Fallout: New Vegas Dev: Recent RPG Advances "Undermine" the Genre

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Ok, this guy may have a reasonable point, but that's not why I'm here.

All I want to say is, goddamn, that quake video was hilarious.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

seraphy:

My point kinda was that these games could have been even more complex if money would not have been wasted to voice acting everything.

Then again if not having everything voice acted makes some people skip buying the game, then I understand why developers do that. I don't personally however exactly like it nor do I see it as necessary.

Personally, I'm not entirely sure why you'd want Skyrim to be more complex. I've played for around 15 hours, and have yet to complete a full questline yet. There's easily as much on offer here as in Morrowind or Oblivion, and Bethesda managed to marry that with stronger game mechanics and better voice acting than either of those two games. Get the game playing correctly on the PS3, and this would easily be the best installment of the Elder Scrolls series.

In short, I guess, there's no need for a game like Skyrim to get more complex, unless you simply want to punish the player with needless stat crunching and number calculations.

archont:

Yeah, Skyrim is fully voiced. It's either quality or quantity and Bethesda went for quantity. The voice acting was as mundane and boring as the writing.

I was debugging a quest in Skyrim and had to open up the internals to see what's going on. Every speech fragment/response given by an NPC is a speech node and those have their internal names given by the developers. Players don't get to see them. I found them to be much more clever, funny and interesting than the actual dialogue the player gets to see.

But as for voice acting - while it's possible to voice act every single character you will have limited voice actors and a limited amount of accents those voice actors can do. With them having to read volumes of generic text the acting will be bland.

In short nothing like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptnSXhVrrbs&feature=related

Different tokes for different folks. I for one found the voice acting vastly improved over Oblivion, and the writing was leagues better. Characters spoke as if they actually fitted in with their surroundings, and were actually part of a cohesive culture.

Sure, not every NPC spoke with great drama and excitement in their voice, but here's the thing: most people you chat with on a day-to-day basis in real life have rather dull voices. People don't tend to talk about their daily activities while heavily emoting or hamming it up. That's the sense I got in Skyrim- the important characters spoke with all the gravitas, dignity and relevant emotion that their roles demanded, and the everyday characters speak to you in everyday voices. I couldn't stand an open-world RPG where every single character is trying to out-ham the other.

And yes, before you ask, I much prefer to hear characters speak to me. Text worked well for older RPGs, but nowadays, if I see a character, I should be able to hear him. Hearing is no lesser a sense than sight. And I find all talk of 'text allowing for more choice' to be redundant. If that's so, imagine how much more choice would be available to the player if developers decided to ignore visuals too, and relayed all vital information through on-screen text.

If you want limitless freedom in your roleplaying, I suggest you play Dungeons and Dragons, or another pen-and-paper RPG. Any videogame, no matter how grandiose, is going to be constricting in comparison. You can either keep cutting out certain elements, such as voice acting, to try and lessen the gap, or you can try and offer a polished game that offers as much freedom and choice as possible while still providing realistic input for your ears as well as your eyes.

I agree with pretty much everything you've just said, though Skyrim NPCs are still a bit limited by their body language. They really only stand ramrod straight and stare in your direction. It doesn't really bother me for the most part, but it would be nice if every once in a while NPCs would just start gesticulating wildly like they were giant wind socks.

Why not?

STFU and play a REAL RPG with me then.

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Grey Carter:

Kargathia:

Terminate421:
If I played Skyrim and was told to get to a dungeon out in the middle of now where, without a map, I'd get SOOOO lost.

You'd probably head over to the wiki, and pull out their map. So yea, might as well make it ingame.

But if I'm reading this right, then the problem isn't all the branching out and morphing the RPG is doing nowadays - the problem is that they're missing an RPG that smacks you if you so much as ask for directions. Sounds fair I guess. Might in some cases be as easy as a mod. Script detailed quest text for Skyrim, take out all markers, including the map markers for places you've only heard of, and you're set to go.

Morrowind simply pointed you in a direction and said "it's somewhere thataway." I'm not sure I agree with that design, but I would like it kept as an option.

Remember what a piss-take that was? Remember someone saying "It's a bit to the northwest, and then close to a cave", only for you to spend the next few HOURS looking for it, the place turning out to be either on the other side of the continent, but strictly speaking "north-west", or nearby, but not northwest at all.
No, I don't ever want to go through that again.

