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View Full Version : Bethesda: Consoles to be the lead platform for Skyrim, aim to make it “accessible"



pakoito
08-06-2011, 05:02 PM
http://www.gamersmint.com/bethesda-consoles-to-be-the-lead-platform-for-skyrim-aim-to-make-it-really-accessible

Tears from this line onwards
____

cjlr
08-06-2011, 05:10 PM
What a shame. Down with this sort of thing.

jackspade
08-06-2011, 05:11 PM
Am I the only one getting a dead link then?

Wizardry
08-06-2011, 05:12 PM
So like Oblivion then?

Lightbulb
08-06-2011, 05:14 PM
Since I don't play Bethesda games until about 50,000 mods have come out so long as its still modable (read fixable) I'm not too worried.

pakoito
08-06-2011, 05:16 PM
Am I the only one getting a dead link then?DDoS by reddit fame, rety later.

G915
08-06-2011, 05:17 PM
Since I don't play Bethesda games until about 50,000 mods have come out so long as its still modable (read fixable) I'm not too worried.
This.

But it's still a shame I've always viewed RPGs as PC's last dominion....

Man Raised By Puffins
08-06-2011, 05:19 PM
So like Oblivion then?
And Fallout 3. Not really seeing the problem here.

thegooseking
08-06-2011, 05:19 PM
For most games, this would be a bad thing.

But for The Elder Scrolls, an interface that's good for consoles would still be better than what the previous titles had.

cjlr
08-06-2011, 05:23 PM
This is what it says.


In an interview with CVG (http://www.computerandvideogames.com/306184/news/video-interview-the-elder-scrolls-skyrim/), Bethesda’s Craig Lafferty said that Skyrim has been developed with consoles as the lead target.
The lead producer on Skyrim said: “We use the consoles as our lead SKU… So we develop towards the consoles and then porting to PC is usually not too bad actually .”
The above comments are likely to cause PC gamers a bit of grief, and the next thing on Craig Lafferty’s mind was unlikely to appease them.
“We wanted to take it and make it really accessible,” the producer said.“… We still have the complexity behind the scenes, but we wanted to make it so that you could pick up the controller and play and it was easy; the average person could get into it…We knew we wanted to make the user interface a little bit more open and available … get away from the stats and things like that.”
Hopefully this doesn’t mean we will be getting a dumbed down version of the RPG, but rather a slicker and more streamlined game. Simplifying RPG’s usually equates to commercial success, but also causes a split in your core audience, as we saw with Dragon Age 2. Bethesda will have to make sure they don’t alienate its established fan base in its quest to please the “average person”.


That's actually from the interview <a href="http://www.computerandvideogames.com/306184/news/video-interview-the-elder-scrolls-skyrim/">here</a>.

vinraith
08-06-2011, 05:26 PM
I'm not clear on how this is markedly different from what they did with Oblivion. It's certainly frustrating, but the key question as always is "will modding be supported?" If no, no sale, if yes, most of this damage should be repairable.

Vexing Vision
08-06-2011, 05:29 PM
But... but... I love the Elder Scrolls lore ever since Daggerfall.... [*insert sound of heart breaking*] I... I even played your silly Redguard game with that horrible swordfighting (but great puzzles)... [*insert sound of uncontrolled sobbing*] .... I... I upgraded my computer for you (and Witcher 2, but you've always been on my mind)...

This... this genuinely hurts.


Let's hack and shutdown PSN again until all consoles burn and break and kill their owners.

8-bit
08-06-2011, 05:35 PM
I wasn't going to get it anyway, Bethesta make impressive massive open worlds but fill them with the most unimaginative characters/story, along with some of the worst dry and dreary writing I have seen in games. I don't see why people are fussed about it, they aren't very good rpgs and never have been, but you get to fight dragons so I guess it must be goty.

duff
08-06-2011, 05:38 PM
Everyone grab a weapon and destroy the nearest console. They can't cater for them if they don't exist?

pakoito
08-06-2011, 06:03 PM
It's not about the interface or the control, and maybe not even about the stats and perks and skilltrees. It's about the story, character development and design choices. Consolegamers have all ADHD, you cannot stick them with a pure sneaky or diplomatic game, the closer you can get is Press A for Awesome cutscenes. Also they need to be handholded through it or else they may feel lost and go back to Dragon Age 2.

One dood in reddit after being told that it's not about the interface but the roleplaying:


What role playing part? The part where you play a character? How do stats have anything to do with this? Why do people need to see the numbers? Oblivion had far too many stats. I needed a god damn note book to mark down how many level ups I had in a certain attribute skill tree, so I would know when I could actually level. That ian't immersive.

Ice-Fyre
08-06-2011, 06:54 PM
Oh well! At least I've still got Morrowind

laneford
08-06-2011, 07:01 PM
It's not about the interface or the control, and maybe not even about the stats and perks and skilltrees. It's about the story, character development and design choices. Consolegamers have all ADHD, you cannot stick them with a pure sneaky or diplomatic game, the closer you can get is Press A for Awesome cutscenes. Also they need to be handholded through it or else they may feel lost and go back to Dragon Age 2.

Oh as a CONSOLEGAMER I didn't realise I was stupid (http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-03-02-the-last-guardian-preview) and had ADHD (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/02/22/igf-factor-2010-limbo/) Thanks for clearing this up Pakoito.

All PC gamers are ENTIRELY SENSIBLE and NOT AT ALL REACTIONARY and POSSESS SUPERB ATTENTION SPANS AND POWERS OF (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/03/29/crysis-2-technical-analysis/)READING. (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/03/29/crysis-2-technical-analysis/)

Vin; In alec's article he clearly says that Modding is fully supported so I'd hope that's still the case.

vinraith
08-06-2011, 07:07 PM
Vin; In alec's article he clearly says that Modding is fully supported so I'd hope that's still the case.

I missed that somehow, thanks for the clarification.

_Jackalope_
08-06-2011, 07:09 PM
What the hell? Where did that guy learn to do PR?

