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View Full Version : Oblivion syndrome, and why I hope EM won't contract it.



Pretentious Old Man.
2nd Aug 2010, 19:06
Fallout 3 hate is getting old. It's overused, and the obvious riposte is that the series was otherwise dead. Invisible War hate can never get old (due to the fact that it was the last entry in the franchise), but there is only so much one can dissect it when the devs themselves A.) admitted their mistakes and B.) have moved on to other projects.

However, there is another obvious example of the kind of syndrome I fear EM will slip into, that hardly ever gets mentioned, and that is what I call "Oblivion syndrome". Please, do bear with me, this is going to be a long and quite possibly boring wall of text about what happened to Oblivion, and why I don't *want* and don't *think* it will happen to DXHR. Still, since EM must occasionally read these boards, it seems worth saying anyway. Elder Scrolls haters, look away now. You will not find this interesting.

I well remember playing TES1: Arena back in (I think) 1994. Despite having, when all was said and done, a rather crappy story, and advanced but ultimately procedural graphics, it really did hook me in. Gameplay was, and is actually, superb. I still maintain that Arena had the best melee combat of the whole series, and the magic was pretty good too. Ultimately, though, the procedural nature of the game, as well as its insanely sadistic difficulty, kept it from really being great. It was never enough to keep me from my Darklands.

Moving on to Daggerfall, which was I think '96, but I may be wrong. This was a huge improvement. Daggerfall was as deep as Arena was shallow. The graphics were mind-blowing for the time (remember, this is at about the time of the FIRST Baldur's Gate, and 3 years before Planescape), and I would argue that it is by far the deepest of the four. It had much deeper fast travel than Oblivion, by far the biggest map of any of the games (and, indeed, any game ever released as far as I know), with such features as climbing and horse riding, as well as a melee and magic system not unlike that of Arena. It also had the best character creation of any of the titles. If you don't believe me, Bethesda have been kind enough to make both this and Arena free to download, although Daggerfall is a ***** to get to run in DOSbox. Downsides for Daggerfall include a similar, procedurally generated map to Arena, albeit much better.

Morrowind now, after a gap of 6 years. Originally intended as a 2D game like the other three, it was released as the first fully 3d, non-procedural Elder Scrolls game. It had many features removed from Daggerfall. Horse-riding was gone, climbing was gone, the character creation was simplified, and so on. It still retained much the same magic system, massively improved many other aspects of the game (see enchanting) kept the series reputation for cool magic like water walking, levitation, all manner of tricks and traps, and so on. Despite this slight simplification, Morrowind was forgiven for one major reason: Unlike Daggerfall and Arena, everything in the game had been lovingly crafted, and every location was completely unique. That made the game extremely immersive, especially when coupled with such miscellaneous factors as Jeremy Soule's soundtrack. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rhaq4JP_t6o)

That brings us to 2002. It would be four more years before another Elder Scrolls game. That's reasonable. Morrowind only took six because it had to decide on the gamebryo engine first. All that groundwork had already been done for Oblivion, and computers were getting much better. What was to go wrong?

Well, quite a lot actually. Let me quickly clarify that Oblivion is still an excellent game. That's probably why it doesn't get brought up as much as it should in these sorts of discussions. It had astonishing graphics, and it was even more moddable than the already very moddable Morrowind. It still had Soule writing the music, and it still ranks as one of the greatest RPGs of recent years. But these things do not come into our little case of "Oblivion syndrome". Oh no.

Most developers fall into the trap of wanting to make a game more accessible, to appeal to a wider user base. Morrowind was ported, with moderate success, to the original Xbox, but it had never really felt comfortable on a console. Oblivion was set to be a multi-plat from the get-go, with the 360 and PC versions coming out together, and the PS3 version coming later. All this is fact.

What I'm about to say veers more into opinion, albeit considered: It was nowhere near as good as Morrowind and Daggerfall were before it. Whether the simplification came due to the consoles, or whether it was just Bethesda bowing to the new order of things (I prefer the latter explanation, it would have happened even without consoles), Oblivion was, frankly, ludicrously simplified. I'm not going to get into a discussion about how Disneyfied Oblivion's world was, or how boringly generic the artstyle was after the eccentricity of Morrowind, or how cities were smaller and no longer part of the landscape, &c, because that's nothing to do with simplification. However, under the dubious reason of "streamlining", many other things were.

First and foremost, 'blivi's auto leveller. The golden rule of an RPG is that you start weak and end up uber-l33t. You build up your character into the kind of killing machine you want them to be. Some games tweak this to make it average to uber-l33t so that the player feels like s/he is not a completely ineffectual lump in the beginning. That's fine though. However, in what can only be regarded as the single worst design decision of the last decade, Oblivion's designers decided to make it so that every single creature in the world (with the exception of rats), would level to you. That means that if you encounter a goblin in the road at level one, you will have a fairly tough fight to beat him. If you come back at level twenty, you will *STILL* have a fairly tough fight to beat exactly the same, now respawned goblin. As a matter of fact, it's actually quite a lot easier to beat the game at level one than it is at level twenty, especially if you don't level up your major skills.

Secondly, we have melee combat. If you played the PC version sans mods, you will see no difference between the way you fight in Oblivion and the way you do in Morrowind: move forward to stab, sideways to slash, etc. However, unlike in Morrowind, you will always hit your target in Oblivion, and you will always cause damage. Many prefer this approach to Morrowind's, but in my book it makes the game much too like an FPS. It's not uncommon to find yourself actually circle-strafing in Oblivion, as well as bunny hopping. These pastimes should be firmly in FPS territory. Failure should still be possible if you decide to use a weapon your character is unfamilar with.

Thirdly, magic. In Morrowind, it was simple: you pressed a button (r) to ready your cast, as opposed to (f) for melee. You had to choose, in other words. You then had a set chance to cast a spell, that was then modified by your fatigue. If you chose a spell way above your level, you would not find it easy to case. In Oblivion, you *always* cast the spell you want, and you can cast them even when you have your weapon drawn. That, again, makes Oblivion into more of an FPS. And since fatigue no longer drains with running, and magicka regenerate without sleeping, and waiting has the same restorative effect as resting, Oblivion's combat was downright easy compared to Morrowind, and even more so compared to Daggerfall. In fact, in one of my more facetious moments, I have been known to call it "Call of the Gears of Halobivion".

Fourthly, skill sets. In Morrowind, (itself a simplification of Daggerfall), you had major and minor skills, both of which could help you level up, and focus your character. In Oblivion, you only had major skills. Moreover, many skills were removed from Oblivion altogether, like Medium Armour for example.

Fifthly, enchanting. Even though the black soul gems were a very cool addition, this was a hell of a lot worse than Morrowind in Oblivion.

Sixthly, levitation. Gone.

Seventhly, factions and quests. Oblivion: Fighters' Guild, Mages' Guild, Dark Brotherhood, Thieves' guild, with a handful of quests for each, plus a few more miscellaneous groups with one or two quests. Morrowind: Fighters' Guild, Mages' Guilld, Thieves' Guild, Morag Tong, Imperial Cult, Tribunal Temple, House Hlaalu, House Telvanni, House Redoran, Imperial Legion, plus the Vampire Clans. Each had far more quests than their equivalents in Oblivion.

I could go on and on with these, I'm not finished, but I don't want a wall of text to build up any more. All I want to say is, how does this relate to Deus Ex?

Well, firstly, Deus Ex was not an RPG, it had RPG elements. Just as it was not an FPS, but had FPS elements. It was was a medley of many different affairs. Just like the earlier Elder Scrolls games, it didn't do everything perfectly (or even necessarily well) but it fused them together in a way that made sense.

I hope that Oblivion syndrome does not strike HR. If it did, the game would become much simpler in every way, but just focus on its primary thing: in DX's case, multiple path gameplay. I feel that this is Oblivion's core problem: It tried to focus too much on an "epic" story and a jaw-droppingly beautiful open world, and sidelined everything else in order to focus your attention to that. I hope that DX3 doesn't go down that road. Some statements (like the interview with the less physics puzzles, for instance), and the dropping of the two types of lock, seem to suggest a similar sort of "streamlining" to what Oblivion offered. I hope this is not the case, and, as a fundamental optimist, I actually think that it will largely be a proper Deus Ex game.

Sorry to bore everyone with that. Normally I wouldn't waste my time and yours on a barely-related wall of text like that, but since we're waiting for DX3, we need something to think about. Almsivi to you all.

pringlepower
2nd Aug 2010, 19:16
Stealing the Elder Scroll was fun.

