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Saphothere
30th Sep 2009, 01:23
When companies talk about streamlining games, I think that their goal is to be reasonably accessible to most gamers. The idea is to provide a system that allows people to pick up and play the game, but provides significant depth and challenge to those who enjoy the more RPG aspects of the game. A variation on ‘Easy to play, hard to master’ ideal.

Personally I feel this is a good thing. I used to avoid RPG’s like the plague after watching my kid friend play Final Fantasy 3. However, years down the road, I heard about an FPS with depth called Deus Ex. Curious I gave the demo a shot, and after beating that, raced out to pick up the full game. Deus Ex is what convinced me to play RPG’s and that wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been accessible.

Now let’s be realistic, there’s no way you’re going to please all the action gamers even with an action based RPG. That said, there’s no reason to scare every single one of those same gamers off with so much spreadsheet minutiae that they run and hide under their beds.

There is also the question of immersion. I mean it kind of broke immersion for me when I upgraded my skills in Deus Ex. Oh sure it was nice becoming more powerful, but it did kind of take me out of the game to be putting points into skills. That said, I would prefer to see a refinement of this system rather than its loss.

Let me say right now that what I am about to write is by no means a good idea, and I am defiantly NOT telling the Dev team how to do their jobs. This is me talking aloud about my thoughts on things I would like to see in any future Deus Ex game.

Premise/Setting/Abilities

I don’t mind prequels, I think it can be fun to explore a past we’ve not seen. That said, it can be a little hard to get into them when you know that certain things cannot happen, and that some people must live or die for continuity sake. So if we do see a Deus Ex 4, I would hope that we could find a way to continue on after the ending of DE 2.

This does present an interesting conundrum as most of DE 2’s endings varied greatly and some were pretty final. You essentially ushered in a new era. One that changed the world, possible forever, in ways we have yet to fathom. Finding a way to continue on after that would be a challenge, but a fun one.

Now we get to other fun problem, augmentation. We know that by DE 2, nano augmentation was at a point where it was possible to augment any human being. So where do you go from here? I’m thinking you begin designing bodies from the gene’s up.

If you’ve read Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan, or Old Man’s War by John Scalzi, you’ll have an idea of where I’m going with this. I want you to imagine an opening sequence where you see your new body floating in a gel tank as you look on from a wheel chair. A consol in front of you grants you the ability to redesign the look of your new body, and even configure some of the basic abilities your body will have. Its here you learn that growing new bodies (biomechanoids or biomachines) and transfering the human mind to this new body is a relatively new technology that has, so far, been restricted to military, intelligence, and security use. However, most of these previous bodies are unchangeable once grown. They will only ever have the abilities they were grown with, leading to over specialization. Your body is a prototype; it can be reconfigured, almost on the fly, as long as you have the appropriate configuration modules on hand.

Imagine reviewing the mission objectives and deciding to configure your subsystems for a frontal assault. Then once the mission is complete, you decide to reconfigure for stealth to accomplish the next task. Obviously you have to return to you’re home base to reconfigure, not to mention having to find the various configuration modules in the first place. Still, that is the advantage of your prototype body.

Now the company that grew your body doesn’t care over much how you use it, as long as you prove the superiority of their design. Thus anytime you complete a goal they grant you ‘Access Points’ that can be used to download skill modules from the ‘company store’. In the end this works the same as skill points, but I think it would be slightly more immersive to be studying a company webpage through your inbuilt infolink with available ‘flash instruction' modules than a spread sheet that says skills.

One of the things I feel would allow this system to be accessible to action gamers is the ability to configure your initial body. Let’s say they wish to be more combat oriented by installing regenerating health. They can do that, but it would take up so much of their initial resources that they would be unable to install other subsystems to their shiny new body. I think this kind of cost benefit system would keep things from being too easy, while allowing people to play around with various configurations and find the ones that work for them.

All right that is enough for now. I may muse aloud some more later on other ways for Deus Ex to be accessible. I appreciate any and all comments on what I’ve written. Even if it’s just to call me a big fat idiot.