Unless I missed it (which I doubt), Skyrim has an option of turning on/off quest markers so that those that want them can use them and everyone doesn't have to.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Personally, I'm not entirely sure why you'd want Skyrim to be more complex. I've played for around 15 hours, and have yet to complete a full questline yet. There's easily as much on offer here as in Morrowind or Oblivion, and Bethesda managed to marry that with stronger game mechanics and better voice acting than either of those two games. Get the game playing correctly on the PS3, and this would easily be the best installment of the Elder Scrolls series.

In short, I guess, there's no need for a game like Skyrim to get more complex, unless you simply want to punish the player with needless stat crunching and number calculations.

You're being needlessly pedantic. You know what I mean.

If you don't here is short version. I want Skyrim quests to have different ways for solving them, they are almost always completely Linear. There are few quest, few, where you have actual options but those are few and far between.

For example, why can't you join those werewolf hunters.

And no I can't agree with you on Stronger game mechanics, certainly not when comparing to Morrowind.

Someone buy this man a copy of Darksouls.

Hal10k:

I agree with pretty much everything you've just said, though Skyrim NPCs are still a bit limited by their body language. They really only stand ramrod straight and stare in your direction. It doesn't really bother me for the most part, but it would be nice if every once in a while NPCs would just start gesticulating wildly like they were giant wind socks.

Why not?

I thought they already did? Oblivion had a problem with characters standing ramrod straight and still. Skyrim, while not a mime's paradise, certainly has the characters move, engage in tasks while talking, etc. I think asking for them to specifically gesticulate while talking would be asking a bit much.

seraphy:

You're being needlessly pedantic. You know what I mean.

If you don't here is short version. I want Skyrim quests to have different ways for solving them, they are almost always completely Linear. There are few quest, few, where you have actual options but those are few and far between.

Again, I don't really see what you mean. The Elder Scrolls has always been focused more on allowing for different playstyles in an open world, rather than offering Obsidian-esque multiple plot choices. The choice for the player comes from deciding whether they want to play as a sneaky thief character, a mage, a spellsword... each character build plays vastly differently, and allows the player to approach the same quests from different angles.

And no, the quests in Skyrim are not linear. Firstly, you can tackle them all in what ever order you like. Before seeing the Greybeards, I decided to join the Stormcloaks and follow the civil war questline for a while. After doing a number of quests, I decided to also join the College Of Winterhold, and engage in some magic-related questing. Ten hours later, I still hadn't talked to the Greybeards. A linear game is not one where you can keep getting distracted by new towns, cities and dungeons, and tackling them in whatever order you like.

And I think you're blind to some of the choices Skyrim does allow you to make.

That, for instance, blew my socks off. The game reacted to a moral chocie that I made, and provided real consequences for it. In a world as vast as Skyrim, where the status quo is usually game design law, that is an achievement in itself.

And no I can't agree with you on Stronger game mechanics, certainly not when comparing to Morrowind.

The same Morrowind which had notoriously broken combat mechanics? The game where you have to constantly switch bewteen melee and magic, rather than being able to wield both at the same time? The game which starts you out in a swamp fighting rats and mudcrabs, and makes you pay up anytime you don't want to slog it all the way across the island to get back to Vivec? The game where the stamina mechanic is so broken that getting anywhere at more than a snail's pace means you're unable to fight as soon as a monster jumps you?

Morrowind was good, but my god, did it have some broken features.

Dirty Apple:
I know I'm just gonna come off as old balls, but my feelings can best be summed up with an anecdote.

Around the time I was 20 years old, my family and I ended up at my uncle and aunt's house for Christmas. Their son would have been about 12 at the time, and he was telling me about the newest games he had been playing on his fancy new Gamecube. He showed me the newest Zelda offering (Majora's Mask I think) and mentioned that he had finished the game already. Apparently, he had finished it in about 5 days.

I was blown away. I knew adults that had taken months to get through the game. I was starting to think I was in the presence of a wunderkin. That's when I found out that his parents bought him a official hintbook with every new game. He would then literally open up the book on page one and follow it word for word.

What I'm trying to say is that there is a generation of gamers that aren't interested in a challenge while they play only winning. They aren't looking to push themselves or fight through repeated failures. Because, to fail would mean that they aren't perfect and special like they'd been told.