Pretentious Old Man.
2nd Aug 2010, 19:19
I didn't say that every single thing about Oblivion was crap. A lot of quests still stick in my mind, especially the Dark Brotherhood and random things like the Bloated Float, and I still play every couple of months (albeit heavily modded)

It *was* simplified hugely, however.

Ashpolt
2nd Aug 2010, 19:36
Just dropping in to say "I read it all, go POM" - because I know from experience how annoying it is to write a mini-essay and have no-one read it. :P

The comparison with Oblivion is very valid, but unlike you, I think that what we've heard so far indicates that this is nigh-on inevitably the path that EM are going down, rather than being an unlikely but unpleasant possibility. Like Oblivion, I doubt DXHR will do any one thing disastrously wrong, and will still end up as a good game in its own right: but it'll be a game smaller in scope than its predecessors, and with a focus more on the "epic" rather than the intelligent or complex. It will, in short, be Deus Ex for Teenagers, in the same way that Oblivion was Morrowind for Teenagers.

Pretentious Old Man.
2nd Aug 2010, 19:43
Just dropping in to say "I read it all, go POM" - because I know from experience how annoying it is to write a mini-essay and have no-one read it. :P

The comparison with Oblivion is very valid, but unlike you, I think that what we've heard so far indicates that this is nigh-on inevitably the path that EM are going down, rather than being an unlikely but unpleasant possibility. Like Oblivion, I doubt DXHR will do any one thing disastrously wrong, and will still end up as a good game in its own right: but it'll be a game smaller in scope than its predecessors, and with a focus more on the "epic" rather than the intelligent or complex. It will, in short, be Deus Ex for Teenagers, in the same way that Oblivion was Morrowind for Teenagers.

I love you, Ash. :flowers:

Thanks for reading, and thanks for the succinct summary. I must admit, my head says "too simplified" and my heart says "OK" for the new Deus Ex. I'll just have to wait and see, but both heart and head agree that it'll be better than IWar.

Fluffis
2nd Aug 2010, 19:50
Though I think I enjoy vanilla Oblivion more than you, judging by what you wrote here, I agree with you about most things. It was nice to see it all written down - all-in-all a good read. Kudos.

SageSavage
2nd Aug 2010, 22:05
I see how Oblivion was simplified in many ways but yet I hugely prefer it over Morrowind. I did revisit Morrowind several times because I really wanted to love it and because I can see how deep it is but everytime there were just too many things that made me drop it after a couple of days. The whole thing (starting with the naming of all the persons and races) was just too inaccessible for me. I want my RPGs complex but I also want them to be as intuitive as possible instead of presenting me with the learning curve of a flight sim. While I miss some of Morrowinds features, Oblivion did a much better job in terms of making me feel at home in its world. Sure, the mainsstory was pretty weak but nonetheless I had a huge amount of fun in this world - despite the dreaded npc leveling system.

pringlepower
2nd Aug 2010, 22:12
I see how Oblivion was simplified in many ways but yet I hugely prefer it over Morrowind. I did revisit Morrowind several times because I really wanted to love it and because I can see how deep it is but everytime there were just too many things that made me drop it after a couple of days. The whole thing (starting with the naming of all the persons and races) was just too inaccessible for me. I want my RPGs complex but I also want them to be as intuitive as possible instead of the learning curve of a flight sim. While I miss some of Morrowinds features, Oblivion did a much better job in terms of making me feel at home in it's world. Sure, the mainsstory was pretty weak but nonetheless I had a huge amount of fun in this world.

I thought the mainstory was really good, especially how it was actually a main story. In morrowind you're apparently the Neravarine, but nobody really gives a crap. The guy in the first town just says "go to Caius". And that's it. Then dump you in Morrowind, and more or less forget about you. Sure an open-world is great, but it'd be nice to have some sense of PURPOSE.

And that's especially bad with Daggerfall where not even the world has purpose. Yeah it's as big as the UK, but it's all randomly-generated, with no personality at all, so I didn't give a crap about exploring another random field or cave.

Kodaemon
2nd Aug 2010, 22:18
I haven't played Arena or Daggerfall, but I vastly prefer Morrowind over Oblivion. The "inaccessibility" of the Vvardenfell setting was a major factor for immersion to me, I actually felt like an explorer thrust into an unfamiliar culture and surroundings. Oblivion felt like a plastic fantasy theme park in comparison, and that's actually my biggest problem with the game - the more interesting Shivering Isles proved I could ignore most of Oblivion's other flaws.

Also: great thread!

Pretentious Old Man.
2nd Aug 2010, 23:17
I thought the mainstory was really good, especially how it was actually a main story. In morrowind you're apparently the Neravarine, but nobody really gives a crap. The guy in the first town just says "go to Caius". And that's it. Then dump you in Morrowind, and more or less forget about you. Sure an open-world is great, but it'd be nice to have some sense of PURPOSE.

And that's especially bad with Daggerfall where not even the world has purpose. Yeah it's as big as the UK, but it's all randomly-generated, with no personality at all, so I didn't give a crap about exploring another random field or cave.

May I ask whether you finished Morrowind? It does have a pretty bad ending, I'll admit that, but it gets very intense towards the middle. I wouldn't say that anyone "forgets" about you. You're an Imperial operative sent to do a job, you're not the peasantwhojustsohappenstobeintherightplaceattherighttimeandbecomesahero that you are in 'blivi, but that just makes it more interesting to me.

Also: sidequests in Morrowind were actually *required*. You had to have a cover identity. In Oblivion, they just got in the way of the "epic" story, which I also felt happened to be too short.

I guess some people (including you, I presume?) prefer an "epic" storyline, as per Oblivion. I don't quibble with that, I just say that personally I like my stories understated, with as little flashbang as possible. In fact, I often liken Morrowind to the original series of Mission Impossible. Just substitute the Communists for 6th house cultists, and you're there!


@Fluffis: Thanks for the kudos. I did enjoy Oblivion, actually, but only for what it was: a fun but shallow open world.

@Kodaemon: Exactly. I believe I even use the word "Disneyfied" in my OP. If you enjoyed SI, may I enquire whether you've ever tried Morroblivion (http://morroblivion.com/)? Not perfect, but great kicks anyway.

Here's hoping DXHR will at least have Oblivion's saving grace: Most **** can be modded out.

Fluffis
3rd Aug 2010, 00:17
Also: sidequests in Morrowind were actually *required*. You had to have a cover identity. In Oblivion, they just got in the way of the "epic" story, which I also felt happened to be too short.


Honestly, in Oblivion I'd say that the Dark Brotherhood quest line was more epic (but in a more subtle way), and infinitely more immersive, than the main quest line. I actually start up a character once in a while, just to play that side-quest.

Red
3rd Aug 2010, 07:20
You forgot one more MASSIVELY stupid thing.

Lockpicking. Seriously. You could have 0, yes, 0 points in LockP skill and still pick all locks of all difficulties in the game with a single pick due to a convenient predictable tiring minigame! What the F*, seriously. Not very RPGish.

I remember the days when you had like piss poor 8% to pick a lock in Morrowind in the beginning and then as you progressed with skill and the qualities* of the picks, you could become a badass picker.

I really don't know why the hell was LockP skill even in the game. Just as Swimming boggled me in Deus Ex...

*Yeah, the good times, when items had quality levels, a concept apparently an average gamer can't handle according to developers nowadays I guess...

MechBFP
3rd Aug 2010, 08:24
I got way more hours out of oblivion than I did morrowind, which in turn got more hours that daggerfall. Why? LESS EXPLOITS and other game breaking stupidity.
Deus Ex was never exploitable like those games.

Mindmute
3rd Aug 2010, 10:24
I really don't know why the hell was LockP skill even in the game. Just as Swimming boggled me in Deus Ex...


I usually drop one point into swimming just for the heck of it. It opens a few infiltration options on a few maps on the last 50% of the game.


@OP: You might call that a wall of text, but I enjoyed reading it nonetheless. I completely agree, it's magic system, the skills being toned down are all good examples of the kind of simplification I fear will be in DX:HR.

The enemy scaling wasn't a matter of of simplification, I think, but of a lazy design option to keep the overall challenge in an "open world".

I much preffer the way Baldur's Gate: SoA did it. Enemies scaled somewhat on some quest or exploration maps, but from the get go there were tons of non-scaling enemies whom the player could either find to be all hell or a just a warmp-up based on when and if they decided to approach them. Another testament that player choice doesn't have to be a dialogue or story changing thing to be an effective mechanic, unlike what most people think nowadays.