Unstoppable
30th Sep 2009, 01:46
This is true I was scared of Deus Ex as it seemed too complicated at the time. Only after a few hours did I understand what the game was all about and how to spend skill points.

ArcR
30th Sep 2009, 03:10
Good post. I had no problems with the menu systems DX provided. When it comes to immersion and upgrading it could have been done better. It would have been awesome if when you did an aug or uprage, rather than cut to a menu you simply select the aug/upgrade (like you do a weapon) and it shows you installing it.

As far as accessibility goes I think the crowd drawn to a game depends more on theme, story, and marketing when it comes to FSP/RPG hybrids. We aren't talking about Myst after all and while HL 2 and Resident Evil had puzzels and tricky senarios they still did well as did. This genre is still new and is slowly growing its fanbase. It all depends on the quality of the products and the marketing of it IMO.

Welcome to the community.

Ashpolt
30th Sep 2009, 09:00
You lost me when you called Deus Ex accessible, but the whole point of your thread (in the Deus Ex 3 forum) was how changing to make things accessible is OK. Those two don't really go together, assuming your point is relevant to Deus Ex 3: and if not, it's in the wrong forum.

FYI, I don't think the original Deus Ex was particularly accessible, but I also don't think that's a bad thing. Not every game has to appeal to everybody. You don't see romantic comedies throwing in car chases and explosions to appeal to men in the crowd, so why should we not only accept but demand the gaming equivalent?

Saphothere
30th Sep 2009, 09:48
You lost me when you called Deus Ex accessible, but the whole point of your thread (in the Deus Ex 3 forum) was how changing to make things accessible is OK. Those two don't really go together,

I think they do. In comparison to other straight RPGs of the time, Deus Ex was very accessible. At its core it played like an FPS game. That gave more action oriented fans like myself a way to get into the game.


assuming your point is relevant to Deus Ex 3: and if not, it's in the wrong forum.

I think it is, although I’m not happy with all the changes to Deus Ex 3, I understand the goal of making the game accessible.


FYI, I don't think the original Deus Ex was particularly accessible, but I also don't think that's a bad thing. Not every game has to appeal to everybody.

Being accessible doesn’t mean you’ll appeal to everyone. I stated that in my original post. My point was that there isn’t a reason to exclude or ignore a portion of gamers just because they don’t normally play RPGs, when you are making an Action RPG. I don’t normally play RTS games, but I found Dawn of War 2 accessible and fun enough to purchase. Tron 2.0 wasn’t a straight RPG, but the ability to install and refine various subroutines was something that could appeal to the RPG oriented gamer.

You’re not going to appeal to everyone, I know this, but there are people out there that straddle the line, that don’t fall into specific categories. Allowing Deus Ex games to be accessible to them only increases your fan base, and I believe it can be done without sacrificing the spirit/identity of Deus Ex.


You don't see romantic comedies throwing in car chases and explosions to appeal to men in the crowd, so why should we not only accept but demand the gaming equivalent?

Ever seen Romancing the Stone it’s a great movie that’s part romantic comedy and part action film. One of my favorite scenes deals with Lupe’s escape which is a prolonged truck chase. Deus Ex bills itself as an Action RPG, so why wouldn’t they have elements of the game play that appeal to action fans? If Deus Ex were a top down or ¾’s overhead like Syndicate wars, Baldur’s Gate or Arcanum I might understand your position. However, Deus Ex has always been part FPS, so it fits that some of their game play elements should be accessible to action gamers.

Jerion
30th Sep 2009, 10:39
Deus Ex has always been part FPS, so it fits that some of their game play elements should be accessible to action gamers.

This makes perfect sense. :)

Ashpolt
30th Sep 2009, 11:51
I think they do. In comparison to other straight RPGs of the time, Deus Ex was very accessible. At its core it played like an FPS game. That gave more action oriented fans like myself a way to get into the game.

