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Game News Todd Howard talks about his plans to dumb down Oblivion

Vault Dweller

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Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

<b>Todd Howard</b> has addressed the fans of <a href=http://www.elderscrolls.com/home/home.htm>The Elder Scrolls</a> game in this <a href=http://www.elderscrolls.com/codex/team_rpgnextgen.htm>letter/message</a> where he explores a popular topic <i>How do we create the definitive RPG for the Next Generation?</i>
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<blockquote>What!!?? No thrown items and crossbows? Hear me out here, because it will let you into our thought process. When we look at characters that like to do ranged combat, they mostly want to use bows and arrows. So instead of doing many types of ranged combat, we decided to stick with bows and arrows -- but -- it's a grand implementation of bows and arrows. You feel the string draw, arrows arc properly, bounce realistically, and stick deep into the right materials. You can see the quiver on your back and type of arrows you have and there are tons of different bows and arrow types. So we trade having several types of ranged combat done in an average way, and get bows done in a grand way.</blockquote>
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How about making several types of ranged combat in a grand way and letting people choose? What happened to that "we are all crazy about choices" line? It's like if they said: "Since most people like to use swords, we've decided to throw out everything else, but make swords really cool". Sounds stupid, Todd? Well, there you go.
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Whipporowill

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Not like I usually play ranged guys anyway - but why on earth would the "next generation" of crpgs have to leave out thrown weapons or crossbows? If" less choice but more glitz" is what's up for us in the future - I'll probably try to forget I ever owned a computer in the first place. Madness!
 

Jed

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Ah the Tyranny of Choices strikes again...

I guess it's just as well. The ranged combat in Morrowind was pretty useless. The only way I would ever use it is if I was up against something more powerful than my character, I would levitate to a tree or building out of reach and snipe at the GENYOUS AI of the character or monster running in place at the base of my perch.
 

Whipporowill

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Gothic has some pretty good ranged fighting - made a lot of sense climbing on top of stuff (trees, cliffs et al) and shooting animals - that would either try to reach you (which they did on several occasions) or run away out of harm's way. Not that the AI was perfect in any way - but it worked. It also made sense to pull out your ranged weapon and fire off a few shots before switching to melee...
 

Transcendent One

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So it's just bow and arrows? Meh, I don't play ranged very much anyways, and it's not like bows and arrows vs crossbows and arrows makes such a big deal. Most of the time you just stick with what's more damaging :roll:
 

Vault Dweller

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I'm always surprised to see this kind of logic: most people (according to Todd) don't use crossbows and ranged - let's get rid of them. How about making them more interesting, more appealing to players, how about making them work instead of dumping them?
 

jiujitsu

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No. It didn't.

I am not a ranged weapon kind of player except for situations like xJEDx described. I generally rely on melee/magic.

So, I don't care much at all about there being no crossbows or throwing knives etc.

As long as I can use a bow it's fine.
 

plin

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Then it's not much of a dumbing down if they're just keeping it the same as the previous games...
 

RGE

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While I agree that I'd mostly stick to bow and arrows for the combination of rapid fire, long range and high damage, I've been missing javelins in NWN. But if ranged combat is so limited in Oblivion, then I can see why it wouldn't be worth the effort to create two more types of ranged weapons that would need graphics, items and balanced rules.

But it would still be cool with a game where throwing weapons don't break after being used, so that the player could carry a few and pick them up after throwing them. I could see myself using such weapons, but maybe the AI would have to be smart enough to also pick up the throwing weapons and perhaps throw them back, and that might be too hard to handle.
 

Vault Dweller

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jiujitsu said:
plin said:
Morrowind had crossbows?
No. It didn't.
Come again?

RGE said:
But if ranged combat is so limited in Oblivion, then I can see why it wouldn't be worth the effort to create two more types of ranged weapons that would need graphics, items and balanced rules.
Once again, how about fixing ranged combat if it's "so limited"? That link above hints at one answer: an arrow does 10-15 damage, but a bolt does only 2-4 (assuming that the info is accurate, it's been awhile since I've played MW). So, I wonder why people didn't want to use crossbows? It's a MYSTARY that Todd couldn't crack.
 

Sheriff05

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Vault Dweller said:
How about making several types of ranged combat in a grand way and letting people choose? What happened to that "we are all crazy about choices" line? It's like if they said: "Since most people like to use swords, we've decided to throw out everything else, but make swords really cool". Sounds stupid, Todd? Well, there you go.

There is an article in the new CGW that talks about how several larger developers
are just now *reallizing* that "there is money to be made" in PC games again.

Here we have Bethesda stepping up to follow the trend of dumbing PC games down for Consoles and and now turning around and bringing back those dumbed down console versions back to PC.

Pretty soon these people will devolve PC gaming all the way back to fucking PONG with pretty graphics and lots of blood.. oh the Irony... FUCK THESE PEOPLE.
In the future please insert Full of Shit as the middle name of whomever you choose, as 9 out of 10 times you'll be spot on.

You can now wheel Exitium out of the monkey cage so he can tell how us we got it all wrong and that Bethesda rocks, they're almost as cool as Bioware,
and pong is really not that bad.
 

