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  1. #41
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    I need to speak up for Battlefield 2 commanders, a real commander on the field was incredibly useful, wherever sat with snipers on the hill calling shots or in the back of an apc it was a full time job, but people can hunt you too.

    You can't hide from the commander, and he can rain fire down. It kept the field of battle honest. That's without acknowledging what happens when squad leaders listen to him, having a squad of assigned transporters who use vehicles mindful and patiently who deliver whole squads to strategically useful locations, squads that defend.

    It's part of why bf3 will never match up.
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  2. #42
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    I like pub games, where people is maybe the first time work togueter. I like wen good teamwork emerge from that, and you make (maybe) new friends. In such a games a good commander is very hard, so I don't think is a good mechanic for games with "pubs".

  3. #43
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tei View Post
    I like pub games, where people is maybe the first time work togueter. I like wen good teamwork emerge from that, and you make (maybe) new friends. In such a games a good commander is very hard, so I don't think is a good mechanic for games with "pubs".
    It's perfectly plausible to usefully command only using spot, uav, artillery and supplies. But you also have a full compliment of regular equipment. No-one is forcing you to remain passive many server admins freak out if a commander gets in a jet though, but really the most awesome way to call in an artillery strike from the 2nd seat of the MEC heavy bomber.
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  4. #44
    Network Hub Mihkel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    I can give it a shot, but I can't think of too many games where "streamlining" applies, since I think you need to have a predecessor for "streamlining" to really occur (or an indicator of what a predecessor would have had).
    The removal of most of the inventory in ME2 was overall a positive thing. Does anybody really miss having 25 Lancer I assault rifles? Once you got the Specter weapons everything else was obsolete and pointless, and cash was practically useless given how much stuff you found. That said it did go a bit too far, but it was for the most part a good move. The BF2 Commander mode as I remember it was mostly a hated position rife with abuse, and BF3's removal hasn't really lost anything for the most part. Civ4's massive streamlining was largely hailed as a positive thing, making the numbers and actions a lot easier to understand (unless you love memorising combat statistics I guess). I can't comment on SC: Conviction because I never played it. What other games do you think were negatively impacted by streamlining?
    I don't know about ME2 man, I know what you mean by ME1 having a bad inventory system but they massively overshot it in ME2 so that it was the polar opposite of ME1 by having so little equipment that it was embarrassing for a RPG. Commander spot in BF2 was not hated and more importantly it was optional and a good commander helped his/hers team a lot. I only remember that fighting commanders were frowned upon but otherwise there was no proper whine over commander functionality in BF2. I can't comment over CIV series by not having played it that much to notice much change in the series (only change I know is that you could play further than modern age in Call to Power but not in CIV4).

    Other examples of bad streamlining I would say is the dialogue wheel in newer games and only game I know that has done it right is Alpha Protocol. In Dragon Age 2 combat devolved into this regular WoW type ability spam combat (just because press of a button must equal awesome) that ended up being mindless and boring, Rainbow Six series lost it's tactical element and became Gears of Vegas, Fable series turned into this weird thing that has an essentially immortal player character, Duke Nukem Forever had 2 weapon limit for no reason at all.


    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Yeah I did actually mention that gaming has gotten bigger and as a result we're seeing more "safe" titles in the AAA sector (especially since in the 90s publishers weren't the juggernauts we see today, even EA was small at some point in the past). But this doesn't really change the nostalgia argument; we look back on titles and forgive glaring flaws because of a particular element, but on launch we're often much less kind to the game. That works the opposite way too; we can be wrapped up in a game and then tear it to pieces later on. New gamers might not play old games because they can't get into them, but I don't see what that's got to do with people idolising old games as some sort of superior master race when they clearly did have flaws. It's like people trying to advocate the old DOS days where direct-to-metal coding was more common and if the game didn't support your sound card you didn't get sound at all.
    You don't actually have to go into the nineties to get a streak of very good games. 2004 was a good year for games with Sid Meier's Pirates, Escape From Butcher Bay, Far Cry, Half-Life 2, WH40k Dawn of War, SC: Pandora Tomorrow, CSS, NFSU2, VTMB, Rome: Total War, Spellforce, Evil Genius for instance and counting other brilliant games. From 2011 I remember Witcher 2, DX:HR, Dead Island, Payday The Heist and Portal 2. I mean you don't really have to go that far back to see the difference.