I still can't agree with this - we've had a discussion on this forum about how many people (myself included, initially) were put off by the opening level because it doesn't ease you into it in any way. Again, I'm not saying that's a bad thing necessarily - it really prepares you for the rest of the game! - but I definitely can't agree that it was a particularly accessible game, and certainly not one you would hold up as an example of accessibility. Accessible compared to other RPGs of the time? Perhaps, but not compared to other FPSs, which are the most obvious (though not necessarily the most accurate) comparison point.


Being accessible doesn’t mean you’ll appeal to everyone. I stated that in my original post. My point was that there isn’t a reason to exclude or ignore a portion of gamers just because they don’t normally play RPGs, when you are making an Action RPG.

2 points to that:

1) There's a vast difference between not excluding a group and changing a game to include them. I agree you shouldn't be purposely excluding them, but you shouldn't be thinking "how can we make people not interested in FPSRPGs play this FPSRPG?" and

2) There's absolutely a need to exclude / not purposely include those groups if your means of increasing accessibility is at the cost of the game's core, as I and many others believe the changes to Deus Ex 3 are. If you can increase accessibility without detracting from what the game is meant to be, then go for it, but the second you start doing anything that sacrifices depth, complexity or challenge in a genre that thrives on those things, you're doing it wrong.


I don’t normally play RTS games, but I found Dawn of War 2 accessible and fun enough to purchase.

And the fans hated it! Dawn of War 2 may - I don't know, haven't checked sales figures - have succeeded as a game in its own right, but it was a complete failure as a sequel.


Tron 2.0 wasn’t a straight RPG, but the ability to install and refine various subroutines was something that could appeal to the RPG oriented gamer.

It had no previous games to live up to. If Deus Ex 3 was being made in a vacuum, and had no previous titles in the series, it could do what the hell it wanted - but it's not. If the Tron game had been made with anime visuals to make it "more accessible" to the current market, it would've been decried by fans of the movie.


You’re not going to appeal to everyone, I know this, but there are people out there that straddle the line, that don’t fall into specific categories. Allowing Deus Ex games to be accessible to them only increases your fan base, and I believe it can be done without sacrificing the spirit/identity of Deus Ex.

If it can be done, I agree. But the changes so far announced have, for many of us, been a sign of sacrificing the spirit of the series.


Ever seen Romancing the Stone it’s a great movie that’s part romantic comedy and part action film. One of my favorite scenes deals with Lupe’s escape which is a prolonged truck chase. Deus Ex bills itself as an Action RPG, so why wouldn’t they have elements of the game play that appeal to action fans?

Again, increase the quality of the action, but without sacrificing the quality of the RPG (or, in the case of regenerating health, sacrificing the quality of the stealth.)


If Deus Ex were a top down or ¾’s overhead like Syndicate wars, Baldur’s Gate or Arcanum I might understand your position. However, Deus Ex has always been part FPS, so it fits that some of their game play elements should be accessible to action gamers.

That's the thing, it's part FPS, not full FPS, so it needs to consider the needs of both camps. Balance is the key word, and what we've heard so far falls almost entirely into the action focus category.

Blade_hunter
30th Sep 2009, 12:38
To me an Accessible game begins with a well made interface, there some games that are inaccessible because they have a poor interface.

Deus Ex was somewhat accessible because it has a great interface, and even one key is needed to get access to the menus in the game a thing that a lot of game separate in a lot of useless keys.

The game is rich even if this richness can't be understood with the primary elements.

To me Deus Ex is rich and deep, not necessarily complex even if it has some complexity, this one make the game's discovery more interesting.
All games if you know everything from the start there is less interests for replaying it. I say only less because some games even if you know them you replay them everytime because they features a great gameplay ...

