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#21 The Captain

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 05:19 AM

You kidding? The guns are what's making me dig out my wallet, yo! Though let me clarify that I don't like 'guns' in traditional fantasy games for what many do (DOHO GUN OBVS > SWORD/BOWS). I have an unhealthy obsession with early firearms (I am an avid player of both Warband: Napoleon and Warband:FnS), and seeing the possibility of them in a starkly fantasy RPG (And not an RTT/S) is not only rare but quite exciting to me. I just hope they don't go overboard with it or buff it too much just to attract shooter players: I personally hope it's the chief anti tank/armor weapon while being generally worthless against mob-enemies, bow-armed opponents, and, well, virtually everything else besides bigger baddies for its horrific reload speed and accuracy.

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#22 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 05:38 AM

I personally hope it's the chief anti tank/armor weapon while being generally worthless against mob-enemies, bow-armed opponents, and, well, virtually everything else besides bigger baddies for its horrific reload speed and accuracy.

Yes, this is how I'd like to see guns implemented as well. Here's hoping.
What would also be cool is if the guns had some melee abilities, like a bayonet piecing attack and a bludgeoning butt attack. That would give them a slight advantage over bows/crossbows when enemies close in.
Though personally, the weapons I'd really like to see in more RPG's are 1-handed spears that could be used in conjunction with shields...

Also: another update. They're adding DRM-free option through GOG! All the whining worked! YAY! Posted Image

-Scorp


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#23 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 05:54 AM

I personally hate guns of any and all kinds in any medieval fantasy, but I know I'm in the minority in that regard. It seems to be the big "thing" with fantasy games right now. "Look, we have guns and Tolkien didn't and Forgotten Realms didn't [at least, not the editions I played; for all I know 4e might]! That makes us unique and special, right?"
Of course, I hate any and all things remotely steampunk, so I'm sure I'm rather biased. Here's hoping the guns are like you said, Cap, because then I'll find them infinitely more tolerable.

And thank God they aren't going exclusively through Steam! Steam just about drove me mad this weekend and my hatred for it is now downright incredible. D:

I just realized I haven't actually posted in this thread yet. Well, I'm still contemplating whether or not to put up $100 toward Project Eternity, since it's basically a dream come true for me. I've wanted another Baldur's Gate style, Infinity Engine type game forever now. I'm extremely sad about their decision to include guns, but at least they're staying true enough to classic fantasy to have elves and dwarves. I'm strongly considering putting up a hundred smackers, since, to me, this is the best Kickstarter project of all Kickstarter projects.

Now, there are two things I want to hear about:
- I'm dying for some confirmation on voice customization, because I'm a total nut for making custom voice sets (almost my entire party in the Infinity Engine games have them, whether they're made from scratch using soundfiles from other things or just taken from different Infinity Engine games). If this game doesn't have voice sets and full customization for them, preferably of the easy kind that the Infinity Engine games had instead of NWN's complicated mess, I'll truly be very sad.
- Tell me about... the werewolves. :P Yes, I'm really that bad. It's very important to me. I really, really, REALLY hope - if this setting has werewolves or anything remotely like them - that they aren't lame.

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#24 Kasab

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 01:09 PM

Posted Image
I like the idea of your protagonist crossing paths with with the story, rather than being pre-meditated to save Fantasyland. It reminds me heavily of Arcanum, which begun with a zeppelin crash, and also seems reminiscent of the direction The Black Hound was going in. That makes sense, seeing as JE Sawyer is onboard. Doesn't this sound like Baldur's Gate III?

The player witnesses an extraordinary and horrific supernatural event that thrusts them into a unique and difficult circumstance. Burdened with the consequences of this event, the player has to investigate what has happened in order to free themselves from the restless forces that follow and haunt them wherever they go.

In that case, "extraordinary and horrific supernatural event" referred to a big dog that wouldn't die, but it put Charname in the same position.
Custom character assets are a must, and there absolutely has to be a new game+ mode in which you can run through the game with an all custom party. If that's not possible, I'm sure modding would allow us to do that, and I do hope mod tools are eventually released. The Infinity Engine is legendary for its modding capabilities, and thus the successor should be similar.