Red
3rd Aug 2010, 10:40
I think that a very good example of non-scaling enemies is also Gothic 1&2 (haven't played 3 (yet... dunno if I want to due to notority for bugs and general worse-than-predecessors comments)). Big, "open" world, with a twist. You could explore as much as you wanted, but you got your ass handed to you if you ventured into the higher-level beast area. That was somehow effective as a narration lock (it's all OMG YOU CANT ENTER HERE YET!!!! nowadays), seamlessly coupled with the gameplay.

WildcatPhoenix
3rd Aug 2010, 13:36
I really don't know why the hell was LockP skill even in the game. Just as Swimming boggled me in Deus Ex...


Swimming was a natural fit for some of the early levels like NYC and Hong Kong, but toward the end (as the setting transferred to more standard "infiltrate secret military installation" missions) the designers were obviously hard-pressed to find a use for it. Remember the flooded hazard lab in Vandenburg? Where did all that water come from, exactly?

The Ocean Lab may have even been designed around getting players to use those swimming skills again. Probably not, but still...

Either way, swimming was not something you'd ever need to pour a whole lot of skill points into.

pringlepower
3rd Aug 2010, 14:14
Also: sidequests in Morrowind were actually *required*. You had to have a cover identity. In Oblivion, they just got in the way of the "epic" story, which I also felt happened to be too short.

I guess some people (including you, I presume?) prefer an "epic" storyline, as per Oblivion. I don't quibble with that, I just say that personally I like my stories understated, with as little flashbang as possible. In fact, I often liken Morrowind to the original series of Mission Impossible. Just substitute the Communists for 6th house cultists, and you're there!

Here's hoping DXHR will at least have Oblivion's saving grace: Most **** can be modded out.

Well the main storyline the (running Caius' errands parts anyways) was really slow and tedious, so I went off exploring Morrowind. And once I'd completed a slew of sidequsets and got decked out with full glass, the whole secret agent bit got a bit weird once I was also head of the Fighters Guild, Mages Guild, Thieves Guild, Morag Tong, and House Redoran.

No I'm fine with a more subtle storyline. It's just that other than the guy in Seyda Neen (who tells you once), nobody gives a crap whether you go to Caius or not, and that seemed a bit odd after they went through all the trouble of bringing you to the island in the first place. They could've had some Imperials in the forts remind you of your greater purpose, I think. Oblivion made a good decision of nudging you along. And especially, once you did start working for Caius, his first 5 missions or so were either fetch quests or go talk to a guy quests, so the pacing wasn't terrific either. Not saying I didn't enjoy the thing, but after investing 300 hours in the damn thing I would've liked a more satisfying main quest.

And yeah, I only picked up Oblivion in 2009, after a lovely array of mods had been released to fix... well everything (and add a lightsaber).

Pinky_Powers
3rd Aug 2010, 17:17
Fallout 3 hate is getting old. It's overused, and the obvious riposte is that the series was otherwise dead. Invisible War hate can never get old (due to the fact that it was the last entry in the franchise), but there is only so much one can dissect it when the devs themselves A.) admitted their mistakes and B.) have moved on to other projects.

However, there is another obvious example of the kind of syndrome I fear EM will slip into, that hardly ever gets mentioned, and that is what I call "Oblivion syndrome". Please, do bear with me, this is going to be a long and quite possibly boring wall of text about what happened to Oblivion, and why I don't *want* and don't *think* it will happen to DXHR. Still, since EM must occasionally read these boards, it seems worth saying anyway. Elder Scrolls haters, look away now. You will not find this interesting.

I well remember playing TES1: Arena back in (I think) 1994. Despite having, when all was said and done, a rather crappy story, and advanced but ultimately procedural graphics, it really did hook me in. Gameplay was, and is actually, superb. I still maintain that Arena had the best melee combat of the whole series, and the magic was pretty good too. Ultimately, though, the procedural nature of the game, as well as its insanely sadistic difficulty, kept it from really being great. It was never enough to keep me from my Darklands.

Moving on to Daggerfall, which was I think '96, but I may be wrong. This was a huge improvement. Daggerfall was as deep as Arena was shallow. The graphics were mind-blowing for the time (remember, this is at about the time of the FIRST Baldur's Gate, and 3 years before Planescape), and I would argue that it is by far the deepest of the four. It had much deeper fast travel than Oblivion, by far the biggest map of any of the games (and, indeed, any game ever released as far as I know), with such features as climbing and horse riding, as well as a melee and magic system not unlike that of Arena. It also had the best character creation of any of the titles. If you don't believe me, Bethesda have been kind enough to make both this and Arena free to download, although Daggerfall is a ***** to get to run in DOSbox. Downsides for Daggerfall include a similar, procedurally generated map to Arena, albeit much better.

Morrowind now, after a gap of 6 years. Originally intended as a 2D game like the other three, it was released as the first fully 3d, non-procedural Elder Scrolls game. It had many features removed from Daggerfall. Horse-riding was gone, climbing was gone, the character creation was simplified, and so on. It still retained much the same magic system, massively improved many other aspects of the game (see enchanting) kept the series reputation for cool magic like water walking, levitation, all manner of tricks and traps, and so on. Despite this slight simplification, Morrowind was forgiven for one major reason: Unlike Daggerfall and Arena, everything in the game had been lovingly crafted, and every location was completely unique. That made the game extremely immersive, especially when coupled with such miscellaneous factors as Jeremy Soule's soundtrack. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rhaq4JP_t6o)

That brings us to 2002. It would be four more years before another Elder Scrolls game. That's reasonable. Morrowind only took six because it had to decide on the gamebryo engine first. All that groundwork had already been done for Oblivion, and computers were getting much better. What was to go wrong?

Well, quite a lot actually. Let me quickly clarify that Oblivion is still an excellent game. That's probably why it doesn't get brought up as much as it should in these sorts of discussions. It had astonishing graphics, and it was even more moddable than the already very moddable Morrowind. It still had Soule writing the music, and it still ranks as one of the greatest RPGs of recent years. But these things do not come into our little case of "Oblivion syndrome". Oh no.

Most developers fall into the trap of wanting to make a game more accessible, to appeal to a wider user base. Morrowind was ported, with moderate success, to the original Xbox, but it had never really felt comfortable on a console. Oblivion was set to be a multi-plat from the get-go, with the 360 and PC versions coming out together, and the PS3 version coming later. All this is fact.

What I'm about to say veers more into opinion, albeit considered: It was nowhere near as good as Morrowind and Daggerfall were before it. Whether the simplification came due to the consoles, or whether it was just Bethesda bowing to the new order of things (I prefer the latter explanation, it would have happened even without consoles), Oblivion was, frankly, ludicrously simplified. I'm not going to get into a discussion about how Disneyfied Oblivion's world was, or how boringly generic the artstyle was after the eccentricity of Morrowind, or how cities were smaller and no longer part of the landscape, &c, because that's nothing to do with simplification. However, under the dubious reason of "streamlining", many other things were.

First and foremost, 'blivi's auto leveller. The golden rule of an RPG is that you start weak and end up uber-l33t. You build up your character into the kind of killing machine you want them to be. Some games tweak this to make it average to uber-l33t so that the player feels like s/he is not a completely ineffectual lump in the beginning. That's fine though. However, in what can only be regarded as the single worst design decision of the last decade, Oblivion's designers decided to make it so that every single creature in the world (with the exception of rats), would level to you. That means that if you encounter a goblin in the road at level one, you will have a fairly tough fight to beat him. If you come back at level twenty, you will *STILL* have a fairly tough fight to beat exactly the same, now respawned goblin. As a matter of fact, it's actually quite a lot easier to beat the game at level one than it is at level twenty, especially if you don't level up your major skills.

Secondly, we have melee combat. If you played the PC version sans mods, you will see no difference between the way you fight in Oblivion and the way you do in Morrowind: move forward to stab, sideways to slash, etc. However, unlike in Morrowind, you will always hit your target in Oblivion, and you will always cause damage. Many prefer this approach to Morrowind's, but in my book it makes the game much too like an FPS. It's not uncommon to find yourself actually circle-strafing in Oblivion, as well as bunny hopping. These pastimes should be firmly in FPS territory. Failure should still be possible if you decide to use a weapon your character is unfamilar with.

Thirdly, magic. In Morrowind, it was simple: you pressed a button (r) to ready your cast, as opposed to (f) for melee. You had to choose, in other words. You then had a set chance to cast a spell, that was then modified by your fatigue. If you chose a spell way above your level, you would not find it easy to case. In Oblivion, you *always* cast the spell you want, and you can cast them even when you have your weapon drawn. That, again, makes Oblivion into more of an FPS. And since fatigue no longer drains with running, and magicka regenerate without sleeping, and waiting has the same restorative effect as resting, Oblivion's combat was downright easy compared to Morrowind, and even more so compared to Daggerfall. In fact, in one of my more facetious moments, I have been known to call it "Call of the Gears of Halobivion".