Mouth of 10000 Teeth
08-06-2011, 07:13 PM
Now I've discovered I'm stupid and need everything spelled out to me and like things to be really easy and and and and have no attention span, can I go back to playing Demon Souls?

pakoito
08-06-2011, 07:30 PM
Now I've discovered I'm stupid and need everything spelled out to me and like things to be really easy and and and and have no attention span, can I go back to playing Demon Souls?
So what? you're one on the millions. If I'm generalizing I'm generalizing, if you like cake it doesn't mean that all consolegamers like cake. But they do love their dumbed-down games and that's reflected on sales.

Mouth of 10000 Teeth
08-06-2011, 07:33 PM
I think that's a generalisation so vast it doesn't really tell us much. I mean, it isn't like CoD or Oblivion or <insert dumbed down game example here> didn't sell shedloads on the PC as well.

pakoito
08-06-2011, 07:40 PM
Oh as a CONSOLEGAMER I didn't realise I was stupid (http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-03-02-the-last-guardian-preview) and had ADHD (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/02/22/igf-factor-2010-limbo/) Thanks for clearing this up Pakoito.

All PC gamers are ENTIRELY SENSIBLE and NOT AT ALL REACTIONARY and POSSESS SUPERB ATTENTION SPANS AND POWERS OF (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/03/29/crysis-2-technical-analysis/)READING. (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/03/29/crysis-2-technical-analysis/)

Vin; In alec's article he clearly says that Modding is fully supported so I'd hope that's still the case.

Just From Today:
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/06/08/new-gaming-system-revealed-at-e3/
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/06/08/bobby-koticks-provocation-corner/

thegooseking
08-06-2011, 07:41 PM
So what? you're one on the millions. If I'm generalizing I'm generalizing, if you like cake it doesn't mean that all consolegamers like cake. But they do love their dumbed-down games and that's reflected on sales.

http://www.chart-track.co.uk/index.jsp?c=p/software/uk/latest/index_test.jsp&ct=110027

Latest sales chart for Xbox 360. Having actually bothered to play the #1 game there, rather than deciding that it must be stupid since it's on the console and it's on the console because it's stupid, I can tell you that it is not a game friendly to people with ADHD. It is also, funnily enough, a game that is not even available on the PC, whereas many of the less attention-requiring games on the chart are.

Drake Sigar
08-06-2011, 07:42 PM
No. You can’t take a franchise which has had strong PC roots for decades, rip it out of the ground, and then plant it in the console garden. I forbid it, Bethesda. You hear me? I forbid it!

Rossignol
08-06-2011, 07:46 PM
I'm getting tired of anti-console bicker threads. I'll start locking them on sight fairly soon. Sooner if people don't start reigning in the pointless prejudicial jabber.

Yes, consoles are holding PCs back on the level technology. However, the choices on the part of designers to make stuff less complex is to do with mass appeal, commercial pressure, and the belief in elegance in simplicity in design circles. It would still be happening if the PC was the only game platform.

I know the hivemind can be fairly catty towards other platforms, but the truth is we all play console games, and enjoy them when they are good, which they sometimes are.

frenz0rz
08-06-2011, 08:03 PM
Its really not that big deal, in all honesty. Bethesda would be fools to develop a game that didn't try to appeal to as many people as possible.

"But Morrowind!", I've heard cried since the first complaints about Oblivion; things like it's chunkier interface or its more limited skill-base. "Morrowind was perfect!" Morrowind was not perfect. In fact, it was pretty badly flawed quite a few ways. What so many remember Morrowind best for was it's varied, fascinating, and detailed world that we all associate with the Elder Scrolls series - and that is something that can be accomplished regardless of how much Bethesda decides to design a game with the console market in mind.

Besides, I'm sick of people spouting crap about 'consolisation'. That is not a thing. It does not exist. The fact is that far more people are playing games than a decade ago, and developers looking to capture that market need to bear accessiblity in mind. Take Mass Effect 2 - the traditional Bioware RPG features involving huge inventories and complex character management were simplified for ease of playing, and the game was all the better for it. That doesnt mean that all games should be forcibly made with less complicated features. But in that case, it worked very well.

Ah, I could yammer on about this sort of thing all, day, but it wont do any good. People's prejudices will remain the same. All I can do is be thankful that there are developers out there who are willing to break from the 'tradition' of their genre or series and actually try something new.

Wizardry
08-06-2011, 08:13 PM
It's ironic that people bitch about consolisation when there are far more turn-based RPGs on consoles than the PC. Games getting watered down is nothing to do with the PC/console divide. There are just as many PC gamers with simple tastes as there are console gamers, relatively speaking.

Though some of you do have a point about game interfaces. That is definitely a very real problem. Fundamentally different control schemes require fundamentally different interfaces. You can't get around that.

thegooseking
08-06-2011, 08:23 PM
Besides, I'm sick of people spouting crap about 'consolisation'. That is not a thing. It does not exist. The fact is that far more people are playing games than a decade ago, and developers looking to capture that market need to bear accessiblity in mind. Take Mass Effect 2 - the traditional Bioware RPG features involving huge inventories and complex character management were simplified for ease of playing, and the game was all the better for it. That doesnt mean that all games should be forcibly made with less complicated features. But in that case, it worked very well.

I was thinking about this earlier, actually. I think the necessity for streamlining isn't so much that things need to be simpler, but that our concept of interfaces and mechanics has evolved in a very real sense: Just like in real evolution, systems are jammed together in a sort of big blob of gamey-wamey... stuff. Look at the human brain. We have a hindbrain, a midbrain, and a forebrain; three largely separate systems that have been somehow evolutionarily jury-rigged to work together, sometimes with less than satisfactory results.

Games, like evolutionary biology, have always worked with What Has Come Before, with new features and ideas being sort of shoehorned in rather than being contemplated as part of a whole. This happens in games to a lesser degree than it happens in biology, because games are (ahem) designed in themselves, but it still happens.

Streamlining gives us an opportunity to add complexity deliberately given a more mature understanding of gaming, rather than having it evolve pretty much accidentally by fumbling in the dark.

_Jackalope_
08-06-2011, 08:24 PM
I have no issue with the idea of simplifying or streamlining an interface, but the guys choice of words is very poor. It does make it sound like they consider it to be a two-tier system and PC gamers are lucky to still be getting Elder Scrolls games. While we are lucky they haven't decided to skip doing PC games like other late PC developers, sounding smug about it isn't very ingratiating to customers. I'm looking forward to Skyrim, I've enjoyed all the Elder Scrolls games.

frenz0rz
08-06-2011, 08:31 PM
Games, like evolutionary biology, have always worked with What Has Come Before, with new features and ideas being sort of shoehorned in rather than being contemplated as part of a whole. This happens in games to a lesser degree than it happens in biology, because games are (ahem) designed in themselves, but it still happens.