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#25 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 01:16 AM

Custom character assets are a must, and there absolutely has to be a new game+ mode in which you can run through the game with an all custom party. If that's not possible, I'm sure modding would allow us to do that, and I do hope mod tools are eventually released. The Infinity Engine is legendary for its modding capabilities, and thus the successor should be similar.


I certainly hope so. Every game that tries to restrict my party customization gets a quick modding. Temple of Elemental Evil and Storm of Zehir only wanted me to create 5 characters instead of 6, so to the mods I went! Fallout Tactics only wanted me to create one character and hire the rest of my party, but I was having none of that! A modding tool is the sort of thing I would have liked to see in the Project Eternity stretch goals, rather than the stuff they posted. I mean, a player house? Really?


Oh hey, another update. These guys sure are updating a lot! This one talks a little bit about souls and magic, and has this to say about the guns:

Black powder firearms are of the single-shot wheellock variety. Largely considered complex curiosities, these weapons are not employed extensively by military forces. Their long reload times are considered a liability in battles against foes that are too monstrous to drop with a single volley, foes that fly or move at high speed, and foes that have the power of invisibility. Despite this, some individuals do employ firearms for one specific purpose: close range penetration of the arcane veil, a standard magical defense employed by wizards. The arcane veil is powerful, but it does not react well to the high-velocity projectiles generated by arquebuses and handguns. As a result, more wizards who previously relied on the veil and similar abjurations have turned to traditional armor for additional defense.


Sounds pretty good! The stuff about wizards fearing guns is unexpected and a little odd, but I like the sound of armored wizards! It's silly how wizards are forced to wear robes all the time.

-Scorp


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#26 The Captain

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 01:42 AM

Yay, wheellock! Yay, armor pen-Wait, magic defense penetration? And it's (Highly implied, considering it's a better defense according to the article) mediocre against trad armor?

I kinda want to say I'm good with this. I love gunpowder weapons, and I love hunting magicians; so I'm set to be a voluntary witch-hunter already. Still a bit lame that it isn't much against armor (And not because of technicalities; in a fantasy realm including Dwarf rangers, clearly they've got different alloys and whatnot to draw from) or does an obscene amount of damage, but hey, at least they didn't make semi-auto flintlocks like how a lot of fantasy-gunpowder weapons tend to function, so I'm good quite okay with this.

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#27 Sniper-Serpent

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 02:21 AM

Actually wolfy Forgotten realms did have Archebuses in pre 4e.
Posted Image
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#28 Kasab

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 07:29 PM

On the subject of custom assets, I recently fired up Icewind Dale 2 with the intent to use my IWD1 party for some snowy antics, but then remembered that the portrait resolutions are absolutely huge in IWD2 for some inexplicable reason. It's as if Black Isle suddenly remembered it was 2002, resolutions were getting bigger, and had some sort of cruel desire to make you re-crop all of the pictures you shamelessly pilfered from Justin Sweet's portfolio. This brings me to wonder what size custom portraits would be for Project Eternity. It's going to take advantage of modern hardware in some form, so you can make tough moral choices on a 30 inch monitor, but what'll that do for modders? I've been using the exact same party portrait folder for four years, to the point where I no longer know where I stole most of them from.

What about soundsets, too? Can we really expect to be fiddling with file extensions and compression artifacts in the days of the Steam workshop, where gamers have grown fat, soft and lazy? I certainly hope we can, because I can't just keep playing the same four RPGs over and over again in hope that I'll be able to cry Baldur's Gate 3 into existence with my salty PC tears. Or at least get Temple of Elemental Evil to finally accept my portraits. Even in death, Troika taunts me.