Fourthly, skill sets. In Morrowind, (itself a simplification of Daggerfall), you had major and minor skills, both of which could help you level up, and focus your character. In Oblivion, you only had major skills. Moreover, many skills were removed from Oblivion altogether, like Medium Armour for example.

Fifthly, enchanting. Even though the black soul gems were a very cool addition, this was a hell of a lot worse than Morrowind in Oblivion.

Sixthly, levitation. Gone.

Seventhly, factions and quests. Oblivion: Fighters' Guild, Mages' Guild, Dark Brotherhood, Thieves' guild, with a handful of quests for each, plus a few more miscellaneous groups with one or two quests. Morrowind: Fighters' Guild, Mages' Guilld, Thieves' Guild, Morag Tong, Imperial Cult, Tribunal Temple, House Hlaalu, House Telvanni, House Redoran, Imperial Legion, plus the Vampire Clans. Each had far more quests than their equivalents in Oblivion.

I could go on and on with these, I'm not finished, but I don't want a wall of text to build up any more. All I want to say is, how does this relate to Deus Ex?

Well, firstly, Deus Ex was not an RPG, it had RPG elements. Just as it was not an FPS, but had FPS elements. It was was a medley of many different affairs. Just like the earlier Elder Scrolls games, it didn't do everything perfectly (or even necessarily well) but it fused them together in a way that made sense.

I hope that Oblivion syndrome does not strike HR. If it did, the game would become much simpler in every way, but just focus on its primary thing: in DX's case, multiple path gameplay. I feel that this is Oblivion's core problem: It tried to focus too much on an "epic" story and a jaw-droppingly beautiful open world, and sidelined everything else in order to focus your attention to that. I hope that DX3 doesn't go down that road. Some statements (like the interview with the less physics puzzles, for instance), and the dropping of the two types of lock, seem to suggest a similar sort of "streamlining" to what Oblivion offered. I hope this is not the case, and, as a fundamental optimist, I actually think that it will largely be a proper Deus Ex game.

Sorry to bore everyone with that. Normally I wouldn't waste my time and yours on a barely-related wall of text like that, but since we're waiting for DX3, we need something to think about. Almsivi to you all.

I agree with everything you said here. Except I think a first-person game should have more flexible first-person combat and less D&D. I liked most of what they did for Oblivion's melee and magiks. And I think it would have worked especially well if they had given you more spells and did away with auto-leveling enemies.

In the end, the game was terribly boring for me because of the pathetic quests and missions and the fact there wasn't a single interesting character in the entire game.

luminar
3rd Aug 2010, 17:55
I agree with everything you said here. Except I think a first-person game should have more flexible first-person combat and less D&D. I liked most of what they did for Oblivion's melee and magiks. And I think it would have worked especially well if they had given you more spells and did away with auto-leveling enemies.

In the end, the game was terribly boring for me because of the pathetic quests and missions and the fact there wasn't a single interesting character in the entire game.

I must disagree their sir, Lucien lachance is my hero and one of my favorite characters in any game. (partially due to the voice acting.) On a side note I loved oblivion although I think I overlooked the flaws because I'm in love with the mythology of the elder scrolls!

Anasumtj
3rd Aug 2010, 21:48
I had fun with Oblivion, honestly. But in terms of raw staying power I probably sunk hundreds of more hours in Morrowind., mostly for reasons cited in the OP. I found that eventually buying Oblivion for the PC and modding the **** out of it added to its longevity.

I'm really trying not to be overly cynical, but I predict I'll have similar feelings towards HR given the info disclosed thus far.

Pinky_Powers
3rd Aug 2010, 23:40
I must disagree their sir, Lucien lachance is my hero and one of my favorite characters in any game. (partially due to the voice acting.) On a side note I loved oblivion although I think I overlooked the flaws because I'm in love with the mythology of the elder scrolls!

The Black Hand quests were the very best that Oblivion had to offer. This is true. But even this pales against better games... of which there are many.

luminar
4th Aug 2010, 01:32
The Black Hand quests were the very best that Oblivion had to offer. This is true. But even this pales against better games... of which there are many.

this is true, but their designed in such a way that given enough creativity you can have alot of fun. The stealth gameplay in oblivion facilitated this kind of playstyle greatly. stealth+oblivion=only way to play game.

Deus_Ex_Machina
4th Aug 2010, 01:32
Given what we know about DXHR so far, I'd love for it to be more like Oblivion.

As it stands at the moment, Oblivion is a much more hardcore RPG than DXHR is. While it's subject to change, I doubt DXHR will come even close to being as in-depth as Oblivion was.

El Zoido
4th Aug 2010, 08:28
Never could play either Morrowind nor Oblivion for long without any mods.

Morrowinds magic system IMHO was broken, esp. the regeneration of mana was solved very poorly.
In the end it was always much easier to give your mage an enchanted weapon than directly using magic to attack.
Traveling (esp. walking) was cumbersome.

In the case of Oblivion, the overly strong level scaling (although it was present in Morrowind, too) made me install a mod to change that halfway through the MQ. And some more factions would have done good indeed.

Whether there is an Oblivion syndrome and what DXHR would look like when contracting it I'm not sure off, but there's at least one similiarity between the Elder Scrolls and DX series we can be sure off: every iteration will bring vastly different game mechanics.

Nyysjan
4th Aug 2010, 11:23
It was quite easy to become horribly broken character in Morrowind, especially with the expansions, you could give yourself permanent flight, and invisibility rather early in the game abusing the magic item creation, then just get yourself a bow and kill anything you want (even with little to no bow skill, just make sure you got plenty of arrows).
And then there's the int potion creation trick (never tried it myself).

But if you did not know how to make yourself horribly broken character, it did give you options on how to make a character that was yours, instead of something just handed to you (i tended to play a dunmer mage of somesort, altough early on i often used a sword more then spells, mainly because the lack of mana/stamina).

But yeah, Morrowind was flawed in many ways, but still better than Oblivion imo (altough that might be part nostalgia, been long since i played morrowind, and i never made it to the end in Oblivion).

El Zoido
4th Aug 2010, 11:34
One big plus of Morrowind was its setting, which was very different from many other fantasy cRPGs.
Oblivion returned to a more familiar, fairly "standard" fantasy setting.

Speaking of the gameworld, what I did like about DX is how it created the illusion of a living world by adding nice touches like dialogues between npc, email accounts, etc.

Despite having an AI with day/night cycles and schedules for NPC, Bethesda never really succeeded completely in giving their worlds a "living" feeling (no, "I've seen a mudcrab the other day" doesn't count). To me it somehow felt sterile.

Hopefully the developers will manage to recreate the real-world feeling in HR.

SageSavage
4th Aug 2010, 16:34
One big plus of Morrowind was its setting, which was very different from many other fantasy cRPGs.
Oblivion returned to a more familiar, fairly "standard" fantasy setting.
In case of DX it works the other way round: many people complained about IW's setting being too far in the future an lauded DX1 for being so close to our reality. Morrowind was just too different for my taste and that made it less accessible for me. I didn't want to have to memorize tons of exotic tongue-breaking names (full voice overs might have helped) in order to get anywhere. I want to explore the world and feel like a part of it as quick as possible. Sure, exotic stuff should be there to discover but not in that concentration, not for me. I fell in love with cyberpunk for that reason.

Kodaemon
4th Aug 2010, 18:17
Interesting point you have there. However, I think it just really works in reverse for DX and Elder Scrolls.

DX is heavily rooted in reality, and features recognizable elements from our daily world so the move towards Star Trek-ish sci-fi lessened the "close to home" feel. Morrowind's setting on the other hand was hard to get into, but incredibly detailed, nuanced and fascinating once you did. Oblivion was a series of played-out fantasy cliche's by comparison.

So while the starting points in both the DX->IW and MW->Oblivion cases were very different different, the progression was the same: not only was the gameplay of the sequels streamlined, the settings themselves were too: from concrete, complex worlds, to more abstract creations (yes, I feel the world of Oblivion is less real than that of Morrowind).

SageSavage
4th Aug 2010, 19:52
Sure, familiar settings aren't necessarily feeling more real then completely new ones (as we all know from the experience of nightmares) but I'd say that the use of stuff from our reality (read "familiar stuff") generally helps a lot with creating a sense of reality. If, on the other hand, everything is new to us, we usually feel disoriented and surreal.