Saint_Proverbius

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Less choices in weapons doesn't sound like it would make ranged more interesting. It sounds like it would make it much more limited. That's one reason I never really liked ranged weapons in a lot of fantasy games, you just have bow type weapons for ranged and that's it. With melee, you have swords, clubs, spears, flails, etc. in most games. In the good ones, the type of weapon effects the damage type. If they want to make ranged more interesting, then variety is probably the better way to go even if it might mean the artists have to do more animations for the game.
 

Vault Dweller

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Sheriff05 said:
Here we have Bethesda stepping up to follow the trend of dumbing PC games down for Consoles and and now turning around and bringing back those dumbed down console versions back to PC.
The funniest part was when Bethesda dumbed down the PC version and then told everybody that because the console version was exactly like the PC one, there was no dumbing down whatsoever. I wonder how stupid people who bought it are?

In the future please insert Full of Shit as the middle name of whomever you choose, as 9 out of 10 times you'll be spot on.
Abso-fucking-lutely! The Full-of-Shit label will strike again! No developer is safe! :lol:
 

Whipporowill

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VD said:
The funniest part was when Bethesda dumbed down the PC version and then told everybody that because the console version was exactly like the PC one, there was no dumbing down whatsoever. I wonder how stupid people who bought it are?

Considering they thought they were "hiding" just because they toggled sneak, that question pretty much answer itself.
 

errorcode

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well, just to take the opposing stance here...

If they ship with just bows, but put serious engineering into making them better and more enjoyable as a whole then they can build from that engineering later to add back in crossbows and thrown weapons.

From a game production stand point they have to look at whats going to make for a better game in the long run and how much engineering/design time they can afford to put into what they want.

If they devote their time to making ranged combat with a bow more useful and overall better, then they have a a better engineering leg to stand on later when they decide to add crossbows and thrown weapons back in. (and by later i mean expansions, content updates, etc)
 

jiujitsu

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I remember crossbows now. I remember their damage. I completely blocked them from my mind. I've played Morrowind for over 300 hours. I never took great notice to crossbows. Their damage just sucks compared to bows. I just had no interest in them I guess.
 

RGE

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Vault Dweller said:
RGE said:
But if ranged combat is so limited in Oblivion, then I can see why it wouldn't be worth the effort to create two more types of ranged weapons that would need graphics, items and balanced rules.
Once again, how about fixing ranged combat if it's "so limited"?
If only a small minority of players use ranged weapons I'd say that's a good reason to not put a lot of effort into them. And if most of that small minority prefers bows over the other ranged weapons, I'd say that's a good reason to make archery a better experience at the expense of cutting crossbows and throwing weapons.

Maybe they're also focusing on archery because that's what they really want to do? And with archery thus ending up so fabulously interesting, maybe the number of players who'd go for crossbows and throwing weapons would diminish enough to make it not worth bothering with those two weapon types? Programmers sometimes get carried away with their desires to make certain things. I still remember a guy who wanted to make a MUD, and before he made the world he was spending his time programming arrows to fly through rooms. Needless to say, that MUD was never close to finished, and I'd expect professional programmers to have more discipline. But who knows? ;)

Where does it say that players don't use crossbows because of low damage? That might be the truth, but even though I thought crossbows do more damage while having a lower rate of fire, that would still rule them out for the powergamers who want to be able to quickly do a lot of damage. Besides, having to wait while loading a crossbow sounds a bit boring. Throwing weapons sound like a lot more fun though, but that's just my personal opinion, and I have no current plans to buy Oblivion when it is released.

If "You feel the string draw" is a reference to force feedback in a console controller, I couldn't care less about the whole idea, because I don't own any consoles. If they make archery too advanced I'm pretty sure they could make it nigh impossible to hit a thing.
 

Vault Dweller

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RGE said:
If only a small minority of players use ranged weapons I'd say that's a good reason to not put a lot of effort into them.
Most people use swords and axes and play melee/mage characters. Let's scrap hammers and spears, and dump thieves as a class.

And if most of that small minority prefers bows over the other ranged weapons, I'd say that's a good reason to make archery a better experience at the expense of cutting crossbows and throwing weapons.
The main reason for that was the lack of balance which is relatively easy to fix, although dumping something is clearly even more easier.

Maybe they're also focusing on archery because that's what they really want to do? And with archery thus ending up so fabulously interesting, maybe the number of players who'd go for crossbows and throwing weapons would diminish enough to make it not worth bothering with those two weapon types?
By the same logic, let's implement great sword system and hope that those who prefer other weapons would just stick with swords. Btw, what's so "fabulous" about the proposed archery system? Other then variety of bows, which is a standard weapon feature, the rest are merely graphics and special effects: feel the string, proper arc, bouncing, sticking, quiver on your back, etc. So, what are you so excited about?
 

Volourn

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Another good reason not to be Bethesda games.

I guess instead of 20+ guns for F03; there will only be 5 since the other 15 aren't used by lots of people either. Lame.
 

Vault Dweller

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But you'd be able to actually pull triggers, feel the recoil, see bullets (in slow motion), and experience all kinda similar things that are very important in an rpg.
 

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