Streamlining gives us an opportunity to add complexity deliberately given a more mature understanding of gaming, rather than having it evolve pretty much accidentally by fumbling in the dark.

Guhwuhbuhwha? Wow. I never actually thought about it like that, but when you put it that way, it makes perfect sense. Why stick with 'traditional' features and concepts like those that have more or less defined the whole 'RPG' gaming genre for decades, when you can start from scratch, simplify everything, and then gradually build them again from the ground up with reason and deliberation? Granted thats probably not exactly what is happening with Skyrim, but that sure is an interesting way of thinking about game design.

Gorgol
08-06-2011, 08:35 PM
but the truth is we all play console games

I don't.


I'm getting tired of anti-console bicker threads. I'll start locking them on sight fairly soon. Sooner if people don't start reigning in the pointless prejudicial jabber.Ok there Mr Ironfist Censorship.. Go ahead and do that on your brand new forums, few people if any will care I bet. But let's hope you don't start getting all heavy handed on the blog side of things, 'cos I think that would at least significantly dent the popularity of RPS.

EDIT: and oh, my interest in SKyrim suddenly went from 8/10 to -1/10 after reading that article. Jeez.

frenz0rz
08-06-2011, 08:36 PM
I have no issue with the idea of simplifying or streamlining an interface, but the guys choice of words is very poor. It does make it sound like they consider it to be a two-tier system and PC gamers are lucky to still be getting Elder Scrolls games. While we are lucky they haven't decided to skip doing PC games like other late PC developers, sounding smug about it isn't very ingratiating to customers. I'm looking forward to Skyrim, I've enjoyed all the Elder Scrolls games.

True, and therein lies the problem with marketing a game as 'primarily' for console or PC - you cant then market it to the 'ported' platform without making them sound like second-class citizens.

Rossignol
08-06-2011, 09:38 PM
I wasn't talking about you, Gorgol, I was talking about the four RPS writers. Also I think you are unaware of how heavy-handed we already are. We delete a great deal of stuff that we regard as nonsense. Don't think that there is freedom of speech here, there isn't. We invite people to speak, but not to be boring, or vitriolic, or cruel. And a policy of censorship - that you don't even seem to have noticed - hasn't significantly dented the popularity of RPS.

pakoito
08-06-2011, 09:44 PM
I'll keep my trolling in other sites, I don't want to screw my good relationship with RPS.

Also, Jim, you ""owe"" me one Nehrim review :p

Wizardry
08-06-2011, 09:51 PM
We invite people to speak, but not to be boring...
Can you make an exception for me?

hamster
08-06-2011, 09:52 PM
Has anyone actually read the interview? He talked about streamlining the stats and interface. Streamlining the interface can only be a good thing. As for the stats (attributes & a few skills), their reduction doesn't really reduce the scope of the game. Indeed if you guys have kept up with the previews on the game (WHICH ARE FEATURED ON RPS SO NO EXCUSES) you would realize that things have actually gotten quite a bit more complex - instead of meaningless numbers incrementally affecting basically nothing but raw damage output (the magic skills are even worse, they only open further access every 25 points) now there are many perks which change the game experience qualitatively i.e. substantively, AND they are tied to the existing skills. So I think you guys are really over reacting to the words.

Drake Sigar
08-06-2011, 09:58 PM
Can we replace ‘streamlining’ with something else? Dragon Age 2 has ruined that word for me.

baboonanza
08-06-2011, 10:23 PM
I wasn't talking about you, Gorgol, I was talking about the four RPS writers. Also I think you are unaware of how heavy-handed we already are. We delete a great deal of stuff that we regard as nonsense. Don't think that there is freedom of speech here, there isn't. We invite people to speak, but not to be boring, or vitriolic, or cruel. And a policy of censorship - that you don't even seem to have noticed - hasn't significantly dented the popularity of RPS.
Hell, that's one of the reasons like it

Wizardry
08-06-2011, 10:27 PM
Has anyone actually read the interview? He talked about streamlining the stats and interface. Streamlining the interface can only be a good thing. As for the stats (attributes & a few skills), their reduction doesn't really reduce the scope of the game. Indeed if you guys have kept up with the previews on the game (WHICH ARE FEATURED ON RPS SO NO EXCUSES) you would realize that things have actually gotten quite a bit more complex - instead of meaningless numbers incrementally affecting basically nothing but raw damage output (the magic skills are even worse, they only open further access every 25 points) now there are many perks which change the game experience qualitatively i.e. substantively, AND they are tied to the existing skills. So I think you guys are really over reacting to the words.
No offence but that's not necessarily a good thing. I, for one, dislike the dismissal of largely numerical CRPG systems as seen in games like Wizardry 8 in favour of the click-a-button-and-unlock-an-ability system popularised by perhaps Diablo II. For one it makes it harder to compare and evaluate between relative strengths and weaknesses of different targets and your very own characters.

deano2099
09-06-2011, 12:05 AM
Right. It's moddable so there will be a UI mod out within a week to PCify it.

By the time the Goatee version is out, there will be mods that pull the whole system out and rebuild it (Oblivion has a mod which changes the whole game to give out XP and have manual level ups ferchrisake).

But of course, this is awful, because those PC-led RPGs like Dragon Age had such complex systems...

You know what? Final Fantasy IV through XIII all had more complex character development and battle systems than any "PC-led" RPG, or indeed any mainstream Western RPG in the past decade. So all this talk about console RPGs dumbing down is nonsense. It's a choice being made by Bioware and Bethesda. And until Final Fantasy stops selling gangbusters, that'll remain true.

