 

NoisyKillerHPB

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I'm kinda dumb so I wanna make sure, this means that instead of full sentences you can choose like PS:T it's just one/two-word clickies, and that it won't print what you clicked on the screen right..
 

Balor

Arcane
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Yea, yea, yea.
It's TECHNICALLY possible to have full-fledged responces, but it's sertainly not something Bethesda seem to concentrate at.
 

MrSmileyFaceDude

Bethesda Game Studios
Developer
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Messages
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Sometimes there are topics you can click on. Sometimes there are specific questions you can ask, or responses you can make when asked questions. Their brevity or verbosity and number all vary depending upon whom you are talking to, when, their disposition towards you, and under what circumstances and conditions the conversation is taking place.
 

VenomByte

Scholar
Joined
Oct 17, 2005
Messages
271
Dialogue trees will presumably still be possible, in the same way that they were with Morrowind.

It would be nice to know if the CS is conducive to using dialogue trees in mods or not. It was certainly a bit of a hassle in Morrowind to keep track of the 'Choice' variable, check all the dialogs were in the right order, test & debug every option... small wonder few ever really bothered more than was strictly necessary.
 

Balor

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Heh, MSFD, did I mention that you shoud try politics?
You already honed your 'say a lot and tell nothing' skill to near perfection.

For instance, your reply may indicate that only two-three NPCs may have something vaguely looking like classic RPG dialogues.
And I suspect that it's the case. And I'm being rather optimistic.
 

Balor

Arcane
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@ VenomByte
Yea, I know that, and I keep telling it.
I wonder if it got easier in Oblivion, and it will be used MUCH more, not like I said above.
 

Fresh

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What's up with Beth and dialogue trees? Do they actually believe the average Oblivion-player prefers wiki-dialogue? Is it too much work? What's the pros and cons for wiki and trees repsectively?
 

Micmu

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!HyPeRbOy! said:
What's up with Beth and dialogue trees? Do they actually believe the average Oblivion-player prefers wiki-dialogue? Is it too much work? What's the pros and cons for wiki and trees repsectively?
Wiki requires less writing skills.
 

GhanBuriGhan

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MrSmileyFaceDude said:
Sometimes there are topics you can click on. Sometimes there are specific questions you can ask, or responses you can make when asked questions. Their brevity or verbosity and number all vary depending upon whom you are talking to, when, their disposition towards you, and under what circumstances and conditions the conversation is taking place.

So how many cases are there where we will see fully fleshed dialoge with choices? Is it limited to quests? To the main quest? Rare even there? What percentage of the quests actually incorporate significant choices through dialogue (beyond "accept / decline", or "pick a reward"? Is there any dialogue that deserves the word "tree", e.g. is at least three branchings deep with multiple outcomes?

I personally can live with a MW like system, but it still would be such a lost opportunity!
 

Mefi

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MrSmileyFaceDude said:
Sometimes there are topics you can click on. Sometimes there are specific questions you can ask, or responses you can make when asked questions. Their brevity or verbosity and number all vary depending upon whom you are talking to, when, their disposition towards you, and under what circumstances and conditions the conversation is taking place.

Interesting. Thanks for the snippet MSFD. So at least there will be some opportunities for dialogue choice, erm, ok choice. Just wondering how often is 'sometimes' but I'm guessing that is one of those questions which won't be answered.
 

Andyman Messiah

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Yeah, there were sometimes specific questions and answers in Morrowind too. I remember something about choosing between saying "I'll turn you in, slave cat thing!" or "Don't worry, your secret is safe with me. Now blow me!" Have Beth raised that amount at the very least?
 

DamnElfGirl

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I don't think the Wikiness is a result of laziness or poor writing skills. Anyone who bothers to read the books in ES games knows that they have very talented writers on staff.

My suspicion is that Wiki dialog is part of a (misguided, in my mind) design philosophy that believes that the more words you put into a character's mouth, the less the player feels it is "their" character, therefore you should leave as much to the imagination as possible.

Personally, I prefer even the limitations of the Bioware "sweet-snarky-greedy" dialog choice system to simply clicking on word selections. It is very difficult to role-play a conversation with someone else if you can't convey your general attitude to the game and have the NPC respond accordingly (granted, in the Bioware games, the NPC often doesn't respond accordingly, but you know what I'm talking about here).
 

MrSmileyFaceDude

Bethesda Game Studios
Developer
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When someone says something to you, as they're speaking, the text of what they're saying appears on the screen below their face.

After they're finished (or if you press the button that skips their dialog) you get a list of things you can "say" or "ask about".

Sometimes this list contains topics you can ask about, like "Rumors" or "Directions". If the NPC offers services such as selling things, reparing armor, teaching you spells, training, etc., there are icons below the list that let you request those services. You can also persuade them at these times.

Other times, the list contains responses to something the NPC asked or told you about, or questions you can ask the NPC. There can be one choice or multiple choices, and they can be WHOLE SENTENCES, omgwtfbbq. And they can either affect how the NPC feels about you, the progression of a quest, whether they'll help you with something or give you something; or not. It all depends on the circumstances and how the designers intended the dialogue to progress, and how it is supposed to affect things.
 

Balor

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And, again, same was in MW.
"Other times, the list contains responses to something the NPC asked or told you about, or questions you can ask the NPC. There can be one choice or multiple choices, and they can be WHOLE SENTENCES, omgwtfbbq."
Yea, right. But how often it happends?
I suspect this priviledge is reserved to main plot quests, unkillable NPCs, and even then it will be used sparingly... I'd be glad to be mistaken, though.
 

FrancoTAU

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I'm not saying it will suck, but the wiki talk does seem like the least good choice to make as far as dialogue is concerned.
 

Balor

Arcane
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Russia
Ok, then there is more hope to Oblivion then I thought ;).
On the other hand, we'll see how it was implemented. The dialogue with that woman in the video was not... convicing. Oh, and sucked balls.
Hopefully, it's she will not turn out to be a Fargus-equivalent - not the 'worst', but 'best' quest involving semi-complex NPC interaction, despite our hopes.
 

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