Saphothere
30th Sep 2009, 12:42
I still can't agree with this - we've had a discussion on this forum about how many people (myself included, initially) were put off by the opening level because it doesn't ease you into it in any way. Again, I'm not saying that's a bad thing necessarily - it really prepares you for the rest of the game! - but I definitely can't agree that it was a particularly accessible game, and certainly not one you would hold up as an example of accessibility. Accessible compared to other RPGs of the time? Perhaps, but not compared to other FPSs, which are the most obvious (though not necessarily the most accurate) comparison point.

That was my point, compared to other RPGs of the time it was more accessible. Also Accessible doesn’t mean easy, it means that a person can grasp the concept and game play with a little time and effort. I admit the opening level didn’t ease you into things, but it also didn’t swamp you with so many stats, figures, numbers and whatnot that a more action oriented FPS gamer was totally lost.


1) There's a vast difference between not excluding a group and changing a game to include them. I agree you shouldn't be purposely excluding them, but you shouldn't be thinking "how can we make people not interested in FPSRPGs play this FPSRPG?" and

Well, if it dosen’t detract from the FPS/RPG or the games core, why not? What’s wrong with adding elements that might interest those fans, even if they don’t normally play these types of games? Perhaps these new fans will stick around and help us demand more quality Action RPGs.


2) There's absolutely a need to exclude / not purposely include those groups if your means of increasing accessibility is at the cost of the game's core, as I and many others believe the changes to Deus Ex 3 are. If you can increase accessibility without detracting from what the game is meant to be, then go for it, but the second you start doing anything that sacrifices depth, complexity or challenge in a genre that thrives on those things, you're doing it wrong.

As I stated I’m not entirely convinced on all the changes, but neither am I against them on principle. Now here is where we can have some fun debating things. What is the core of a Deus Ex game? And How many paths are there to reach this goal?

From my point of view, Deus Ex contains a lot of core elements, and their might be more than one way to reach them. For example, as long as I can tailor my character towards my play style and see the impact it has on my viable options as I go through the game world completing objectives, I am not as hung up on how that is done.


And the fans hated it! Dawn of War 2 may - I don't know, haven't checked sales figures - have succeeded as a game in its own right, but it was a complete failure as a sequel.

http://kotaku.com/5165265/dawn-of-war-ii-tops-global-pc-sales

Some fans weren’t happy with all the changes, but I wouldn’t say it was universally hated. DW 2 changed up the RTS formula and whenever you do something like that you are going to catch some flak. I’ve noticed that some people don’t like change of any kind, all they want a game maker to do is make the same game with better graphics and some minor tweaks. This was otherwise known as the EA strategy. I intensly dislike this mentality, it stifles creativity and leads to ‘Status Quo is god’ syndrome in game design.


If it can be done, I agree. But the changes so far announced have, for many of us, been a sign of sacrificing the spirit of the series.

Debatable. I’d like to learn a little more about these changes and see them in action before I decide one way or another.


Again, increase the quality of the action, but without sacrificing the quality of the RPG (or, in the case of regenerating health, sacrificing the quality of the stealth.)

So you’re saying that there is no way to have regenerating health and a good/deep stealth system? I don’t believe that such a thing is impossible, and would applaud any dev team that pulled off such a feat. This is the kind of challenge that makes game design fun for the team. Again I'm not saying this team is doing everything right or everything wrong. I am saying that we fans can at times be too rigid in our thinking, that to be an Action RPG a game must do 'X' in a singular fashion. However, if a game designer finds another way to accomplish the same goal as 'X' without sacrificing the spirit of the game, why are we complaining?


That's the thing, it's part FPS, not full FPS, so it needs to consider the needs of both camps. Balance is the key word, and what we've heard so far falls almost entirely into the action focus category.