Wizardry
09-06-2011, 12:10 AM
You know what? Final Fantasy IV through XIII all had more complex character development and battle systems than any "PC-led" RPG, or indeed any mainstream Western RPG in the past decade. So all this talk about console RPGs dumbing down is nonsense. It's a choice being made by Bioware and Bethesda. And until Final Fantasy stops selling gangbusters, that'll remain true.
Temple of Elemental Evil?

pakoito
09-06-2011, 12:17 AM
You know what? Final Fantasy IV through XIII all had more complex [...] battle systems than any "PC-led" RPG, or indeed any mainstream Western RPG in the past decade.I'm sorry, what? Fixed levelups and mash A to attack any mob, cycle DPS-Heal skills on bosses, and obfuscated random damage formulas is a complex system now? Any rpg involving positioning has more depth than that.

deano2099
09-06-2011, 12:30 AM
Temple of Elemental Evil?

Ahh okay you got me. And maybe NWN2 to be fair, though that just had a progression system that confused the hell out of anyone unfamiliar with DnD.


I'm sorry, what? Fixed levelups and mash A to attack any mob, cycle DPS-Heal skills on bosses, and obfuscated random damage formulas is a complex system now? Any rpg involving positioning has more depth than that.
See here is where you have to be careful as complex is not the same as difficult. The Final Fantasy games in general have hugely complex equipment, advancement and combat systems. It's just 95% of the game is so piss-easy you don't have to bother with any of that. The latest one has this monolithic item upgrade system that you can just ignore and finish the game easily with.

It's only with the optional bosses that the system has to be stressed and optimised as a general rule.

pakoito
09-06-2011, 01:14 AM
I think it may be complex but not as deep or strategic, whatever you want to call it. Strategic choices like positioning or avoid damaging allies or use of the scenary are non existent, but something more like a minmax question "which skill does now more damage for the less mana? do I have to heal the mage or the warrior?". That's what I meant by DPS-Heal cycling. If the boss is scripted you way want to choose Ice++ instead of Fire++ when his fireshield is on, but that's as much thought as I've had to give to this games.

soldant
09-06-2011, 01:37 AM
I'm not seeing how this is a big deal. Oblivion was more or less the same. What it sounds like is a UI change so that stats are more meaningful and less D&D. Of course I don't know how you could actually manage to make the stats in Oblivion easier to understand, but it's not a total loss.

deano2099
09-06-2011, 01:55 AM
I think it may be complex but not as deep or strategic, whatever you want to call it. Strategic choices like positioning or avoid damaging allies or use of the scenary are non existent, but something more like a minmax question "which skill does now more damage for the less mana? do I have to heal the mage or the warrior?". That's what I meant by DPS-Heal cycling. If the boss is scripted you way want to choose Ice++ instead of Fire++ when his fireshield is on, but that's as much thought as I've had to give to this games.

I don't see positioning as a major factor in most Western RPGs either. It's essentially: don't stand in the fire. Very few actually use scenery. Many of the FF games let you choose front or back row for characters, which is essentially what you do in the Western games. Sure, you can move freely, but ultimately you're either in the fire or you're not.

The only exceptions are your Kings Bounty style strategy RPGs, which again, are huge on consoles too.

Wizardry
09-06-2011, 02:28 AM
Hmm. Why are you talking about western RPGs as if there are none with blob combat (no individual character movement in combat)? The reason why the majority of JRPGs like Final Fantasy have blob combat is because Wizardry had blob combat. In other words, there are loads of western RPGs with blob combat. Wizardry, The Bard's Tale, Wasteland, Dragon Wars, Might and Magic, Phantasie etc.

So basically, things can be compared more fairly. Western RPGs with blob combat, to JRPGs with blob combat. Western CRPGs with individual character movement during combat, to JRPGs with individual character movement in combat. But as we aren't discussing JRPGs vs western CRPGs, what's the point? I thought you guys were discussing whether blob combat can be more tactical than non-blob combat. If so, then forget the western/Japan divide and stick with good examples.

Wizardry 8 vs Temple of Elemental Evil, for two relatively new games.

Which is more tactical? Temple of Elemental Evil is. Why? Well, mainly because you can position characters individually in combat. You see, positioning hugely increases tactical depth. It just does. However, the advantage of Wizardry 8 is that it's more down to pure statistics vs statistics than tactics. Blob combat has its advantages, but individual character movement during combat will be present in the most tactical systems.

Thelionheart
09-06-2011, 05:07 AM
It seems as if this discussion has now gone more or less into Meta-game mechanics. I see that simplification is gernerally a bad thing IE Mass Effect 1 to Mass Effect 2. However if they still keep all of those RPG elements that we know and love the meta game will still have crazy amounts of possibilities. My best case for this argument is Pokemon. Pokemon is really really simple to just pick up and play, but if you look at the pokefreaks and how complex the game actually is it can be surprising. Here's a picture of some of the craziness of Pokemon's meta-game
.12

Additionally, some old school D&D pen and paper mechanics are freaking insane. This article is a way of calculating experience. (http://www.campaignmastery.com/blog/a-different-experience/)
granted, D&D is pretty freaking complex. So in all honesty I wouldn't freak too much over the oversimplification of the RPG elements in Skyrim. If Pokemon can have that huge of a meta-game then I think it's safe to say Skyrim's will have plenty enough complexity.

Lightbulb
09-06-2011, 08:39 AM
I don't [play console games].

Hurragh for out of context quotes.

[We 4 of the Hivemind] all play console games.

Unless I'm mistaken you're not an owner of this website? Could be wrong of course...

---------

I think its basically the same as Fallout 3 and TESIV. I wouldn't say they were fantastic yet still pour 50+ hours into them. So long as they have open worlds and moddability its no problem.

deano2099
09-06-2011, 10:17 AM
But as we aren't discussing JRPGs vs western CRPGs, what's the point?

The point is that FF12 sold 5.6 million and Dragon Age Origins did about 3.5 million. The former was console only and had more complex mechanics, in my opinion.

So people equating console-centric releases with "dumbing down" of mechanics are barking up the wrong tree.

pakoito
09-06-2011, 11:34 AM
The point is that FF12 sold 5.6 million and Dragon Age Origins did about 3.5 million. The former was console only and had more complex mechanics, in my opinion.

So people equating console-centric releases with "dumbing down" of mechanics are barking up the wrong tree.Temple of Elemental Evil sold under 100.000 copies and has ten times more depth than any FF. What's your point here boy? That streamlined highly advertised long-time-old-saga of fanboyized JRPGs are more deep because they sell better and the obfuscated formulae makes you think it's not about minmaxing spells?