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#29 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 12:35 AM

Believe me, I'm waiting for any news on customizing things like voice sets, for this game and for Wasteland 2... I don't know if voice sets will even be in the games. I know there will be portraits, but that is all. There's a petition on the Obsidian forum to hire Justin Sweet. :lol:

Anyway, I guess I'll keep posting about updates 'n stuff.
  • Project Eternity will use the same engine (Unity) as Wasteland 2. Makes sense really, since all these ex-Black Isle guys seem to be collaborating in various ways. MCA (the Man, Chris Avellone) is working on both, after all.
  • Stuff about non-combat abilities. The game will not force the player to choose between combat and non-combat abilities when leveling up, you can use these abilities to avoid combat, and XP will be awarded for non-combat activities as well.
  • New reward tiers. And more stretch goals. Still no really cool stretch goals or confirmations, like an editing tool, full party customization, voice-sets... though the challenge modes and "hardcore mode" options sound nice.
  • Eternity concept art (the second one is from an interview on the PA Report):
    Spoiler
  • In Wasteland 2 news, J!NX (the company that makes Blizzard merch) is going to do a line of Wasteland 2 clothing. Yay, I guess?
I increased my Eternity pledge a little bit because they got me with the Beta Access Key thing. :blush:

-Scorp


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#30 Kasab

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 02:27 AM

The Banner Saga looks fabulous.
I wasn't much of a fan of turn based strategy outside of X-COM, but I recently developed an addiction to Frozen Synapse. The Banner Saga looks to be doing it right, which is to say that it offers some form of tactical depth, unlike the original Fallouts. It's also pretty.
Posted Image
It should be out in two months, which is a jolly thing to know.

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#31 Kasab

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:15 AM

RPS sings the battle ballad, again. I get it, now: Factions is going out soon, and after that we'll get the giant saga of bearded men and their axes trickling from the edge of the feasting table, so we'll have to wrestle with starving dogs and filthy peasants for a gulp of it. Great! It still looks really pretty, in a way that few other games still do. The Lucasarts/Sierra/Brøderbund probably haven't aged as well as I think they have, but XIII is still stunning. I realise traditional animation and cel-shading are completely seperate entities, but you can guarantee that The Banner Saga will look pretty for years to come, in the same way that old Disney films still look great where The Fearless Vampire Killers doesn't.

as you get achievements, you’ll be able to sew them onto your banner. When you match up with somebody, you can see that they’ve decided to sew in these particular things that they’re proud of, or point out that they’re a badass

That's seriously cool. A several hundred foot long banner that exists to espouse your victories sounds vindictive, needlessly flashy and highly expensive. Like a blanket made from Desperate Housewives cast members you hate. I did quite like the Diablo 3 banner system, even if I loathe that game and have sworn to never buy it on principle.
Oh, and this game really should use a play-by-email/fire-and-forget system, as an option. I like how Frozen Synapse lets you play 30 games at once, though they've already said there's a timer in place, and matchmaking... probably, that idea isn't possible.

Edit:

RPS: So how is single-player structured? Is there an overworld? How does it progress?

Alex Thomas: One thing that we found people did not connect with, even though we tried to explain it as much as we could… The travel scenes that were in the announcement trailer are actual gameplay.


Posted Image
Oh, that's impressive. In fact, that's possibly the best thing I've heard about the game so far. Your tribe of violent savages and their titular banner are like bearded lemmings, only you can control them, so they're not really lemmings at all? This is basically The Oregon Trail.

Posted Image
Okay, so the bad guys don't look very Norse. There are a few questionable design decisions, notably the guys with the massively impractical horns coming out of their heads; I'm not sure I like these. I bet this'll be a situation where I end up really liking everything, and am just complaining because it all looks worrying to me.

RPS: How big is the effect of each choice? You seem to be against the idea of tiny, inconsequential BioWare choices, but are you going for as pronounced of an effect as, say, The Witcher 2?


I don't know why, but this question leaves me with a smug grin of satisfaction. Maybe it has something to do with these Bioware people, not that I know who they are.

Brian Mumm: Everybody dies. That’s the end.


Thórsdóttir has died of dysentery!

Edited by Kasab, 03 October 2012 - 02:48 AM.

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#32 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 07:35 AM

Posted ImageSTOP THE PRESSESPosted Image

Obsidian has finally added a stretch goal - pardon me, THE stretch goal - that interests me. At 2.6 Million they will add an "Adventurer's Hall" that will allow for full custom party creation.