  5. #45
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    To be fair, one just pays USD 50 to 60 for a game. Given development investment of an AAA games can be up to millions, that says a game has to sell for several 100K to be profit, thus, this game has to appeal to as least as many people as such population size. Under such business environment, I really find it difficult to blame any game industry participant being unimaginative.

    But first thing first, they can use more effort to improve game control input methods. For instance, when Nintendo announced Wii U, I immediately associate its controller with STALKER. Can you imagine if I am playing it while the PDA's screen is being shown on the monitor of the controller?

  6. #46
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihkel View Post
    Other examples of bad streamlining I would say is the dialogue wheel in newer games and only game I know that has done it right is Alpha Protocol. In Dragon Age 2 combat devolved into this regular WoW type ability spam combat (just because press of a button must equal awesome) that ended up being mindless and boring, Rainbow Six series lost it's tactical element and became Gears of Vegas, Fable series turned into this weird thing that has an essentially immortal player character, Duke Nukem Forever had 2 weapon limit for no reason at all.
    The dialogue wheel isn't a bad thing, it's how games implement it which can be troublesome. I really don't see how it's much better than a long line of text saying exactly what the character is going to say stretching across the screen looking like a godawful mess. DA2 was a mess period, we don't even have to mention streamlining, but DA:O had its fair share of pressing buttons to execute abilities just like WoW. Didn't play the latter Rainbow Six games, can't comment. Fable's later problems aren't streamlining, they're the result of some weird difficulty curve change, which isn't streamlining. DNF may have had 2 weapons only, but that was a 3D Realms decision long before Gearbox ended up finishing it. I don't really know what the point of that was either, but DNF ironically did a lot of things like "classic" shooters in some respects, such as having a highly interactive world and not having massive waypoints all over the place. I think DNF's problems (apart from the 2 weapon thing) were that it was too close to the original DN3D, and everyone had grown up since then.

    You don't actually have to go into the nineties to get a streak of very good games.
    Dead Island? You mean that game which was horribly broken on release and ended up being fairly repetitive?
    Most of those games you mention are quite good, but ironically some could be accused of streamlining. DX:HR is the one that most readily springs to mind for me, given all the weird default options they included and killing/stunning cutscenes. We might as well say HL2 was streamlined too because they tossed out a bunch of weapons which weren't included in the first Half Life. But anyway to get back on point, yes you can grab very good games from last year or before, but those games are fresh enough that there's no time for nostalgia. You tend to get more objective viewpoints about modern games (fanboys notwithstanding) because the comparisons are easier. When you look at older games (e.g. "Look at this map from Doom and look at this map from MW2") people tend to forget or forgive some elements due to age or nostalgia, which makes the comparisons slightly more invalid. MAP28 from Doom 2 might be non-linear compared to a sequence in Ravenholm, but it's a lot less compelling and mostly revolves around a switch/key hunt. But people tend to forget that part of the argument.

  7. #47
    People complain about the lack of originality in AAA games, and yet they stand in line for countless hours to get that latest COD game, which is exactly the same experience as the last 8 COD games that went before it...
    and COD is always the best selling game of the year...
    yeah, those people are really craving for innovation in games...
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  8. #48
    Lesser Hivemind Node Flint's Avatar
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    Usually the people complaining about lack of originality in communities like RPS aren't the ones that are out there getting COD etc on the first day, though. COD especially is such a huge mainstream phenomenon by now, including a large part of its customer base aren't really active gamers outside it, that a notable number of its chart-topping sales come from people who usually aren't found in games communities expressing desire for innovation.
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  9. #49
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subatomic View Post
    I heard there are also those people who like older and newer games, without labeling everything new as dumbed down crap or everything old as dusty relics never to be played again. Shocking, I know.
    +1 also. I don't have anything against older titles, but we are still in the early days of the medium and this idea that somehow it's already peaked is nonsensical.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mihkel View Post
    I don't know about ME2 man, I know what you mean by ME1 having a bad inventory system but they massively overshot it in ME2 so that it was the polar opposite of ME1 by having so little equipment that it was embarrassing for a RPG.
    I'd of liked some more inventory management options in ME2 for flavour, however I disagree with this idea that its absence at somehow makes ME2 a bad RPG. That's pure D&D dungeon crawler loot whore mentality at play. Personally I preferred Traveller to D&D, and Traveller was all about getting the job/mission done (and maybe getting paid) and way less about collecting purple shinies.