Again, many paths to reach the same goal. I don’t know if what they are doing will work or not, but I’m rather curious to see if they can pull it off. Perhaps, if they are very good or lucky, they’ll start a new trend in gaming. We shall see.

gamer0004
30th Sep 2009, 15:28
8. The interface (visual clues and keyboard strokes) of Deus Ex was lauded at E3 as one of the most intuitive, if not the most intuitive, at the show. What was involved in getting the interface to that stage?
WS: Geez, did people really say that? That's good to hear - many people on the team labored long and hard to make the interface as transparent as possible, and programmer Al Yarusso led the interface charge for us. He did a great job. We spent a lot of time working to make the interface more intuitive. I didn't want to fall into the same trap as System Shock where it took a long time to learn how to move around and do things. Most people gave up. I wanted to make sure normal human beings could play Deus Ex. Still, we're not close to satisfied with the interface, and I think people who thought it was cool at E3 will be really impressed when we ship! I hope so....


Many people actually thought the DX interface was quite intuitive... It works just like Windows, so most people know how it works. Only problem was that many people (including me) didn't know you could actually upgrade skills after the game had started.

Blade_hunter
30th Sep 2009, 16:56
this is the problem about the tutorial, nothing explains that, this is for that reason I think the tutorial should explain mainly things like the interface, explained the inventory, the biomods and the goals but unfortunately not the skills in the weapon training in the game they could give you that oportunity to know that for example by giving you skills points and tell you to upgrade them ...

IOOI
2nd Oct 2009, 01:12
Well, talking about the aiming system, I must say that if DX1 had expandable crosshairs (CoD1 style) it would turn out to be really acessible to FPS gamers. It's still good for shooting and it can be upgraded to aim more accurately when running.
For DX3 - like so many times said here - I would prefer this type of aiming to the one in DX1 or even DX2 (aiming became too easy).

SquidPirate
4th Oct 2009, 17:19
When companies talk about streamlining games, I think that their goal is to be reasonably accessible to most gamers. The idea is to provide a system that allows people to pick up and play the game, but provides significant depth and challenge to those who enjoy the more RPG aspects of the game. A variation on ‘Easy to play, hard to master’ ideal.

Personally I feel this is a good thing. I used to avoid RPG’s like the plague after watching my kid friend play Final Fantasy 3. However, years down the road, I heard about an FPS with depth called Deus Ex. Curious I gave the demo a shot, and after beating that, raced out to pick up the full game. Deus Ex is what convinced me to play RPG’s and that wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been accessible.

Now let’s be realistic, there’s no way you’re going to please all the action gamers even with an action based RPG. That said, there’s no reason to scare every single one of those same gamers off with so much spreadsheet minutiae that they run and hide under their beds.

There is also the question of immersion. I mean it kind of broke immersion for me when I upgraded my skills in Deus Ex. Oh sure it was nice becoming more powerful, but it did kind of take me out of the game to be putting points into skills. That said, I would prefer to see a refinement of this system rather than its loss.

Let me say right now that what I am about to write is by no means a good idea, and I am defiantly NOT telling the Dev team how to do their jobs. This is me talking aloud about my thoughts on things I would like to see in any future Deus Ex game.

Premise/Setting/Abilities

I don’t mind prequels, I think it can be fun to explore a past we’ve not seen. That said, it can be a little hard to get into them when you know that certain things cannot happen, and that some people must live or die for continuity sake. So if we do see a Deus Ex 4, I would hope that we could find a way to continue on after the ending of DE 2.

This does present an interesting conundrum as most of DE 2’s endings varied greatly and some were pretty final. You essentially ushered in a new era. One that changed the world, possible forever, in ways we have yet to fathom. Finding a way to continue on after that would be a challenge, but a fun one.

Now we get to other fun problem, augmentation. We know that by DE 2, nano augmentation was at a point where it was possible to augment any human being. So where do you go from here? I’m thinking you begin designing bodies from the gene’s up.

If you’ve read Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan, or Old Man’s War by John Scalzi, you’ll have an idea of where I’m going with this. I want you to imagine an opening sequence where you see your new body floating in a gel tank as you look on from a wheel chair. A consol in front of you grants you the ability to redesign the look of your new body, and even configure some of the basic abilities your body will have. Its here you learn that growing new bodies (biomechanoids or biomachines) and transfering the human mind to this new body is a relatively new technology that has, so far, been restricted to military, intelligence, and security use. However, most of these previous bodies are unchangeable once grown. They will only ever have the abilities they were grown with, leading to over specialization. Your body is a prototype; it can be reconfigured, almost on the fly, as long as you have the appropriate configuration modules on hand.