So if you're reading this, and anything about Project Eternity interests you in the slightest, pitch in a few bucks please. I want mah full party customization. D: If it helps, they've added a PayPal option on their website.

Other stuff that has gone down since my last post:
  • As I said, Obsidian has added a PayPal backing option on their website for those who can't pledge through Kickstarter.
  • They added some other stretch goals between here and the Adventurer's Hall, but really, who cares? ADVENTURER'S HALL.
  • They made a post about music with some sample tracks that aren't really as cool as Wasteland 2's sample track, but they're okay. I like the use of bells.
  • They changed their logo, for some reason? I haven't heard any explanation for this, but the dragon ouroboros is gone, replaced with... kinda just the title. I liked the dragon ouroboros better, but I guess maybe they didn't want to be potentially confused with (or sued by) Elder Scrolls Online? Bethesda should not have sole legal rights to a dragon ouroboros, but then again, they also shouldn't have sole legal rights to the word "scrolls". We live in a messed up world.
  • On the Wasteland 2 front, Brian Fargo posted on the blog saying that he would make a big Kickstarter post this week. But we're still waiting for that. *shrug*

I don't know why, but this question leaves me with a smug grin of satisfaction. Maybe it has something to do with these Bioware people, not that I know who they are.

I'm tempted to raise at least a little defense for BioWare here, but I suppose I'll just save my breath and seethe silently in your direction for so eagerly jumping on the "we all despise BiowEAre now" bandwagon.

-Scorp


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#33 Kasab

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 01:50 PM

Posted ImageSTOP THE PRESSESPosted Image

Obsidian has finally added a stretch goal - pardon me, THE stretch goal - that interests me. At 2.6 Million they will add an "Adventurer's Hall" that will allow for full custom party creation.


This is where I confess that I still haven't pitched in for the Kickstarter, as I don't have the funds. Knowing that it'll launch at probably quite a bit more than $25 is rather bothersome, especially seeing as the pound always gets the short stick when it comes to game prices. Or, or at least, the stick that's shortest after Australia and the rest of Europe get the shorter ones. Really, it's the tertiary short stick. Maybe I'll throw £5 or something and pay the full price later on, as Obsidian deserve it.
(Not that they'll have trouble amassing the remaining funds...)

I'm tempted to raise at least a little defense for BioWare here, but I suppose I'll just save my breath and seethe silently in your direction for so eagerly jumping on the "we all despise BiowEAre now" bandwagon.


I just thought it amusing that BioWare get labelled "inconsequential" by RPS, as that makes them one of the three or so gaming sites that doesn't worship BioWare as the pinnacle of Western RPG developers. It's also less of the "we all despise BiowEAre now" bandwagon and more the "I really wish people would remember that Obsidian and CDProjekt Red exist" bandwagon. That's a less populated one. I wouldn't mind if BioWare were involed with this project in some form, though they're not a free company anymore. There's still a lot of talent in that studio, if you compare the credits section of the Baldur's Gate II manual to some of their current staff. The manual and the map must be the only thing I still have left in that box, seeing as Infinity Engine RPG CDs just love to hide from me. Maybe they saw I was playing Kingdoms of Amalur: Armageddon Origins Retribution Reckoning.

EDIT: OH COME ON

That's delicious. Even deeper than my love of party-based dice rolling is my love of first-person dungeoneering, even if I never really liked Wizardry. Anachronox is a strange game, as it's when Ion Storm (of Deus Ex fame and Daikatana infamy) decided to make a JRPG. The end result was pretty good, what with your weapons having 250 million functions.

Edited by Kasab, 03 October 2012 - 01:56 PM.

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#34 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 01:17 AM

(Not that they'll have trouble amassing the remaining funds...)

I dunno man, it's been pretty slow lately. I honestly expected them to have topped Wasteland 2 by now, since it's a more mainstream pitch, though I guess WL2 had the advantage of jumping on the Kickstarter bandwagon really early, while it was still hot from Double Fine. Either way, I'm gonna keep a close eye on the page until this thing hits 2.6 mil. F5 F5 F5 F5 F5...