I am thankful that my nephews aren't following this path, though they do seem to be following the other path... the Battlefield/Modern Warfare path. Shameful, but... not exactly rare.

I do agree with you, though. I think that's why options and difficulty settings are the best thing to include with a game you'd like to appeal to several demographics. I remember a while ago I played a game that literally let you play through the tutorial, then told you what difficulty you'd do best at based on your skill. You didn't have to listen, but it did tell you how to start, which I think is a good way to set this up.

I for one am a big fan of choice when it comes to games. I think if you could have a game that lets you manage the HUD however you want, adding or removing what you feel is necessary, that'd be awesome. This tends to happen more with PC games than consoles, but I think it should be done in both areas. I'm hoping that since it looks like graphics are reaching a peak that will take a long time to beat with reasonable budget levels, developers will start throwing money and innovation in other areas... and I think this could be a big one.

Imagine playing a game where instead of using a formula to decide how difficult gameplay should be, it dynamically changes the difficulty and potentially grows with you as you learn how to play. Nothing today comes close to it, but making a game that could literally follow my learning curve and do the same with everyone else regardless of skill... that's worth more to me than photorealism.

To be honest, I can of like some of the hand holding, I remember old school RPG's (such as the old Ultima's) and they were not easy to jump into. Of course I was like 10 at the time, so that was probably half the problem.

Sorry to double post, but I remember the game that recommended the difficulty level after the tutorial section. It was InFamous.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Again, I don't really see what you mean.

Yes indeed. We don't really see eye to eye here.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

And I find all talk of 'text allowing for more choice' to be redundant. If that's so, imagine how much more choice would be available to the player if developers decided to ignore visuals too, and relayed all vital information through on-screen text.

Not to butt into your conversation but this caught my eye.

I'm pretty sure those exist, they're called 'text adventures' I think. I've never played one myself but I hear the scope for choice is quite vast.

...It also sounds like a "choose your own adventure book".

Grey Carter:

Kargathia:

Terminate421:
If I played Skyrim and was told to get to a dungeon out in the middle of now where, without a map, I'd get SOOOO lost.

You'd probably head over to the wiki, and pull out their map. So yea, might as well make it ingame.

But if I'm reading this right, then the problem isn't all the branching out and morphing the RPG is doing nowadays - the problem is that they're missing an RPG that smacks you if you so much as ask for directions. Sounds fair I guess. Might in some cases be as easy as a mod. Script detailed quest text for Skyrim, take out all markers, including the map markers for places you've only heard of, and you're set to go.

Morrowind simply pointed you in a direction and said "it's somewhere thataway." I'm not sure I agree with that design, but I would like it kept as an option.

Morrowind was a little more detailed than that! They gave you clues, like...its by a rock and a tree. No not that rock, the other rock. The big rock. And that one tree.

This probably would have been easier if there were more than 4 tree and rock models.

I believe a middleground is needed.

Mrhappyface 2:
STFU and play a REAL RPG with me then.

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Even with Dark Souls once you know how to troll the game it becomes VERY easy. If Dark Souls had an even more expansive world and legit traps it would be even more of dynamic game.

OT

I kinda agree some of the shit that allow newer / lazy players to explore might be annoying for those that really want to explore the world. They don't want everything important to be highlighted and hell grabbing a notebook and writing shit down isn't THAT hard. To tell the truth it kinda made the game better for me. Yet I can understand for those that need a journal go ahead and use it. Also it would be nice if they had options to turn off certain things you can have all the help options or you can basically just have a barebones compass and you have to build a map in game.

Okay, the journal/quest status can stay. It makes sense that your character would have one on them.

The 'automap' is supposed to reveal both terrain and locations when you visit them and not before. When someone gives you instructions on how to get there by landmarks or just by direction it should be recorded in your journal/quest status so you can keep track of it. If you actually have a map fully drawn out by someone then they'll mark it on the map instead.

Compass... well, you need to get it first. Oh, it's not a GPS either. You want to go somewhere? Look at the map or go figure it out yourself.

I do agree that modern RPG's and games in general are too hand-holdy, but I don't think that something like quest markers should go entirely unused.