Imagine reviewing the mission objectives and deciding to configure your subsystems for a frontal assault. Then once the mission is complete, you decide to reconfigure for stealth to accomplish the next task. Obviously you have to return to you’re home base to reconfigure, not to mention having to find the various configuration modules in the first place. Still, that is the advantage of your prototype body.






A thoughtful post. (BTW, Altered Carbon was excellent.)

My perspective is that DX was an accessible game -- remember the training level that let you practice before dumping you onto Liberty Island.

The thing about streamlining is, you have to do it in moderation. I have no argument with making DX3 "accessible" in terms of easing a player into the unique world and character and milieu of the DX universe. Fine. An ancient technique of great storytelling is to start small, and build. Think the opening image of a tiny worm in the film Return of the King... and how the story builds to a battlefield of 200,000 warriors, elephants, and catapults. It's often a cheap trick to begin stories that way.

I don't mind starting with a clean, crisp opening: Adam watching the steam rise from his coffee mug. Just make sure a webwork of conspiracies, characters, and cyborgs builds into a global power-scheme. Then it's steam rising from the entire world.

Having said that, "streamlining" can sometimes be a euphemism for slash-and-burn. Forgive me trotting out IW. We all heard the claim that it was "streamlined." We all understand the result.

As long as we have a layered story, effective cyberpunk atmosphere, credible and "cool" technology, and diverse characters, I don't care if DX3 is made more "accessible" to a bigger audience. I'm certain it can be done without betraying the rest of us, as long as they don't try to make a game designed for everyone. Such a thing is impossible and shouldn't even be tried. There are gamers who simply want button-mashing shooters... today's equivalent of Duck Hunt or Gunsmoke. The story-driven DX won't appeal to them.

But bear in mind that games like Mass Effect did achieve popular success, and story was pivotal to the experience.

Bluey71
4th Oct 2009, 18:24
But bear in mind that games like Mass Effect did achieve popular success, and story was pivotal to the experience.

It was also cr*p - it didnt matter what you did in that game, the result was always the same. Mass Effect was a well decorated run and gun game.

SquidPirate
4th Oct 2009, 18:54
It was also cr*p - it didnt matter what you did in that game, the result was always the same. Mass Effect was a well decorated run and gun game.



Actions had consequences in Mass Effect and different endings were possible; by your range of comment, DX can also be debased.

Calling it "cr*p" is a rather impulsive thing to say about a game with a solid story, engaging gameplay, and high production values. Certainly there's a lot of crappy games out there. Don't see how you can lump ME with them.

Laokin
4th Oct 2009, 22:06
You lost me when you called Deus Ex accessible, but the whole point of your thread (in the Deus Ex 3 forum) was how changing to make things accessible is OK. Those two don't really go together, assuming your point is relevant to Deus Ex 3: and if not, it's in the wrong forum.

FYI, I don't think the original Deus Ex was particularly accessible, but I also don't think that's a bad thing. Not every game has to appeal to everybody. You don't see romantic comedies throwing in car chases and explosions to appeal to men in the crowd, so why should we not only accept but demand the gaming equivalent?

Deus Ex is more accessible when compared to 1d6 and 2d3 from dungeons and dragons. Both of these variations exist, and they are both = in max damage, but the 1d6 is inferior because the low end is 1, while the 2d3 has a low end of 2 with a max of 6. This is a result of rolling an additional die with a minimum of 1. This is confusing to players with no knowledge of D&D because, 2x3 = 6, 1x6 = 6, so unless they know that the number in the front stands for how many dice are being rolled it's simply not accessible. Streamlining this system, "Damage: 2d3" is equal to the more accessible version of "Damage: 2 - 6." There is no need for the extra confusion and making the player even do simple math to see the damage potential of the weapon. Simple or not, not knowing what the d means (which to my knowledge wasn't explained playing Baldurs Gate, it might have been in the manual.... but how many people read those?) ultimately leaves you lost. It should never not be totally specific in it's function.