C'mon Kasab, pony up. What's $25 in that monopoly money you guys use? Like, £15.47 or something, according to Google? That can't be much, right? :P

I just thought it amusing that BioWare get labelled "inconsequential" by RPS, as that makes them one of the three or so gaming sites that doesn't worship BioWare as the pinnacle of Western RPG developers. It's also less of the "we all despise BiowEAre now" bandwagon and more the "I really wish people would remember that Obsidian and CDProjekt Red exist" bandwagon. That's a less populated one.

Perhaps it's because the most mainstream gaming website I ever visit is Penny Arcade, but all I see these days is people taking the piss* out of BioWare left and right. Though it sounds more like these RPS guys are saying the choices in BioWare games are inconsequential, not BioWare itself (which, no matter what you think of their games, would be a ridiculous statement). I agree on the Witcher 2 shout-out, but I still think it's quite an exaggeration to say that BioWare choices are "tiny and inconsequential." A better target for that jab would be, I dunno, another huge and much-beloved corporation whose name begins with B (and ends with -esda).

*great, now I'm thinking in British...

EDIT: OH COME ON

That's delicious. Even deeper than my love of party-based dice rolling is my love of first-person dungeoneering, even if I never really liked Wizardry. Anachronox is a strange game, as it's when Ion Storm (of Deus Ex fame and Daikatana infamy) decided to make a JRPG. The end result was pretty good, what with your weapons having 250 million functions.

Ah yes, I forgot to mention that. It sounds cool, but I'm not gonna start kicking for them until they release more details and information. Also I'm broke. I can't afford to just reflexively start throwing money at the screen every time someone says the magic words "Old-School RPG". :lol:

-Scorp


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#35 Kasab

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 01:59 AM

C'mon Kasab, pony up. What's $25 in that monopoly money you guys use? Like, £15.47 or something, according to Google? That can't be much, right? :P


It is when the game doesn't come out for two years. I might as well just throw them money and then stick a post-it note picture of a dragon ouroborus onto my copy of Baldur's Gate II. Actually, why don't I do that? Why don't I also sharpie a "3" onto the end of my Max Payne 2 box and pretend that Max Payne 3 is the best in the series, or change the model number on my graphics card's label and tell my friends I've got an Nvidia Xtreme Force 890 from 2015? That, and the merry month of Rocktober has some wonderful releases I'm going to not buy.

I can't afford to just reflexively start throwing money at the screen every time someone says the magic words "Old-School RPG". :lol:


That brings me to a question: what are the perils of Kickstarter Nostalgia? Do you think that paying for a return to the ancient ways is the opposite of the innovation many of these genres have been so starved of, or do you deem a return to the ancient ways innovation seeing as it's been so long? Does repeating yourself- provided it's with enough of a gap between cycles -keep your genre fresh? Does Republicque deserve your money more than Tex Murphy? (I'd say yes, but I don't really like noir fiction. The problem with a lot of it is that the protagonist doesn't change, and you end up with the same dull archetypes. At least Max Payne underwent psychological trauma and changed facial expressions once. I think.)

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#36 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 04:37 AM

It is when the game doesn't come out for two years. I might as well just throw them money and then stick a post-it note picture of a dragon ouroborus onto my copy of Baldur's Gate II.

No, they removed the dragon ouroboros logo from Project Eternity. It's gone now. You'll just have to scribble the title onto your post-it note. ;)

Very well, don't pitch in for the cause, but if PE does not hit 2.6 million, you will share part of the blame forever. You, you, and ALL OF YOU OUT THERE!

That brings me to a question: what are the perils of Kickstarter Nostalgia?

Counterquestion: Why don't you marry that website if you love it so much? :P

In all honesty, I don't give much of a rat's arse about innovation. "Innovation" and keeping things "fresh" is what replaced stuff like this:
Spoiler

...with stuff like this:
Spoiler


No, I'm not some RPG grognard who believes everything should operate strictly according to the Old Ways or it is Heresy. If the developers have a good idea for how to update a system, great! I didn't like Fallout's 1-person-turn-based combat, nor did I like the constant need for my party to rest after every fight in Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale. If developers want to improve these things - even if it means partially utilizing ideas that plague modern RPGs, like cooldowns and mana potions - then let them. If they think it's a good idea, it's worth a try. And I certainly don't mind a nice graphics update from time to time. If someone told me they were faithfully remaking Baldur's Gate II in a full 3D engine, I would be extremely excited.