I agree with you about the gameplay streamlining (I think IW suffered much more from that then Oblivion) but contrary to you the more familiar setting of Obivion ultimately felt more 'real' to me because it was a bit more standard fare and therefore less disorienting or even tiresome (I mean, come on, who comes up with names like "Arkngthand"...). I don't advocate streamlining of any kind but I don't really enjoy the extreme opposite either.

Anasumtj
4th Aug 2010, 23:44
I guess I'm just wondering how anybody could find Morrowind's world to be impenetrable to any degree.

So a few things looked weird and some locales had ridiculously hard names to pronounce. So what? It's a fantasy sandbox game. Jump in, wade around a bit, and you'll eventually feel at home as you would any other game.

Mosillivo
5th Aug 2010, 06:32
Oh... I have an account :p

A few notes:



And yeah, I only picked up Oblivion in 2009, after a lovely array of mods had been released to fix... well everything (and add a lightsaber).

Encase you didn't catch it...

and add a lightsaber.

A LIGHTSABER. In an ELDER SCROLLS GAME! The annoying fact is, the majority of mods released by the community tends to fall under this same category, adding some form of weapons or armour that do not extend gameplay but instead further overpower your character. Even "content addition" mods tend to have some sort of "reward" that encourages people to install the mod (and keep it installed) rather than expand on role-playing elements.

This gets exceptionally annoying because mods that do have favourable gameplay enhancements often have unfavourable aspects that must be removed... and that's not counting mods that "package" other mods into them because the "modder"... well, let's avoid any obscenities.

On a side rant, I particularly hate how modders are always praised for not being lazy. People will often say "x mod is the best" simply because it's the only mod that exists that serves their purpose. Unfortunately, this instills a form of dictatorship in the modding environment. I'm not terribly active in modding, but I did once attempt to release a massive improvement upon another modders mod... to which I was pretty much attacked over and my own mod forced down over the "popularity" of the existing mod. Just because someone was first, does not mean that they should hold exclusive rights to all mods of that type, and the modding community should actively seek to surpass existing mods. NOT promote their continued usage.

The point here is simply that modders can hardly be relied upon to generate the content you'd expect out of a game... and it gets worse as the modding community becomes increasingly juvenile. (And yeah... you could mod it yourself... but then you'd have to read documentation and run it in a test environment :o ... though that too, is fun at times; sometimes you just want to play).



I must admit; I've never completed morrowind. Nor have I completed Oblivion. Neither game was terribly immerrsive... and daggerfall? Honestly, I tried... but the first dungeon kills it for me, just about every spawn there is in a single dungeon? How should I expect the game to be when I come out? Morrowind was simply too static... my quest options were "do it now, or come back to it later"...

And now... I seem to have forgotten what I was talking about.


Perhaps I was just meaning to say "Quality" gameplay is something that no one seems to want anymore... and even more so because of class stereotyping (Only Geeky Nerds who dress up screaming spells "roleplay") thus people want games to be less immersive and more... "action" because it fuels their own insecurities ;) Those games are fun and all BUT (and I stress this) they have to glorify killing in order to achieve this... and they have to allow mass-slaughter to continually deliver this benefit... and neither Oblivion, nor Morrowind, follow such parameters... let alone Deus Ex.



I'll make one other point before leaving for another 6 months... there are a few members that are emphasising this new "cool" aspect of Deus Ex: Human Revolution as being a good thing... stating they've enjoyed such play in other games. My question is this: How long do you expect to play this game? Too many games are made under the premise that they should be played once, and then abandoned... and FAR TOO MANY gamers operate under the notion that "games should be played once, or only a few times with friends... then abandoned"

I mean... when you have people calling games that came out less than 5 years ago "ancient" and generally laughing at the gameplay rather than enjoying it (even if they had before)... you have a clear problem with the community... because in this day and time... people are all too willing to "buy a shinny toy" than to buy a toy that will last.

El Zoido
5th Aug 2010, 11:25
In case of DX it works the other way round

This I actually agree upon, I liked DX1's more cyber-punkish approach much more than IW's science-fiction setting.
Which is right now my main fear regarding HR, the trailer looks a bit too futuristic to me.
But I think it's still too early to really be sure about that.


A LIGHTSABER. In an ELDER SCROLLS GAME!

Well you know, I never liked all the nude, perfect-hair-anime-doll or cool looking ├╝ber-equipment-mods (in fact I usually find them outright silly), but ultimately its up to everyone's personal taste how to mod his game.

As long as there is an easy way to mod games (thank you for that, Bethesda!), there will be a lot such mods, but amongst them you will probably find some good ones that actually appeal to your more refined tastes, so why bother?

Pinky_Powers
5th Aug 2010, 15:56
I don't advocate streamlining of any kind

I don't believe you. No one who played the first Mass Effect could come away saying "The inventory system is perfect does not need streamlining."

Streamlining is a very, very good thing, so long as it does not remove functionality. The problem is, the tendency is to go to the far extreme. For ME, they did not fix the inventory, they removed it completely. This is bad. It's just as bad as suggesting that nothing should ever be streamlined.

Walk a life of balance and you'll find perfection.

Kodaemon
5th Aug 2010, 16:27
Walk a life of balance and you'll find perfection.

Guidance 128:
Do not confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence is achievable, perfection is elusive.

This is the way of Kane.

Pretentious Old Man.
5th Aug 2010, 18:19
I think it's important not to confuse familiarity with plausibility. Morrowind was unfamiliar, but plausible. Oblivion was familiar, but implausible.

I'm a professor of Medieval history (specifically religion, but hey) in real life, and even though I'm not an architect, medieval town planning, social conditions, and general life still fall under my field of study. Oblivion is 100% Disney BS, not unlike Disneyland Paris. Cyrodiil is populated solely by stereotypes, most of whom have no obvious way of raising the money for the lifestyles in which they live. The whole economy of Cyrodiil makes no sense. Everyone lives in comfortable affluance, with, as a colleague of mine put it, "the odd perfunctory beggar" thrown in for good measure. None of the deep social problems Vvardenfell had were there.

Vvardenfell was a very interesting area. There was a Colonial/Native juxtaposition that sits very well with real history. As well as the colonial/native tensions, you gradually learn that there are only two kinds of organisation in Morrowind, those run by corrupt officials, and those ruled by incompetents. Duke Vedam Dren has been utterly emasculated, he "runs" Vvardenfell in only the most basic ways possible. The Camonna Tong control the real power of the province, and they are thoroughly evil.

In fact, it's struggles and violence that characterise Vvardenfell, just as in the real world. The three great houses, Hlaalu, Telvanni and Redoran, loath each other. The Almsivi Tribunal and the Nine Divines are having to compete for popularity as a faith. The Sixth House cult fights to emasculate the Tribunal. The Mages' guild loathes House Telvanni. The Twin Lamps fight the rampant slavery of Morrowind, which is supported by Telvanni and Redoran, and only nominally opposed by Hlaalu, who are only chasing a profit. The East Empire company is conning everyone blind, and utterly dominating the ebony and egg trades like an antiquated Rockefeller. Interspersed between all of this are the nomadic Ashlanders, who just want to lead the life of their ancestors. Most of these groups have something in common: they hate all foreigners, ESPECIALLY you.

I found this to be an engaging world. In that respect, it's actually a lot more familiar than Oblivion. Sure, there are names like Ashabantispal, but at least that's better than the certified Walt Disney you get from 'blivi, in which everyone is happy, mean old Dagon is defeated, and the world is all good again now.

I'm not pre-judging anyone, but I suspect most people who think Morrowind had less depth than Oblivion just gave up on it too soon. Many people see the game world as a vehicle for gameplay, and that's normally true, but in a TES game, the experience and the lore are at least as important.

There is an exception to my problems with 'blivi: The Shivering Isles. One of the best expansion packs I have ever played, TSI brought to Oblivion what was always lacking: the unpredictable madness of Morrowind. Sadly, by definition, the realm of Sheogorath was not anything like as plausible in its (non-existent) social structure as Morrowind, but at least that was explained by it being a twisted and demented plane of Oblivion.

Peace out. Once again, I hope that the world of Deus Ex doesn't become bowdlerised, like Cyrodiil did in Oblivion.

luminar
5th Aug 2010, 19:14
I'll make one other point before leaving for another 6 months... there are a few members that are emphasising this new "cool" aspect of Deus Ex: Human Revolution as being a good thing... stating they've enjoyed such play in other games. My question is this: How long do you expect to play this game? Too many games are made under the premise that they should be played once, and then abandoned... and FAR TOO MANY gamers operate under the notion that "games should be played once, or only a few times with friends... then abandoned"

I mean... when you have people calling games that came out less than 5 years ago "ancient" and generally laughing at the gameplay rather than enjoying it (even if they had before)... you have a clear problem with the community... because in this day and time... people are all too willing to "buy a shinny toy" than to buy a toy that will last.