It's much more complicated than DX. In other words, DX is more accessible than traditional role playing games. I think that was the op's point, not that DX was comparatively accessible to Halo, but indeed less complicated than a traditional RPG system.

Oh and, yes -- you do see romantic comedies throwing in some action scenes to get the men in the audience. Bad analogy, but your point still stands though.

Not all pieces of media need to conform for the general public.... it usually degrades the quality of the experience by lessening the values of the core purpose of the story being told.

I.E.
A movie with a run time of an hour and 30 minutes that is an action movie is almost predominately action. Whilst a movie with a run time of an hour and 30 minutes that tries to produce a love story, and action movie, and cultural differences is much less libel to achieve in getting it's message acrossed because they have to touch on each subject with less detail.

In this context More = Less, which degrades the purpose and entertainment factor of the film.


The term streamlining has nothing to do with this though, but the industry doesn't understand.

Streamlining something to make it more accessible is more of making the process easier to achieve without removing the function.

I.E. Call of Juarez (just because it's a recent example known pretty well on this forum.)

What they did was streamline the cover system, you no longer have to press any buttons to enter the system -- it just happens with virtually no penalty. This is an example of "Streamlining."

Bioshock also did something similar. When you ran out of energy, if you had blue vials, they would auto inject you and fill up your energy reserve. No push of a button, it just happens... although this one comes with a considerable penalty, so it's a poor example of streamlining. (The penalty is loss of choice, you don't get to fill your reserves until you run out, meaning if you are close to empty, you have to waste energy in order to fill it up to be prepared for the next battle. Otherwise you will have to interrupt your attacks mid battle to inject yourself with the energy vial sacrificing DPS, ultimately making you less efficient.)

What Deus Ex did by removing skills altogether was not "Streamlining" but actually removing depth to the gameplay for little to no actual benefit. The benefit is to make it seem less meaty, but it's not making it seem less meaty, it is actually making it less meaty. This is what we refer to as "Dumbing Down" a game.

Streamlining = Good things.

Dumbing Down = Pointless sacrifice to make an arbitrary attempt to gather a fictitious expansion of guesstimated fan base. I.E. Based on an assumption with little to no relevance to the facts that exist.

Case and Point, Fallout 3. Just as meaty and complicated as Deus Ex -- granted the gameplay is different but the mechanics are pretty deep, especially the health system that was ripped right out of Deus Ex, selling well and exceeding expectations, compared to Deus Ex 3, removing all complexity within the health system itself for the sake of "Accesibility." This is not an example of streamlining, but a rather blatant example of removing function. I.E. Dumbing down the game in order to make it more accessible, rather than streamline to make the process less painful to the new player.

This can be done in numerous ways without losing the depth of the original health system, yet they opt for the "easy" way out by incorporating a concept from games outside it's genre in order to gain sales. This is quite contrary to the act of streamlining and nothing short of a blatant lie.

Laokin
4th Oct 2009, 22:27
Actions had consequences in Mass Effect and different endings were possible; by your range of comment, DX can also be debased.

Calling it "cr*p" is a rather impulsive thing to say about a game with a solid story, engaging gameplay, and high production values. Certainly there's a lot of crappy games out there. Don't see how you can lump ME with them.

Yeah I agree, Mass effect is pretty = to Baldurs gate in terms of gameplay.(No I'm not saying ME was a better or equal game to BG, just that they are both shining examples of well made games.)

Good/Great story, High production value, pretty linear with small minor choices, control over character development.

It's a solid game.... solid RPG.... nothing truely revolutionary, but solid and well done through and through.

Mass Effect was one of the best RPG's I've played since Isometric D&D IMO.