FPS innovations that I like: reloading and ironsights. Heresy, I know.

But they should do it to make the game better, not to keep it fresh. To heck with that noise. If innovation and keeping it fresh means what has happened to the RPG (and other genres) over the years - like the dumbing down of mechanics in order to appeal to a mass audience, and the limitation of customization and choice in order to make way for cinematics and fully-voiced dialogue - then I'm very much against it. As much as I enjoyed Jade Empire and the Witcher and Alpha Protocol - and I did - I also like party-based RPGs with extensive customization... but I've already played all of them, and no one is making any new ones. Changing the genre over time has diluted it to the point where "RPGs" have become merely "RPG elements" that get tacked onto other genres. The pure genre itself no longer exists, despite being just as enjoyable today as it was 10 years ago.

The only area where change between games is rather necessary is the story. When developers start repeating the same story over and over - like BioWare's "you are the chosen one, now gather some allies and go save the world from the ancient evil" formula - then I get depressed. Isn't it funny how they seem to be able to stick to that formula even when they "innovate" the genre and the setting? Good stories can still be told with age-old RPG mechanics and "cliché;" settings like medieval fantasy, just like dull stories can still be told in the most original game engines and settings imaginable. I'm not saying developers should never mix things up (Lord knows I'd love an RPG set in a non-fantasy historical era like Ancient Rome or Greece), but it's bad when they do so entirely at the expense of the classics.

In the end, if someone released a new Infinity Engine style game every other year with slightly updated graphics and a brand new story, I'd lap them up just as eagerly as the kids who buy every new Call of Duty. Just like with cinematic shooters, some would be good and some would be mediocre, but at least they would exist. I just want my genre back. :(

-Scorp


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#37 Kasab

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 02:39 PM

No, they removed the dragon ouroboros logo from Project Eternity. It's gone now. You'll just have to scribble the title onto your post-it note. ;)


It's still in your signature! GET WITH THE TIMES, GRANDPA!

Very well, don't pitch in for the cause, but if PE does not hit 2.6 million, you will share part of the blame forever. You, you, and ALL OF YOU OUT THERE!


I'm sure you'll still be able to copy the multiplayer saves into the singleplayer folder. Oh, wait, the snobs on the Obsidian Forums don't want multiplayer.

Counterquestion: Why don't you marry that website if you love it so much? :P


I don't believe in the institution of marriage. That, and person-to-website marriage isn't legal where I live. It might also count as adultery towards GameBanshee.

n all honesty, I don't give much of a rat's arse about innovation. "Innovation" and keeping things "fresh" is what replaced stuff like this:

Spoiler

...with stuff like this:
Spoiler


Still hate modern art, I see?

I know a lot of people want the old RPG to become the mainstay again, and that's what worries me. With every generation of any form of media, there comes some innovation or concept that should be taken forward into the next generation. If you look at how video games have evolved, one of the concepts we've kept alive since the oscilloscope days is the idea that games are very good at physical interactions, such as combat. We liked the first person perspective, and brought that along. Through RPGs, we discovered that games are also very good at social interactions, and that these can often be more important or more interesting than interactions of the physical kind. Now, I believe that the pinnacle of RPGs occured in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The "grand and introspective" fantasy RPG that I sometimes refer to probably died with Icewind Dale, but we took parts of that and applied them to other games, hence why the RPG genre is still very much alive. With Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, veterans of Fallout and Arcanum applied that depth of world and character to a modern day setting, adding a stylish coat of the supernatural and gothic. The end result is a game that plays nothing like Fallout or Arcanum, but carries on the lineage. It's adapted to the times, yet has lost none of the charm that made its predecessors so loved.