Actually, I think it's best if we're allowed to place our own quest markers. Five or six of them, each different colored, and give us a compass so we know where the hell we are going.

The Morrowind stuff should probably be pulled, but with more detail. "I lost my super-special necklace that's been in my family for generations somewhere along *that* road, near *that* city." Then you could go search for it along that road or ask the townspeople if they'd seen such a necklace. The quest giver could mark the general location on your map and leave you to place a marker that your compass points to.

Granted, that's just a generalization, but it sounds like doing something along those lines could be interesting. I like Skyrim a whole lot but having a pointer over my objective saying "HERE IT IS!" is kind of destroying the whole "adventuring" aspect of this adventure game. It's just "walk here, grab macguffin, trade quest in", there's no real mystery to it at all.

Two other things. The first is to get rid of dice rolls altogether, except in RPG's that specifically take a lot of cues from their tabletop based roots. The second is to keep journals that are a record of every conversation and every word said in them, and keeping them in the quest log. I don't see how this isn't something essential and don't see how hard it could really be.

EDIT: This voice acting thing. We really need to cut voice acting and use text only so that our RPG worlds can be more expansive. I mean, it's not like the voice acting in games is good or anything. And modern RPG's just aren't anywhere near long enough these days.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Or look at Skyrim. Huge open world, dozens of towns, cities and villages, the possibility to influence the way an entire civil war turns out, all of it voice acted.

I used to think full voice acting might cause Skyrim's dialogue to be a bit limited or repetitive, but then I took an arrow to the knee.

I take anything this guy says with a huge grain of salt considering what a broken shitty mess New Vegas was. I've literally never played a game that was anywhere near that non-functional, so I'm really not that interested in his opinions about video games.

If it's quest markers and journals he specifically has a problem with, then there's really nothing to say. If you want the challenge, don't use them. If they're automatic, try and get developers to make games with the option to turn them off.

While I agree there's such a thing as 'taking the challenge out', there's also the other side of that continuum, which is 'making things masochistically difficult'.

If you have to option to *choose* where on that spectrum you like to play, then that is both the ultimate player convenience, and the solution to the problem.

I can agree with him to an extent. On one hand I like the complexity involved in an RPG, seeing as you're playing the role of character [insert name here], it would be nice that you could...you know...role play. Exploration etc.

On the other hand, it shouldn't be so complex to the point where it becomes obtuse. Objectives should be clear enough so that it's not expecting you to know something that you were give absolutely no indication of.

One thing about modern RPG's that bothers me is the fact that people have gotten used to the fact that there's generally something that leads you to where you need to go, rather than following a journal or exploring. One complaint about The Witcher 2 I frequently heard, and thought was a silly, was the fact that people couldn't figure out what to do or where to go, despite there being a journal that essentially told you. It's just lazy really considering the game tells you that your journal is filled with information regarding quests, objectives etc.

Vrach:
Fallout: New Vegas' Hardcore mode is an excellent example of this, but it's just a tad too superficial (although if we look at it as a start, it's a fantastic one at that). It'd be nice to have stuff like the ability to turn off fast travel, quest markers and such. Of course, this also puts a little more pressure on developers - just throwing out fast travel is silly. If there is a sufficiently fast method of movement and "taxi" points where necessary however, it becomes an enjoyable choice as opposed to shooting yourself in the foot (or the balls, depending on the size of the game). Taking Skyrim as example, the carriages could fulfill the second requirement, while removing the sprint exhaustion from horses would've pretty much solved the first.

That's where mods come in. My mod for Fallout 3 adds several "travel terminals" (that charge you a small fee to teleport you around), gives you the option to disable fast travel (for an permanent XP bonus), and generally makes the game more realistic. If devs release mod tools, then modders can "fix" games not being hardcore enough, and do tons of other stuff. All at no cost or trouble to the devs. Really, it's win/win, I wish more developers would figure this out, instead of pissing all over their customers.

You know what I want to see on maps? A system that let's you write notes on it, so you can keep track of locations. I haven't seen one of those since the Ultima series.

Skandis:
The whole issue with "journals, quest compasses that point directly to the goal and show you the route, auto-maps, etc" is literally non-existant. If I pay attention I don't need to use the journal or even auto map for that matter. If I don't pay attention I don't have to replay a segment of the game just to get a clue.

