Posts Tagged ‘RPG’

The RPG Scrollbars: A Trip To Enderal

Even by RPG standards, Skyrim total conversion Enderal [official site] deserves some kind of prize for a depressing opening. A happy summer’s day twisting into a nightmare of dead family, fire and flesh. From there, starving aboard a ship with a friend, all in the hope of finding a new life across the sea. Discovery. Murder. Near drowning. Waking up to find that you have special magic powers… and almost as quickly that in Enderal, that’s pretty much the local equivalent of coming down with the clap. An illness to be treated, which will probably lead to insanity and an agonising death. Anything else, world?

On second thoughts, better not ask. Just play this excellent mod.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Invasion – Azeroth (And Others)

As many hours as I’ve spent playing them over the years, MMORPGs always fill me with a touch of sadness for what they could have been. I’m thinking of the original optimistic dreams of people like Richard Garriott, talking of his world where players accidentally killing too many sheep would draw the wrath of a nearby, now hungry dragon, back in that innocent time before it was accepted that players would not only kill the sheep, but the dragon, and any other living creature within murder range. There’s many reasons why the modern theme park style ended up being dominant, but as stories from games like Eve regularly demonstrate, we definitely lost a lot in that philosophical and pragmatic shift towards PvE content and fixed interactions.

At least we’ve still got world events. I love world events.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Hello From The Magic Tavern

Pubs would be so much more interesting if they were like RPG taverns. Go in for a refreshing beverage. Leave on an epic quest to save the world from evil, instead of to pick up that knock-off TV you accidentally bought from the tattooed bloke who really didn’t understand the meaning of the word ‘no’. True, ‘You all meet in a tavern’ is the Dungeon Master equivalent of ‘It was a dark and stormy night’, but it’s hard to argue with the efficiency. Where else would heroes assemble, to eat, drink and be merry?

Hello From The Magic Tavern is what happens when they do a podcast instead.

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2016’s Most Promising RPGs

We’re almost half-way through the year, and it’s not been a bad one. The finale of The Witcher 3. Dark Souls III, for those players who consider it an RPG. A couple of late-arrivals, like Dragon’s Dogma. But as the nights again start to draw darker, what’s up next? Here’s some of the big quests still promised for 2016. As ever, don’t be too surprised to see a few more jump from A to B.

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The RPG Scrollbars: The Rise And Fall Of Audio Logs

“Day 4. I’ve looked everywhere, but I can’t find anything to eat or a clue to get me off the ship. Just… more audiologs! They’re everywhere! For some reason I keep listening to every minute of every one thinking there’ll be some useful information but… they’re just filler! Filler that’s driving me to madness!”South Park: The Stick Of Truth

It’s hard to argue. They’re kinda dumb. But I’m still fond of this stupid little trope.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Voices In Your Ear

Looking back on System Shock, one part inevitably stands out more than any other. SHODAN. The goddess of Citadel Station. With her words she turned a futuristic maze into a horrific hunter/hunted situation, where survival was about clawing back control and beating the machine at her own game. It’s an impressive achievement… but especially when you consider that really, she was little more than a few well written voice files and a world that let them temporarily seem like something more.

Since the start of gaming though, there’s been technology… and there’s been showmanship. One often gets mistaken for the other. We see advanced AI in characters that simply broadcast what they’re doing. A simple line of dialogue at the right moment can make a game. In Deus Ex for instance, being shouted at for going into the ladies’ wasn’t simply a cute bit of scripting, but its way of saying that it was always watching. And you were never going to know what it was watching out for.

Sometimes, characters just commenting at all can create wonders.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Azeroth’s Ragequit Referendum

Dateline: Year 634 by the King’s Calendar. Azeroth’s political woes go from bad to worse as the continent of Kalimdor continues its push for official separation from the Eastern Kingdoms. “Our citizens grow weary of being mixed in with some grand political empire that increasingly does nothing for them,” complains Troll leader Hyjal Farage. “With this vote, we will prove our independence once and for all. Mon.”

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