We put the Infinity Engine-style RPG in 3D, with games like Neverwinter Nights 2. The strength of the writing in that game's expansion packs is legendary, and Storm of Zehir allows you to construct a party like in Icewind Dale. The original Witcher is another example of a game that made a return to the old style, but did so with a modern flair. Now, the problem is when you bring the genre forwards into modern territory but forget to pack all the things you learned last time. Mass Effect and Dragon Age are great examples of this, especially the latter. Dragon Age wants to be Baldur's Gate, but doesn't really know how. It's forgotten what made Baldur's Gate the game it was: the slick quest design, tactical combat, high level of customisation, excellent characterisation, compelling locales, sweeping narrative, great OST, depth of choice and consequence and strong overall writing. These are things not tied to an isometric perspective or a lack of voice acting. They are easier to achieve without the pressures and budget of modern development, but not impossible.

The RPG is a difficult to define beast, and thus I wouldn't call Alpha Protocol any less of an RPG than Lionheart. I feel it's a natural extension of what the RPG genre can become, though my question is this: how would you define a proper RPG, and what makes Realms of Arkania more of one than Mass Effect? Can we not experiment with the genre to see how well the best of older games merges with the best of newer games?

I just want my genre back. :(


Does the Infinity Engine make the genre?

Psst. I no longer come here anymore.


#38 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 07:27 PM

Man, what are you even talking about? What "innovation"? You make it sound like there's been some kind of "advancement of the craft" over time, but is that really the case? Are first and third person shooter style RPG's the result of experimentation which has determined they are better games than isometric, party-based strategic ones? No, they're really not. They just appeal to a broader audience. They can be easily published on consoles and sell billions of copies, raking in the cash. They haven't invented "a better RPG," they've just replaced one kind of RPG with another, because their kind makes more money.

Forget the semantics - I don't care about the exact definition of "RPG." We can make up two different sub-genres if you want. Here, we'll call the Alpha Protocol and Mass Effect kind "CAHRPG" (Cinematic Action Hybrid RPG), and we'll call the Baldur's Gate and Temple of Elemental Evil kind "SPBRPG" (Strategic Party Based RPG). One has a mostly pre-made protagonist with a pre-determined name, allowing for fully voiced dialogue from all characters, and dramatic cinematic sequences. The other eschews the cinematic side of things in favor of a much wider range of character and party customization, allowing for greater variety. One favors the first and third person perspectives, with action-oriented combat that is easier to play on consoles. The other gives you control of as many as six characters, forcing you to think and plan moves, and like the RTS genre is much easier to play on the PC. They're two very different kinds of RPG, but one isn't inherently superior to the other - they each have advantages and drawbacks, and there are good and bad entries in each category, as well as games that blur the lines between the two. But fewer people can and want to play the pure "SPBRPG," and so that particular sub-genre is dead, just because it makes less money.

As I said, I like both. And guess what? Back in the bygone era of AD 2000, Deus Ex - a "CAHRPG" - was released the very same year as Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn - a "SPBRPG." Both were amazing games, and are widely hailed as some of the greatest RPGs ever made. Why can't we have that again? Why can't we have both?

I'm hoping that, beginning with these Kickstarter projects, we can. That's all I'm saying here.

EDIT: ADDENDUM
I just want to be clear that I have no problem with RPG elements being introduced into other genres, when it is done well. I think one of the main advantages of video games as a storytelling medium is the ability of the player to interact with and change the story through things like dialogue options. The trouble is in the semantics: there is no word for the Infinity Engine kind of game except "RPG." You can call Mass Effect a "3rd-person-shooter RPG" and Alpha Protocol a "stealth-action RPG," but what do you call Baldur's Gate? ... an RPG. That's the only word we have for it, because it evolved directly from D&D and other tabletop RPG's. So until someone comes up with a better word, we'll have people calling for a "return to the old-school RPG."

And now I've spent too much time thinkin' all hard about vidja gaemz...

-Scorp


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#39 Trevize

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 03:22 AM

Scorp, web.archives.com will be your downfall...

#40 Halcyon

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 08:20 AM

Tex Murphy looks like an interesting game, I'm a sucker for "idiot savant" characters. Plus, I like those "point 'n click" adventure games. Still, I keep getting mixed up and almost calling him Tex Avery. XD





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