    Other examples of bad streamlining I would say is the dialogue wheel in newer games and only game I know that has done it right is Alpha Protocol.
    Disagree. The great thing with the dialogue wheel is it allows for a faster exchange which keeps you in the moment (less in the interface and more in the game space). I don't think it was ideally realized in ME1, however it's implementation has gotten better with every new game Bioware have released since. I think AP was well executed, however it's also worth bearing in mind that it had significantly fewer NPCs to interact with (and no free roam unlike ME or DA:O) so Obsidian were able to dig a little deeper. Also albeit I enjoyed the speed aspect of choice in AP, I think it suited the nature of the game where in you needed to think on your feet as an operative, however that's not necessary in most real life situations. A game which mixed both aspects would be good.

    In Dragon Age 2 combat devolved into this regular WoW type ability spam combat (just because press of a button must equal awesome) that ended up being mindless and boring.
    Did you play it on pussy mode or did you just play the demo? There are some hard as nails fights in DA2 that require a lot of team Co-ordination.


    You don't actually have to go into the nineties to get a streak of very good games. 2004 was a good year for games with Sid Meier's Pirates, Escape From Butcher Bay, Far Cry, Half-Life 2, WH40k Dawn of War, SC: Pandora Tomorrow, CSS, NFSU2, VTMB, Rome: Total War, Spellforce, Evil Genius for instance and counting other brilliant games. From 2011 I remember Witcher 2, DX:HR, Dead Island, Payday The Heist and Portal 2. I mean you don't really have to go that far back to see the difference.
    You're joking right? It's been a bumper year for games: -

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  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    Disagree. The great thing with the dialogue wheel is it allows for a faster exchange which keeps you in the moment (less in the interface and more in the game space).
    No it doesn't. Picking a line of text is far quicker than selecting an option and then watching/listening to your character act it out. Also, how is watching a small cutscene more "in the game space" than reading lines of text?
    Last edited by Wizardry; 26-02-2012 at 04:36 PM.

  11. #51
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    No it doesn't. Picking a line of text is far quicker than selecting an option and then watching/listening to your character act it out.
    I am picking text...on a wheel and having made a character I'm quite happy for them to converse with other NPCs instead of standing there like a mute.

    Also, how is watching a small cutscene more "in the game space" than reading lines of text?
    because it flows, better. I'm listening to what the NPCs are saying and then I'm responding, and then they are responding back, and it's happening like an actual conversation. I don't want a half an hour conversation with a fruitseller.
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  12. #52
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Both have their advantages. Dialogue wheels allow for fast crisp exchanges which keeps the conversation flowing (Alpha Protocol and Indigo Prophecy's time based choices also help). It doesn't bother you much if you say something you didn't mean to, because keeping that cinematic feel is more important.

    Or maybe it does bother you, in which case there are the RPGs where you simply pick a line of text. This lets your imagination do the work and gives you an unshakable connection to the character, since everything this character says/thinks comes directly from you. Or at least that's the way it works if the developers have done their job, if not you could be heading for several narrative dead ends (thank you Skyrim).