I agree with this but I also think that coolness (a prime example of this is assasins creed 2.) can be coupled with deep rewarding lasting gameplay. For me replayability and lasting value are two of the most important features in a game, unfortunatley they are usually not there.

Pretentious Old Man.
5th Aug 2010, 19:19
I agree with this but I also think that coolness (a prime example of this is assasins creed 2.) can be coupled with deep rewarding lasting gameplay. For me replayability and lasting value are two of the most important features in a game, unfortunatley they are usually not there.

butbutbutbutbutbutbutbut...

we r want gaem that make lotz of moneyz so we r can b rich and s3ll millions of gamez?!??!?

pringlepower
5th Aug 2010, 19:49
The strange Vvardenfell names aren't so bad. I know someone in Massachusetts who lives near Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg.

Arkngthand isn't so bad by comparison.

Also, Bangkok's real name is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit. Really.

Also they're only used for Daedric Shrines, which makes sense because Daedra are just bloody weird. The rest of the places have nice names like Vivec and Moonmoth. Other than the mushroom trees and queer architecture Morrowind really wasn't too abstract (and the silk striders, and the laser wall, and te...)

Mindmute
5th Aug 2010, 19:52
The strange Vvardenfell names aren't so bad. I know someone in Massachusetts who lives near Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg.

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch and Gorsafawddacha'idraigodanheddogleddoll├┤npenrhynareurdraethceredigion are two real places in Wales. Based on the past and present culture/languages of a place I don't think anything can be considered too absurd.

pringlepower
5th Aug 2010, 19:55
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch and Gorsafawddacha'idraigodanheddogleddoll├┤npenrhynareurdraethceredigion are two real places in Wales. Based on the past and present culture/languages of a place I don't think anything can be considered too absurd.

Oh crap I missed the Gaelics. Weird old Gaelics. Clearly there are dremora lords hiding in Cardiff.

Pretentious Old Man.
5th Aug 2010, 19:57
Even the Romans had such names as Corinium Dobunnorum, Durocornovium, Durovernum Cantiacorum and Isca Dumnoniorum. And that's in Britain alone.


Oh crap I missed the Gaelics. Weird old Gaelics. Clearly there are dremora lords hiding in Cardiff.

Aneurin Bevan was a daedroth prince. Neil Kinnock is a Dremora Churl. And Windsor Davies...is just epic.

Pooeypants
5th Aug 2010, 21:17
I've got Morrowind and both expansion packs, played them all to completion and same with Oblivion. I entirely agree with the original poster about the streamlining. I mean, having spent at least 200hrs on Oblivion (1 replay) I immensely enjoyed the game but also saw its shortcomings. Also, why did Bethesda only have about 10 different voice actors for Oblivion? Even Max Payne 2 had a longer cast list...

Anyway, the DX:HR is coming out on console at same time/earlier and so I'm fully expecting to be full of console compromises. It's just the way of the world at the moment, no one respects their heritage.

St. Mellow
5th Aug 2010, 21:24
Also, why did Bethesda only have about 10 different voice actors for Oblivion? Even Max Payne 2 had a longer cast list...

That's the worst "technical" flaw in Oblivion IMO. Throws immersion right out the window. It's almost offensive. The actors aren't even trying to sound different.

Pretentious Old Man.
5th Aug 2010, 21:32
;1465813']That's the worst "technical" flaw in Oblivion IMO. Throws immersion right out the window. It's almost offensive. The actors aren't even trying to sound different.

I know. On the one hand, they hire Patrick Stewart, Sean Bean and Terence Stamp. On the other, there are about 6 other actors. Whut?

Pooeypants
5th Aug 2010, 21:38
I know. On the one hand, they hire Patrick Stewart, Sean Bean and Terence Stamp. On the other, there are about 6 other actors. Whut?I love those individual actors but they don't "make" the game. I don't know what the feck they were thinking when they blew the entire voice actor budget on them. I mean, Patrick Stewart barely got a few lines in...

Pretentious Old Man.
5th Aug 2010, 21:42
I love those individual actors but they don't "make" the game. I don't know what the feck they were thinking when they blew the entire voice actor budget on them. I mean, Patrick Stewart barely got a few lines in...

A few lines and literally not one facepalm.

pringlepower
5th Aug 2010, 23:29
I know. On the one hand, they hire Patrick Stewart, Sean Bean and Terence Stamp. On the other, there are about 6 other actors. Whut?

Better yet, hire Patrick Stewart and KILL him in 10 minutes.

And then hire Liam Neeson and have him run away in 10 minutes.

Pinky_Powers
6th Aug 2010, 01:34
Guidance 128:
Do not confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence is achievable, perfection is elusive.

This is the way of Kane.

Yes, true perfection is a misnomer. But for the sake of vague philosophical gibberish, it works well as a guideline or goal.

El Zoido
6th Aug 2010, 08:08
I think it's important not to confuse familiarity with plausibility. Morrowind was unfamiliar, but plausible. Oblivion was familiar, but implausible.


Very interesting thought and unfortunately thats a problem most fantasy games have.
(But then again this seems to be a universal problem, look at a ren faire)
Another example: copious amounts of food lying around on the tables, without any meaningful way to prepare or store them (refrigerators are not invented yet...), let alone produce them.

But talking about plausibility, does it seem plausible to you that 20 years from now the world will look like in the HR trailer?

How different was the world 20 years ago?

Irate_Iguana
6th Aug 2010, 08:39
How different was the world 20 years ago?

Just look at the computers, cellphones and internet that we have today. They changed the world a lot. An even bigger change was between 1900 and 1920 with the introduction of affordable cars and the development of aircraft and the first commercial airlines. It all depends on the technological breakthroughs that take place in that time frame.

El Zoido
6th Aug 2010, 09:00
It all depends on the technological breakthroughs that take place in that time frame.

That's certainly true, and advances in computers DID bring some changes, internet being the biggest of them I think.
Still, the world and life now doesn't look that different from 20 years ago.

Especially some of the structures seen in the trailer do look a little bit to futuristic to me, thats all.

Irate_Iguana
6th Aug 2010, 10:44
Especially some of the structures seen in the trailer do look a little bit to futuristic to me, thats all.

That's probably because you live in a fairly standard town/city. Most people do. There are already some pretty architecturally wild buildings in various cities around the world. Ok, no double decker cities, but certainly buildings in that vein. Especially if you visit a world fair.

Nyysjan
6th Aug 2010, 12:57
I doubt we'll have robots as advanced used by the police as shown in the trailer, and i doubt we'll have as advanced commercial augmentation as there is in the trailer.
But, while i find them unlikely, they are not impossible, and while i find them unlikely to be part of the common street life, it's quite likely we will have something like them, or very close to them, in R&D, either as functional (if expensive) prototypes, or atleast plausible theories/plans.

And while it is unlikely we will have augs like Jensen, i think it's pretty much certain that we will have functional artificial limbs in 20 years, only question is how good they are, what kind of batteries they'll need (i doubt we'll manage to do something without external batteries by then), and wether or not they are wired straight to our brain (and wether or not they are something worn, or something that is permanently attached).

pringlepower
6th Aug 2010, 13:58
I doubt we'll have robots as advanced used by the police as shown in the trailer, and i doubt we'll have as advanced commercial augmentation as there is in the trailer.
But, while i find them unlikely, they are not impossible, and while i find them unlikely to be part of the common street life, it's quite likely we will have something like them, or very close to them, in R&D, either as functional (if expensive) prototypes, or atleast plausible theories/plans.

And while it is unlikely we will have augs like Jensen, i think it's pretty much certain that we will have functional artificial limbs in 20 years, only question is how good they are, what kind of batteries they'll need (i doubt we'll manage to do something without external batteries by then), and wether or not they are wired straight to our brain (and wether or not they are something worn, or something that is permanently attached).

Just go the Fallout route and stick mini fusion reactors in EVERYTHING

mr_cyberpunk
8th Aug 2010, 11:25
Something that needs to be corrected OP. Oblivion and Morrowind were completely different Engines. Morrowind using the NetImmersive engine (which powered games like Star Trek Bridge Commander), whilst Oblivion and Fallout 3 were built off of the Gamebryo engine and then heavily customized to use their own private LOD manager and Shader systems, plus a bucketload of middleware like Havok, SpeedTree, FaceGen ect (this is why I think their games are so god damn buggy, because they're reliant completely on 3rd party software-- which is a stupid idea from a developer and QA standpoint as you can't fix issues that these may have.)