Anyway we're not talking about complexity, even chess can be considered a complex system if looked at for enough time, but depth. That is options available in combat, how you strategize fights. Maybe the spellcount and customization are more wide in FF than some PC implementations of Pen & Paper but in the end the combat in FF is bland and all about minmaxing, there's no depth or need for a grand strategy other than keeping your guys alive while cycling your highest DPS spellset.

Now, if you want to glorify FFXIII as the greatest GRAND STRATEGY game of all time, be my guest.


@Wizardry:

I made this a war between blob vs D&D, more or less. The guy talked about FF and not Fire Emblem or Disgaea.

deano2099
09-06-2011, 12:17 PM
Temple of Elemental Evil sold under 100.000 copies and has ten times more depth than any FF. What's your point here boy?

Probably because ToEE was rubbish (but thankfully modable). My point, Dad, is that mechanically complex RPGs can sell very well indeed on consoles. To the point that they are still being made, just almost entirely in the JRPG genre.

Ergo, Bioware and Bethesda's dumbing down of the systems in western RPGs is an attempt to make them more accessible and appeal to a wider audience *on all formats*. This "ooh it's being consoleified" and "ooh it's being dumbed down for the ADHD console generation" is complete twaddle.

I'm not making a value judgement here, I'm not even saying whether I think what they're doing is a good or a bad thing, I'm just saying it's not all the fault of the evil consoles because there are plenty of more complex RPG systems than what Bioware do that sell pretty damn well on console.

And yes, much of the complexity in a lot of FF games is min-maxing character development and gear choices. Which, y'know, happen to be two of the big things that people are moaning were taken out of ME2 and DA2. According to some, the inventory/loot system and companion equipping were removed from these games to make them more console friendly. Yet by your own admission the best selling RPG on consoles has a combat system based entirely around those mechanics.

Basilicus
09-06-2011, 01:15 PM
I'm going to be crazy here and admit that I've played both PC and console games that were deep, complex, and obsessively tactical. Horror is the wheelhouse of PC, but I've yet to see a PC developer make something as dynamic as Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem. PC has never successfully brandished anything as weird as Killer 7. Demon's Souls is the game everyone keeps wishing Gothic/Risen/Oblivion/Two Worlds could manage to be. The best storylines in the last few years of gaming, Mass Effect and Red Dead Redemption, are from console-driven games.

One platform is hardly better than the other, unless you want to talk technical capabilities or deeper possibilities for control schemes, in which PC is clearly light years ahead. As for the gameplay, design, and storytelling capabilities of developers on the different platforms, let's please stop pretending PC holds some high ground. I myself prefer PC - 95% of my gaming is done there - but it is not better or worse when it comes to complexity or depth.

EDIT: One more thing - let's stop blaming the ME1 to ME2 changes on consoles. ME2 was developed simultaneously for PC, whereas the ME1 port didn't come out until nearly one year after the console releases. Let's use real facts, please!

thegooseking
09-06-2011, 01:39 PM
One platform is hardly better than the other, unless you want to talk technical capabilities or deeper possibilities for control schemes, in which PC is clearly light years ahead. As for the gameplay, design, and storytelling capabilities of developers on the different platforms, let's please stop pretending PC holds some high ground. I myself prefer PC - 95% of my gaming is done there - but it is not better or worse when it comes to complexity or depth.

Minor point of terminology: the PC is better at broader control schemes, not deeper control schemes. But I think the point is the same.

Wizardry
09-06-2011, 01:53 PM
Probably because ToEE was rubbish (but thankfully modable). My point, Dad, is that mechanically complex RPGs can sell very well indeed on consoles. To the point that they are still being made, just almost entirely in the JRPG genre.

Ergo, Bioware and Bethesda's dumbing down of the systems in western RPGs is an attempt to make them more accessible and appeal to a wider audience *on all formats*. This "ooh it's being consoleified" and "ooh it's being dumbed down for the ADHD console generation" is complete twaddle.

I'm not making a value judgement here, I'm not even saying whether I think what they're doing is a good or a bad thing, I'm just saying it's not all the fault of the evil consoles because there are plenty of more complex RPG systems than what Bioware do that sell pretty damn well on console.

And yes, much of the complexity in a lot of FF games is min-maxing character development and gear choices. Which, y'know, happen to be two of the big things that people are moaning were taken out of ME2 and DA2. According to some, the inventory/loot system and companion equipping were removed from these games to make them more console friendly. Yet by your own admission the best selling RPG on consoles has a combat system based entirely around those mechanics.
Pretty much.

It's ironic that people bitch about consolisation when there are far more turn-based RPGs on consoles than the PC. Games getting watered down is nothing to do with the PC/console divide. There are just as many PC gamers with simple tastes as there are console gamers, relatively speaking.

Though some of you do have a point about game interfaces. That is definitely a very real problem. Fundamentally different control schemes require fundamentally different interfaces. You can't get around that.

Wizardry
09-06-2011, 01:55 PM
Demon's Souls is the game everyone keeps wishing Gothic/Risen/Oblivion/Two Worlds could manage to be.
What am I reading?

hamster
09-06-2011, 04:09 PM
No offence but that's not necessarily a good thing. I, for one, dislike the dismissal of largely numerical CRPG systems as seen in games like Wizardry 8 in favour of the click-a-button-and-unlock-an-ability system popularised by perhaps Diablo II. For one it makes it harder to compare and evaluate between relative strengths and weaknesses of different targets and your very own characters.

Are we still talking about Skyrim? You don't get to see NPC/monster stats in any of the Elder Scrolls games.

Wizardry
09-06-2011, 04:59 PM
Are we still talking about Skyrim? You don't get to see NPC/monster stats in any of the Elder Scrolls games.
Of course not, but it's a problem usually caused by skill tree/perk-based character systems, though not as relevant in The Elder Scrolls as in other CRPGs.

The point is that Skyrim seems to have scrapped attributes and cut down on the skills (both numerical scales), but added perks (click to get a significant bonus). Personally, I'm not a big fan of systems where the majority of the character system revolves around choosing between different abilities abilities upon levelling up. Distributing skill points or increasing attributes offer a way of fine tuning your character over time rather than skimming through all of the perks, discarding the useless ones, then getting all the worthwhile ones.