  13. #53
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    I'd of liked some more inventory management options in ME2 for flavour, however I disagree with this idea that its absence at somehow makes ME2 a bad RPG. That's pure D&D dungeon crawler loot whore mentality at play. Personally I preferred Traveller to D&D, and Traveller was all about getting the job/mission done (and maybe getting paid) and way less about collecting purple shinies.
    This is the point, Mass Effect gains nothing from having an inventory that builds up with junk. While ME2 took far too much from the player (which ME3 apparently is going to fix by bringing back weapon upgrades), ME1 was ridiculous in the number of pointless weapons you'd pick up. Also you generally have obscene amounts of cash with which to buy the Master spectre weapons after playing for a short time, which instantly renders everything else obsolete. Anything else you're probably going to pick up in the field, so money is largely useless, and you can only omnigel so much.

    The loot progression makes sense in a game like Diablo 2 since the challenge escalates and there's a focus on getting better equipment to advance further and it's entirely character-skill based. Mass Effect is entirely different, so having a bloated inventory doesn't make much sense.

  14. #54
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    Mikhel: 2011 was an amazing year for games, and your list is sorely lacking. I think the problem is that you need to expand your horizons a little!

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    I am picking text...on a wheel and having made a character I'm quite happy for them to converse with other NPCs instead of standing there like a mute.
    And none of that makes it faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    because it flows, better. I'm listening to what the NPCs are saying and then I'm responding, and then they are responding back, and it's happening like an actual conversation. I don't want a half an hour conversation with a fruitseller.
    And that doesn't have any relation to whatever "game state" could possibly mean.

  16. #56
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    This is the point, Mass Effect gains nothing from having an inventory that builds up with junk. While ME2 took far too much from the player (which ME3 apparently is going to fix by bringing back weapon upgrades), ME1 was ridiculous in the number of pointless weapons you'd pick up. Also you generally have obscene amounts of cash with which to buy the Master spectre weapons after playing for a short time, which instantly renders everything else obsolete. Anything else you're probably going to pick up in the field, so money is largely useless, and you can only omnigel so much.

    The loot progression makes sense in a game like Diablo 2 since the challenge escalates and there's a focus on getting better equipment to advance further and it's entirely character-skill based. Mass Effect is entirely different, so having a bloated inventory doesn't make much sense.
    Agreed. I'm working my way through ME1 again at present (just about to , and the amount of drops to pick us in


    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    And none of that makes it faster.
    I'm not interested in the speed. I'm interested to see what the characters say and how they react.

    And that doesn't have any relation to whatever "game state" could possibly mean.
    You mean "game space" and I'm fairly sure you understand the concept of being in the game space as opposed to the interface.
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  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    I'm not interested in the speed. I'm interested to see what the characters say and how they react.
    But you said "The great thing with the dialogue wheel is it allows for a faster exchange".

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    You mean "game space" and I'm fairly sure you understand the concept of being in the game space as opposed to the interface.
    Yeah. Game space. Typo. And no I don't understand the concept, because you seem to limit the concept to the 3D bit that happens to take up most of the screen and is used to view the game world. Well guess what? That's typically only part of an RPG. Your character sheet, the combat log, your inventory screens; all of those can be part of the game too, and thus be part of the "game space". The entire point in having a graphical representation of the world in the first place is to act as an interface to your character's location. Everything on the screen can be classed as an interface.

  18. #58
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    But you said "The great thing with the dialogue wheel is it allows for a faster exchange".
    Faster in terms of processing a response, because you can hear the question and select a response, without having to actively read through a bunch of sentences to see which one fits.

    Your character sheet, the combat log, your inventory screens; all of those can be part of the game too, and thus be part of the "game space".
    Nope. They are interface. I don't mind them (they serve a purpose), however they break atmospheric immersion if you're constantly moving in and out of them all the time. Personally I prefer it when a game either burns that sort of thing into the game space by contextualizing it (as in Dead space) or builds in opportunities within the flow of the game for the organisational stuff that doesn't disrupt the atmosphere of the game.

    The entire point in having a graphical representation of the world in the first place is to act as an interface to your
    character's location.
    Walking around is not 'interacting' it's navigating.
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  19. #59
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    Walking around is not 'interacting' it's navigating.
    Definitely a quotable.
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    I'm awarding that round to Wizardry.

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