I do agree with the gist though. Oblivion syndrome is the sacrifice of complexity to market share, the abandonment of a fanbase for greater profits- Fallout 3 inherited that.

And no, the fallout 3 hate will never get old either, just as the Oblivion hate is still alive and well- else why'd you even post this :D.

Pretentious Old Man.
8th Aug 2010, 11:43
Something that needs to be corrected OP. Oblivion and Morrowind were completely different Engines. Morrowind using the NetImmersive engine (which powered games like Star Trek Bridge Commander), whilst Oblivion and Fallout 3 were built off of the Gamebryo engine and then heavily customized to use their own private LOD manager and Shader systems, plus a bucketload of middleware like Havok, SpeedTree, FaceGen ect (this is why I think their games are so god damn buggy, because they're reliant completely on 3rd party software-- which is a stupid idea from a developer and QA standpoint as you can't fix issues that these may have.)

I do agree with the gist though. Oblivion syndrome is the sacrifice of complexity to market share, the abandonment of a fanbase for greater profits- Fallout 3 inherited that.

And no, the fallout 3 hate will never get old either, just as the Oblivion hate is still alive and well- else why'd you even post this :D.

I must look into this. I heard different from someone else, but you certainly seem knowledgeable enough to be credible! :)

I think I always assumed that the NetImmersive engine was just the natural predecessor of Gamebryo, in that it was made by the same people and used much the same (NIF/DDS) file architecture. Then again, that's not really indicative of much in game engine terms.

And yes, Oblivion in particular's use of third party elements was downright ridiculous. Oblivion's speedtrees, even for 2006, were pretty damn appalling with that ludicrous pop-in. Give me Morrowind with Distant Land any day over that. The facegen system was also rather inflexible, although not as bad as the sheer fail dished up with the two Mass Effects.

Lo Bruto
9th Aug 2010, 09:15
Oblivion is to Morrowind as Invisible War is to DX1.

Both are pretty good games, but they suck when compared to their predecessors.

Red
9th Aug 2010, 12:07
Hm, I'd still say that Oblivion is way better relative to Morrowind, than IW is to DX.

I'm speaking about relative comparison, mind you.

Pretentious Old Man.
9th Aug 2010, 13:52
Hm, I'd still say that Oblivion is way better relative to Morrowind, than IW is to DX.

I'm speaking about relative comparison, mind you.

I think you're right there, mate. IW is a whole new level of bad.

Remington
9th Aug 2010, 20:27
Read it all. Very well put.

I think this should go as far as to be posted on the Bethesda forums.

Pretentious Old Man.
9th Aug 2010, 21:01
Read it all. Very well put.

I think this should go as far as to be posted on the Bethesda forums.

They've heard it all before, mate. Oh, and thanks.

SageSavage
10th Aug 2010, 07:37
I know some devs who haven't heared though: http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/141/index/4376174/1

Pretentious Old Man.
10th Aug 2010, 13:11
I know some devs who haven't heared though: http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/141/index/4376174/1

Bioware haven't been listening since Throne of Baal.

(Oh, and what's with having "English" represented as a Canadian flag? Huh?")

pringlepower
10th Aug 2010, 13:16
Bioware haven't been listening since Throne of Baal.

(Oh, and what's with having "English" represented as a Canadian flag? Huh?")

OH NOES NO MORE OVERHEAD CAMERA. RUN! RUN TO YOUR BURROWS!

Bioware's alright. They never pulled an Invisible War. Unless you count Mass Effect 2, then you suck.

Nothing's wrong with a little Canadian pride. Also Canadian spelling is slightly different. No tyres or humors to be found.

Nyysjan
10th Aug 2010, 13:30
Mass Effect was, as game, a bit lacking, but story was decent and Mordin Solus was awesome, And Tali and Garrus were just as great as they were, if not even more so.
My only real complaints about it would be that they felt necessary to include ammo and scaling enemies (seriously, what's the point of levelling if the game just gets harder because of it?).

But they've yet to produce a dud, altough how it goes with DA:O2 (lack of overhead camera is HUGE issue, it makes it more tactical and less "hunt the right camera angle to see where you're going" game personally i find it near impossible to hit anything with spells without it (atleast without also frying me team)) and ME3 (when it comes) remains to be seen.

but anyway, both seem to be part of the same set of issues that plague the gaming industry on the whole.
Faster, simpler, flashier (exceptions are there, but they are rare).

pringlepower
10th Aug 2010, 13:40
Mass Effect was, as game, a bit lacking, but story was decent and Mordin Solus was awesome, And Tali and Garrus were just as great as they were, if not even more so.
My only real complaints about it would be that they felt necessary to include ammo and scaling enemies (seriously, what's the point of levelling if the game just gets harder because of it?).

But they've yet to produce a dud, altough how it goes with DA:O2 (lack of overhead camera is HUGE issue, it makes it more tactical and less "hunt the right camera angle to see where you're going" game personally i find it near impossible to hit anything with spells without it (atleast without also frying me team)) and ME3 (when it comes) remains to be seen.

but anyway, both seem to be part of the same set of issues that plague the gaming industry on the whole.
Faster, simpler, flashier (exceptions are there, but they are rare).

Makes sense if enemies scale, since you fight the same enemies throughout. The YMIR mech is still a YMIR mech. This doesn't become Final Fantasy where a YMIR mech is replaced by Sephiroth late-game. Just pretend the enemies are gaining experience with you. The more the merrier! :)

Again, like with many things in DXHR, you can't judge before seeing gameplay footage. Just trust Bioware (Canadian pride!). Bioware CEOS have medical degrees, so they must be good.

Pretentious Old Man.
10th Aug 2010, 13:50
OH NOES NO MORE OVERHEAD CAMERA. RUN! RUN TO YOUR BURROWS!

Bioware's alright. They never pulled an Invisible War. Unless you count Mass Effect 2, then you suck.

Nothing's wrong with a little Canadian pride. Also Canadian spelling is slightly different. No tyres or humors to be found.

It's the same as British spelling, as far as I know.

As for Bioware, no I'm not counting ME2. I don't know why you're going into all out CAPS attack mode on the overhead view, for your information Bioware *made* their reputation making top-down 3/4 view games using their infinity engine. Baldur's Gate 1&2 have to rank as two of the greatest games ever made. If you can't understand why people might like to continue playing an RPG with a modicum of tactical consideration, then there really is little point in prolonging the conversation.

Nyysjan
10th Aug 2010, 13:53
Makes sense if enemies scale, since you fight the same enemies throughout. The YMIR mech is still a YMIR mech. This doesn't become Final Fantasy where a YMIR mech is replaced by Sephiroth late-game. Just pretend the enemies are gaining experience with you. The more the merrier! :)

Again, like with many things in DXHR, you can't judge before seeing gameplay footage. Just trust Bioware (Canadian pride!). Bioware CEOS have medical degrees, so they must be good.

Actually, no it doesn't.
Why would all people in the world get better at the same rate as i do, in fact, why are they getting better at all, continuous training? are they constantly fighting someone when offscreen?

As Sheppard i just woke up from 2 years of being dead, and now i need to get back in shape/adjust to my implants/get familiar with up to date weapons, so why are these getting better at the same rate as i am, did they die and get rebuilt aswell?

And as Adam Jensen (if there is scaling enemies, i hope not), i just had my arms hacked of and my levels/skills are about me getting more familiar with them, did everyone else get new augmentations at the same time as i did?

And for Oblivion, just why are these rats so though? I swear i was fighting demons weaker than them just a week ago, and those demons had demolished a bloody walled city!

pringlepower
10th Aug 2010, 13:57
It's the same as British spelling, as far as I know.

As for Bioware, no I'm not counting ME2. I don't know why you're going into all out CAPS attack mode on the overhead view, for your information Bioware *made* their reputation making top-down 3/4 view games using their infinity engine. Baldur's Gate 1&2 have to rank as two of the greatest games ever made. If you can't understand why people might like to continue playing an RPG with a modicum of tactical consideration, then there really is little point in prolonging the conversation.

All caps is so much funnnnnnn

It's an American-British-French combination. British tyre, lorry, petrol and kerb, Canadian tire, truck, gasoline and curb. American favorite, Canadian favourite.

No I understand. In fact I was freaking out when I saw the first lines of the announcement. Being the Bioware nut that I am, I was instantly furious that they'd tamper with a game that I poured hundreds of hours into and enjoyed deeply. But then, being the Bioware nut that I am, I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt, since they haven't let me down yet. I doubt the PC version's going to be hack and slash, and I'll wait to see how the new tactical camera works.