Jeremy
09-06-2011, 07:03 PM
I don't see an issue with "accessibility" in games at all, and I don't see it as a form of catering to the consoles, or "dumbing down". Someone mentioned it, but it's just a natural result of game designers improving their abilities, and reducing complexity that doesn't actually add anything to a game. It's akin to the Dwarf Fortress UI. People love the "complexity" but in reality, it's not all that complex, just completely unintuitive. If you cleaned up the interface, DF would be a far easier game to grasp and play well. Which, I think would add boatloads of fun, since allowing people to actually focus on playing the game rather than learning an obscure menu system should be the goal. It wouldn't make the game difficulty easier (since the game is fairly based around losing), just far easier to pick up and play so that we could focus on the true meat of the game.

Out of these better systems, the false complexity fades away, and we can get right into the game. Perks, skill trees, stats, etc are much easier to figure out now, because games offer us information without forcing us to go to a handbook, or write down and track stats as we level up, and that might be where the real argument lies. We're upset that our "Good ol' Boys" club is getting new members. This doesn't mean the game is "dumbed-down" but, in my opinion, it's actually smarter. Games don't have to rely on false complexity to fill up time a person uses to play the game, and I think right now the genre is in a bit of a flux trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. There are outlets to fulfill our number crunching desires, but we shouldn't grab a pitchfork and torch every time a game comes out that doesn't have 39 stats and 712 skills.

Wizardry
09-06-2011, 07:21 PM
I don't see an issue with "accessibility" in games at all, and I don't see it as a form of catering to the consoles, or "dumbing down". Someone mentioned it, but it's just a natural result of game designers improving their abilities, and reducing complexity that doesn't actually add anything to a game. It's akin to the Dwarf Fortress UI. People love the "complexity" but in reality, it's not all that complex, just completely unintuitive. If you cleaned up the interface, DF would be a far easier game to grasp and play well. Which, I think would add boatloads of fun, since allowing people to actually focus on playing the game rather than learning an obscure menu system should be the goal. It wouldn't make the game difficulty easier (since the game is fairly based around losing), just far easier to pick up and play so that we could focus on the true meat of the game.

Out of these better systems, the false complexity fades away, and we can get right into the game. Perks, skill trees, stats, etc are much easier to figure out now, because games offer us information without forcing us to go to a handbook, or write down and track stats as we level up, and that might be where the real argument lies. We're upset that our "Good ol' Boys" club is getting new members. This doesn't mean the game is "dumbed-down" but, in my opinion, it's actually smarter. Games don't have to rely on false complexity to fill up time a person uses to play the game, and I think right now the genre is in a bit of a flux trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. There are outlets to fulfill our number crunching desires, but we shouldn't grab a pitchfork and torch every time a game comes out that doesn't have 39 stats and 712 skills.
So can you name me a new CRPG that will satisfy my number crunching desires?

Jeremy
09-06-2011, 07:36 PM
I'm not sure I could name one in the history of RPGs that could satisfy your number crunching desires :)

All joking aside though, what would be a game that you consider having the necessary complexity and number crunching? Just one, for a baseline so I could maybe know what you're looking for.

Wizardry
09-06-2011, 07:55 PM
Hmm. Wizardry VI, VII and 8? Any D&D game?

CuriousOrange
09-06-2011, 08:55 PM
It's ironic that people bitch about consolisation when there are far more turn-based RPGs on consoles than the PC. Games getting watered down is nothing to do with the PC/console divide. There are just as many PC gamers with simple tastes as there are console gamers, relatively speaking.

Though some of you do have a point about game interfaces. That is definitely a very real problem. Fundamentally different control schemes require fundamentally different interfaces. You can't get around that.

Wha..? There is nothing easier than a turn based RPG to be honest, I always thought they were designed for people who were crap at games but enjoyed the story. I certainly only play them for the stories as the combat is so tired and dull in them.

Number crunching isn't an RPG, it isn't immersive at all due to being so incredibly 'gamey'. I certainly enjoy a bit of number crunching myself, but they are essentially maths games not RPGs at all. Dungeons and Dragons etc is played the way it is due to limitations, not because there is no better way to simulate sword fights than rolling dice.

Wizardry
09-06-2011, 09:11 PM
And another one.

Jeremy
09-06-2011, 09:15 PM
Are we talking D&D, even along the lines of the Baldur's Gate series?

@CuriousOrange,

I would be careful, you might get lynched for saying number crunching isn't an RPG :) In all fairness though, RPGs did start out as number crunching games. Pen and paper today is still very number oriented, not that I've ever really gotten into it, I can at least appreciate their roots. Growing pains are, well, painful, and I think RPGs are changing now into something that a newer group of gamers are interested in, and honestly some of the die hards like Wizardry would rather things stay the way they used to. I don't say that as a bash, it's just hard to see something you love change into something that's very different.

deano2099
09-06-2011, 09:17 PM
So can you name me a new CRPG that will satisfy my number crunching desires?

It's a shame they've mostly dried up. Have you tried Desktop Dungeons? By no means an RPG but scratches that number-crunching itch. As do a lot a JRPGs, but as has been pointed out, that's mostly in character optimisation rather than actual fights.

Then there's the fact that Championship Manager is a game all about number crunching and one of the best-selling games ever. That whole appeal is still hugely present in other genres and games (SpaceChem, Starcraft even) it's just vanished from RPGs. Which is a tad odd.

Wizardry
09-06-2011, 09:31 PM
There's no point in recommending me CRPGs. I basically know the lot of them. It was more a rhetorical question.


Then there's the fact that Championship Manager is a game all about number crunching and one of the best-selling games ever. That whole appeal is still hugely present in other genres and games (SpaceChem, Starcraft even) it's just vanished from RPGs. Which is a tad odd.
And why do you think this is the case? Because it seems obvious to me. RPGs back in the old days were catering for two distinct groups, those who love an immersive setting with a strong narrative and plenty of well written characters, and those who want lots of numbers to allow them to define the character they want to play as. As time has moved on, the former group showed itself to be far more greater in number and far more valuable in the eyes of developers and publishers. Hence we get games produced by BioWare, Bethesda and Obsidian, and only a handful of independents releasing CRPGs with old-school gameplay. It's basically a dual audience.

TillEulenspiegel
09-06-2011, 09:48 PM
it's just hard to see something you love change into something that's very different.
Nothing's really changed, it's just that certain types of games aren't made anymore. Turn-based strategy of all sorts, Elite-style space sims (ok, except for X), long point+click adventure games. And that's fine. Big companies cater to popular tastes. But the decline of these genres is not evolution, nothing has taken their place; people who enjoyed them aren't necessarily satisfied by current offerings. And that's worth remembering, particularly as an opportunity for indies.

Jeremy
09-06-2011, 10:02 PM
I see what you're saying, and in my mind we're saying the same thing, just in a different way. I would say that because those specific types of games aren't being made anymore, something has changed, and different types of games are being made to fill in the gaps The number crunching RPGs of the 80s and 90s have been replaced by the character/story driven RPG of 2001 and beyond. RPG means something very different now than it has in the past.

vinraith
09-06-2011, 10:07 PM
certain types of games aren't made anymore. Turn-based strategy of all sorts

Firaxis (though Civ 5 is meh), AGEOD, Kerberos, Stardock (though Elemental sucks), Matrix (and their affiliates), Shrapnel (and their affiliates), and that's to say nothing of Paradox and Code Force who make strategy games so slow and pausable they might as well be turn based. There may not be a lot of mainstream activity in TBS, but the genre's alive and well in indie and wargaming quarters.

Wizardry
09-06-2011, 10:11 PM
I see what you're saying, and in my mind we're saying the same thing, just in a different way. I would say that because those specific types of games aren't being made anymore, something has changed, and different types of games are being made to fill in the gaps The number crunching RPGs of the 80s and 90s have been replaced by the character/story driven RPG of 2001 and beyond. RPG means something very different now than it has in the past.
Pretty much, though I don't like your choice of the phrase "story driven", because CRPGs have been story driven for a very long time. Modern games may be more story focused than older CRPGs, but they are equally story driven.


Firaxis (though Civ 5 is meh), AGEOD, Kerberos, Stardock (though Elemental sucks), Matrix (and their affiliates), Shrapnel (and their affiliates), and that's to say nothing of Paradox and Code Force who make strategy games so slow and pausable they might as well be turn based. There may not be a lot of mainstream activity in TBS, but the genre's alive and well in indie and wargaming quarters.
Exactly. Which also makes me wonder why there are hardly any turn-based RPGs being made outside of consoles/handhelds.

vinraith
09-06-2011, 10:15 PM
Exactly. Which also makes me wonder why there are hardly any turn-based RPGs being made outside of consoles/handhelds.

You and me both. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I really wouldn't have thought the market for TBS games would be so much larger than the market for turn based RPG's as to account for the difference in small developer support. Granted, I suppose a turn based RPG is a more time consuming and involved thing to develop, maybe that accounts for a lot of it. Regardless, it's certainly something I'd like to see change, and I'd be more than happy to financially support that change despite having a positively epic PC game backlog at the moment.

Anthile
09-06-2011, 10:26 PM
I have played quite a bit of RPGs in my lifetime, on consoles as well as on PC, and if I had to name a reason why there are barely any turn-based RPGs these days, it's because they tend to be incredibly tedious and going into turn-based battle for every goddamn sewer rat can completely disrupt the flow of the game.

Jeremy
09-06-2011, 10:31 PM
Fair enough, I didn't mean to imply a lack of story in older CRPGs but, as you said, a focus.

Kevin
09-06-2011, 10:31 PM
So you want to insure that your game goes the way of Dragon Age 2? A metacritic score that's 15% lower than your previous superb outing with no appreciable increase in dividends?

pakoito
09-06-2011, 10:42 PM
Firaxis (though Civ 5 is meh), AGEOD, Kerberos, Stardock (though Elemental sucks), Matrix (and their affiliates), Shrapnel (and their affiliates), and that's to say nothing of Paradox and Code Force who make strategy games so slow and pausable they might as well be turn based. There may not be a lot of mainstream activity in TBS, but the genre's alive and well in indie and wargaming quarters.I wish those games were more oriented to small skirmishes or party-hero oriented or whatever you may call it, and develop on a broad deep system. A turn-based DOTA, or "Arena" ToEE, or whatever. But I guess there's always boardgames and P&P miniatures to go back to.

vinraith
09-06-2011, 10:50 PM
@pakoito

Are you aware of Age of Fear? It's not pretty, but sounds a bit like what you may be looking for:

http://www.age-of-fear.net/

Jeremy
09-06-2011, 10:54 PM
Hah, just for kicks I went to Direct 2 Drive to check their RPG offerings.. and apparently Sid Meier's Railroads! is an RPG. Who knew?

Wizardry
09-06-2011, 10:55 PM
I have played quite a bit of RPGs in my lifetime, on consoles as well as on PC, and if I had to name a reason why there are barely any turn-based RPGs these days, it's because they tend to be incredibly tedious and going into turn-based battle for every goddamn sewer rat can completely disrupt the flow of the game.
CRPGs have had auto-resolved combat since the 80s. Try again.

Jeremy
09-06-2011, 10:56 PM
What about Winter Voices? I actually don't know much about it, but I think RPS did a write up on the prologue. It looked fairly RPG/Strategy to me, but I've not looked at it and can't confirm that.

Wizardry
09-06-2011, 10:59 PM
What about Winter Voices? I actually don't know much about it, but I think RPS did a write up on the prologue. It looked fairly RPG/Strategy to me, but I've not looked at it and can't confirm that.
According to my sources the encounters are more puzzle based rather than straight RPG combat. For example, a lot of the battles have some gimmick requiring you to do certain things to succeed. It's less about stats vs stats.

I haven't played it, though.

Jeremy
09-06-2011, 11:07 PM
Bummer, I'm not as interested in puzzles or gimmicky things. I like them on occasion to break things up, but not as the main source of game play.

pakoito
10-06-2011, 12:03 AM
@pakoito

Are you aware of Age of Fear? It's not pretty, but sounds a bit like what you may be looking for:

http://www.age-of-fear.net/Tried the demo and it's a definite /likey

Thanks. Keep them coming.

Malawi Frontier Guard
10-06-2011, 12:52 AM
What about Winter Voices? I actually don't know much about it, but I think RPS did a write up on the prologue. It looked fairly RPG/Strategy to me, but I've not looked at it and can't confirm that.