El Zoido
10th Aug 2010, 14:21
Level scaling, when done right, ensures that quests can be "right" difficulty at any level, preventing the player encountering too difficult enemies too soon, or getting bored by only fighting weak mobs with poor drops if leveling too fast.
Both are possibilities in an open gameworld.

BUT it is also unrealistic (why should the whole world revolve around you) and you loose some sense of progress, which is one very rewarding factor in an rpg.

Problem is that e.g. Oblivion used level scaling in a downright silly way (why are suddenly all enemies equipped with glass/ebony armors/weapons, which is supposed to be very rare and valuable after all?)
The amount of level scaling Bethesda employed in Morrowind or Fallout is much more reasonable.

However, I don't really see a reason why HR would need level scaling as it will probably not use an open world as those games mentioned above (or did I miss something?).

Pretentious Old Man.
10th Aug 2010, 17:57
All caps is so much funnnnnnn

It's an American-British-French combination. British tyre, lorry, petrol and kerb, Canadian tire, truck, gasoline and curb. American favorite, Canadian favourite.

No I understand. In fact I was freaking out when I saw the first lines of the announcement. Being the Bioware nut that I am, I was instantly furious that they'd tamper with a game that I poured hundreds of hours into and enjoyed deeply. But then, being the Bioware nut that I am, I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt, since they haven't let me down yet. I doubt the PC version's going to be hack and slash, and I'll wait to see how the new tactical camera works.

lol, fair enough!

If you haven't played Baldur's Gate 2, I can highly recommend it anyway. The game that really put "Bio Ware" on the map! :)

Pretentious Old Man.
10th Aug 2010, 17:59
Level scaling, when done right, ensures that quests can be "right" difficulty at any level, preventing the player encountering too difficult enemies too soon, or getting bored by only fighting weak mobs with poor drops if leveling too fast.
Both are possibilities in an open gameworld.

BUT it is also unrealistic (why should the whole world revolve around you) and you loose some sense of progress, which is one very rewarding factor in an rpg.

Problem is that e.g. Oblivion used level scaling in a downright silly way (why are suddenly all enemies equipped with glass/ebony armors/weapons, which is supposed to be very rare and valuable after all?)
The amount of level scaling Bethesda employed in Morrowind or Fallout is much more reasonable.

However, I don't really see a reason why HR would need level scaling as it will probably not use an open world as those games mentioned above (or did I miss something?).

True, but I was talking the broader sense of simplification and lazy design between Morrowind and Oblivion, not just the notorious auto-leveller.

Lo Bruto
13th Aug 2010, 00:12
I might be alone in this one, but I still think Oblivion was more of a letdown than IW.

Cronstintein
13th Aug 2010, 00:55
I didn't play oblivion until years after it came out. Considering all the hype, I was disappointed. I would have MUCH preferred a baldur's gate 3, bad graphics and everything.

Pretentious Old Man.
13th Aug 2010, 01:00
Lo Bruto: Thing is, both developers dropped SO many hints that what they were doing was going to be consolised a lot. Certainly they are very comparable, but I can still play 'blivi, whereas I can't play IW.

Cronstintein: I would have preferred a BG3 to virtually any other game at all! :) Hated NWN, 1 and 2.

pringlepower
13th Aug 2010, 01:28
Lo Bruto: Thing is, both developers dropped SO many hints that what they were doing was going to be consolised a lot. Certainly they are very comparable, but I can still play 'blivi, whereas I can't play IW.

Cronstintein: I would have preferred a BG3 to virtually any other game at all! :) Hated NWN, 1 and 2.

Really? It's not like they simplified too much (other than the party). Something about NWN rubbed me the wrong way though... not sure. Could never make it out of Neverwinter. I always got a sick feeling.

El Zoido
13th Aug 2010, 12:39
NWN1 was a bit of a letdown to me, too.
I always though that it actually looked worse than BG's old Infinity engine - and much more unbelievable due to some engine limitations and the art style.
Story wasn't very good either.
It only took off for me after playing the add-ons (for some reason I really liked SoU) and some nice mods - indeed this was the only thing that seemed better than BG to me.

NWN2 on the other hand is often somewhat underrated IMHO. It's looking quite good (although age begins to show) and the OC was ok (still not BG level though).
And then there's MotB, which, at least for me, has a story on par with games like BG and at times even Planescape.
SoZ is again totally different. Story is only average and it lacks polish, but the party-centered approach feels much more like an P&P-RPG than other cRPGs.
Add some mods and you get a pretty nice game overall.

pringlepower
13th Aug 2010, 14:48
NWN1 was a bit of a letdown to me, too.
I always though that it actually looked worse than BG's old Infinity engine - and much more unbelievable due to some engine limitations and the art style.
Story wasn't very good either.
It only took off for me after playing the add-ons (for some reason I really liked SoU) and some nice mods - indeed this was the only thing that seemed better than BG to me.

NWN2 on the other hand is often somewhat underrated IMHO. It's looking quite good (although age begins to show) and the OC was ok (still not BG level though).
And then there's MotB, which, at least for me, has a story on par with games like BG and at times even Planescape.
SoZ is again totally different. Story is only average and it lacks polish, but the party-centered approach feels much more like an P&P-RPG than other cRPGs.
Add some mods and you get a pretty nice game overall.

NWN was at that threshold where the new low-poly 3d engine looked really really bad compared to the "antiquated" and polished 2d style it succeeded. Also, being spoiled by Bioware games, I felt really lonely with only a single party member. And I couldn't even sleep with them.

Curse you Bioware, now I'll never have a real girlfriend.

Cronstintein
13th Aug 2010, 20:52
Never liked NWN myself. I would say Dragon Age is a spiritual successor with the talkative party. Unfortunately half of them were kind of lame to talk to. Morgan, Alistair and the golem were pretty sweet though.

pringlepower
13th Aug 2010, 21:10
Never liked NWN myself. I would say Dragon Age is a spiritual successor with the talkative party. Unfortunately half of them were kind of lame to talk to. Morgan, Alistair and the golem were pretty sweet though.

I didn't mind the pervert, or the French

Romeo
14th Aug 2010, 06:41
NWN was at that threshold where the new low-poly 3d engine looked really really bad compared to the "antiquated" and polished 2d style it succeeded. Also, being spoiled by Bioware games, I felt really lonely with only a single party member. And I couldn't even sleep with them.

Curse you Bioware, now I'll never have a real girlfriend.
Bah, girls have cooties anyways. Stick to videogames - they'll get you places. ;)

sharpie
17th Aug 2010, 11:35
Didn't read thread, just replying to TC here.

The truth about hate/love for oblivion and F3 is this:

If you like TES or Fallout, you didn't like oblivion or F3

If you never played TES or Fallout, you loved oblivion or F3

That being said you made some valid points on oblivion however at the same time I thought it was a mind blowing game in many aspects and I also think some of your points could be argued against as well.

*edit* glanced at topic and saw talk of how some people in DA:O weren't fun to talk to.

I kicked Morrigan out of my party so quickly that the game wasn't even ready for it. Seriously, I got to my first town and she had dialogue, her voice was being cast and I could interact (chat select) with her through the 'cut-scene' but she wasn't physically there and Alistar was talking to the wind.

El Zoido
17th Aug 2010, 13:45
The truth about hate/love for oblivion and F3 is this:

If you like TES or Fallout, you didn't like oblivion or F3

If you never played TES or Fallout, you loved oblivion or F3



I liked both Morrowind AND Oblivion, same for F1 through F3.
That being said, for me to really enjoy them, MW and Oblivion needed a couple of mods.

Did anyone try Nehrim (TC for Oblivion) by the way?

pringlepower
17th Aug 2010, 13:51
Didn't read thread, just replying to TC here.

The truth about hate/love for oblivion and F3 is this:

If you like TES or Fallout, you didn't like oblivion or F3

If you never played TES or Fallout, you loved oblivion or F3

That being said you made some valid points on oblivion however at the same time I thought it was a mind blowing game in many aspects and I also think some of your points could be argued against as well.

*edit* glanced at topic and saw talk of how some people in DA:O weren't fun to talk to.

I kicked Morrigan out of my party so quickly that the game wasn't even ready for it. Seriously, I got to my first town and she had dialogue, her voice was being cast and I could interact (chat select) with her through the 'cut-scene' but she wasn't physically there and Alistar was talking to the wind.

Having replayed Fallout 2 since the restoration patch came out in July, I gotta say... I prefer Fallout 3.

Still Morrowind over Oblivion though, but they were both fun.