Don't start recommending Winter Voices if you haven't played it.

You only create pain with this. I finished all episodes except for the most recent one, and I wanted to like it. The game didn't want me to like it. It loves nobody and it cannot be loved.

It's a single-character turn-based strategy game with character development and dialog options that depend on your stats, so I guess it counts as RPG/Strategy or whatever we say to this type of game now. It doesn't have many battles that could be considered puzzles until Episode 3.

I wrote about it on the old forum but the short version is this: It's very slow, the combat for the most part only knows two different objectives that get old very fast, the skill tree is nice but you don't want to actually play the game after you leveled up and distributed points. You don't attack enemies directly, you just defend against them, but they don't know how to make it fun. Episodes 1&2 are filler. The writing is the most boring purple prose imaginable. It's a very bad game.

Don't recommend it without having played it.


I haven't played it, though.

Of course you haven't. The fewer people play the game the better.

Wizardry
10-06-2011, 01:01 AM
Don't start recommending Winter Voices if you haven't played it.

You only create pain with this. I finished all episodes except for the most recent one, and I wanted to like it. The game didn't want me to like it. It loves nobody and it cannot be loved.

It's a single-character turn-based strategy game with character development and dialog options that depend on your stats, so I guess it counts as RPG/Strategy or whatever we say to this type of game now. It doesn't have many battles that could be considered puzzles until Episode 3.

I wrote about it on the old forum but the short version is this: It's very slow, the combat for the most part only knows two different objectives that get old very fast, the skill tree is nice but you don't want to actually play the game after you leveled up and distributed points. You don't attack enemies directly, you just defend against them, but they don't know how to make it fun. Episodes 1&2 are filler. The writing is the most boring purple prose imaginable. It's a very bad game.

Don't recommend it without having played it.
It's single character? Single character turn-based is almost always painful. Fallout's a good example.

When everyone is merely one abandonware link away from playing Pool of Radiance and the other Gold Box games, I find it hard to bother recommending modern turn-based tactical RPGs.

vinraith
10-06-2011, 01:12 AM
When everyone is merely one abandonware link away from playing Pool of Radiance and the other Gold Box games, I find it hard to bother recommending modern turn-based tactical RPGs.

Any other specific gold box recommendations? I was a PnP gamer in that era, but didn't have a PC at the time.

Wizardry
10-06-2011, 02:13 AM
Any other specific gold box recommendations? I was a PnP gamer in that era, but didn't have a PC at the time.
I like them all, really, though the quality varies. Pool of Radiance is a classic, and probably feels the most like a traditional D&D adventure, but being the first one it lacks a lot of things such as the paladin and ranger classes, as well as the ability to dual class. Its sequel, Curse of the Azure Bonds is also a great game, and because you can create rangers and paladins, and because you can dual-class, it's advantageous to dump your Pool of Radiance party, rather than import them, and just make a new one from scratch.

Secret of the Silver Blades, the sequel to Curse of the Azure Bonds, is probably the weakest in the main series as it's pretty boring over all. The battles are still fun, though, but that's because I love AD&D. The sequel to that is Pools of Darkness and is probably the best Gold Box game. It's very high level and incredibly difficult. You'll be fighting large groups of extremely high level enemies. Don't expect to beat it unless you are an AD&D master who knows exactly how to make optimal parties and knows exactly when to dual class their characters.

Each successive game increases the level cap and thus the number of spell levels you have access too. Pool of Radiance limits you to around level 6 to 9. Curse of the Azure Bonds lets you get to around level 12. I can't remember what the level cap is for Secret of the Silver Blades is, but I believe it's in the upper teens, possibly 20 for a thief. Pools of Darkness goes all the way to 40 for some classes, just like Throne of Bhaal.

There are three other series. The Savage Frontier series, also set in the Forgotten Realms; the Krynn series, set in the Dragonlance setting; and the Buck Rogers series, set in TSR's Buck Rogers setting. The Savage Frontier games (there are two of them) are notable because in the second one you can have a romance with a female NPC. However, they also feature extensive wilderness areas and, if I remember correctly, weather effects and other cool things. This series also had more side quests than the others.

If you're sick to death of the Forgotten Realms, you might like the Krynn series as they feature different classes, races and enemy types. There are three of them. Finally, the Buck Rogers games are probably the most different, given that they are science fiction. I haven't played these ones in years but I remember the first game being significantly better than the second. They do feel like re-skins, though, but I guess that's basically what all the Gold Box games are (graphically).

vinraith
10-06-2011, 02:30 AM
Thanks Wizardry, I'd never had a clear grasp on how the gold box series were structured, so that's quite useful. I used to DM Forgotten Realms, so have a soft spot for it, but enjoyed playing in the Dragonlance setting as well. These are all readily DOSboxable, I trust?

Jeremy
10-06-2011, 03:44 AM
Definitely didn't recommend it, just asking if it was any good, or is that also off limits? I would say though, considering your impassioned response that it isn't worth playing :)

Wizardry
10-06-2011, 04:26 AM
Thanks Wizardry, I'd never had a clear grasp on how the gold box series were structured, so that's quite useful. I used to DM Forgotten Realms, so have a soft spot for it, but enjoyed playing in the Dragonlance setting as well. These are all readily DOSboxable, I trust?
Yeah. They all work fine in DOSBox.

Draevos
10-06-2011, 06:46 PM
Hey guys, I almost started a new thread for this, but that might not go over well for a first post.

Why? Because I'm selling out and advertising a thread I started for us PC gamers on the Bethesda Skyrim forum.

It's a celebratory/moral support thread for PC gamers who love TES, and love mods for TES. Please come and show your support for TES and mods by posting and helping expand the list!

Here:
The Unofficial Official Skyrim Mod Thread (http://forums.bethsoft.com/index.php?/topic/1199954-the-unofficial-official-skyrim-mod-thread/)

Wizardry
10-06-2011, 06:51 PM
The Bethesda forum? No fucking way. It's like Nazi Germany in there.

Draevos
10-06-2011, 07:48 PM
The Bethesda forum? No fucking way. It's like Nazi Germany in there.

Well, then come help the Allies (PC Gamers) storm the beaches of Normandy (TES Forum), and kill Hitler (xbox?)!