What seems more likely is that developers who can't program a game to be played in more than one way opts for the way that leaves most people satisfied. Even so we still have games with subtlety like La noire and Mass Effect. Given, it's not the same outlandish subtlety that Planescape showed; but the former two are also games that I've finished.

Well, sort of.

See, the focus right now is in creating games that a monkey can beat because your casual player doesn't want to be beaten by the game (so to speak). The thing with quest pointers and the like is that usually it winds up handing the solution to puzzles and problems to the players by making it immediatly clear what they are supposed to be doing even when the task shouldn't nessicarly be that straightforward. Such as when your heading into an unknown castle to open a gate or something and the game tells you exactly where the lever you need is, despite there being no way you should logically know this. This allows the casual gamer to head immedalty to the objective and feel like he accomplished something. Likewise there is no point in putting in a lot of dead ends, tricks, or traps if your going to tell the player where to go.

I've been of the general opinion that automaps that record your progress as you move is fine, it saves time with the graph paper. Quest pointers and breadcrumb trails are less so. I tend to think that such things should be dictated by the plot. I mean it makes sense that you might get a quest pointer to say the marketplace in a major city, or a well travelled village down the road, but when you get one to the epic lost ruins that nobody has visited in 1000 years or more, that is somehow so precise as to pinpoint the location of the Macguffin your after within the ruin... well yeah... that's kind of ridiculous.

See, part of the satisfaction of succeeding in a game is to do something that you could easily see stumping people, especially if know it has done so. When your simply following a golden thread from objective to objective and realize that anyone who wanted to put in a similar amount of time could do the same thing it tends to kind of ruin the excitement of
the whole thing and any feeling of accomplishment.

Of course then again in the era of Gamefaqs and other similar sites, it can be argued that casual hand holding is a surrender to the inevitability that anyone with the internet and 10 minutes can probably find a solution to whatever their problem is at a moment's notice anyway.

Don't get me wrong, casual games are fine, but the problem is that every game is being turned into a casual game, and things like RPGs which were one of the few refuges of
serious gamers are themselves becoming incredibly shallow, casual affairs. Casuals and serious gamers don't mingle as well as you might expect because the industry is focusing entirely on the larger casual market because of the potential money to be made there, while neglecting the non-casual fare. The idea is to try and make everything approachable and non-threatening rather than just flat out saying "no, this game is not for you" to the casual crowd and developing it entirely for the serious gaming market without those kinds of concessions.

In regards to the thread in general, I think there is no real reason why you can't have character generation and voice acting. I don't mind a silent protaganist, but at the same time games like "Saint's Row" (parts 2 and 3) have demonstrated that it's possible to have multiple voice scripts for the player character. Have say ten people do the dialogue for the player character and letting the player choose the voice they want to use does a lot of character creation.

Heck, even before "Saint's Row" I remember "Wizardry 8" which was probably the last great party-based Western RPG. That game had a decent number of personailities you could assign to your various created characters and they would chime in at various points in the storyline, and even occasionally dicker back and forth. Sadly nobody had the guts to really pick up where that game left off, probably because the company that did that game was in a rough spot at the time from some bad choices, and the game itself never got quite the release or circulation it deserved.

Dirty Apple:
Because, to fail would mean that they aren't perfect and special like they'd been told.

Very poetic. Too many people think it's their right to innately be good at video games. It's a hobby and skill that takes time and practice like anything else.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
[quote="seraphy" post="7.332979.13491219"]
Personally, I'm not entirely sure why you'd want Skyrim to be more complex. I've played for around 15 hours, and have yet to complete a full questline yet. There's easily as much on offer here as in Morrowind or Oblivion, and Bethesda managed to marry that with stronger game mechanics and better voice acting than either of those two games. Get the game playing correctly on the PS3, and this would easily be the best installment of the Elder Scrolls series.

*shrug* More complexity wouldn't be a bad thing if it came to questlines and quest completions. "Go here, kill that" is the order of the day here, and the dark brotherhood shit ate up way too many resources in Skyrim it's clear. Half the people in the world seem to only exist to be used as assassination targets and a good deal of the locations are dark brotherhood set pieces. Players who choose the "evil" path and join the league of murderers will get a stronghold, the best horse in the game, see lots of interesting scripted encounters, meet the ghost of Lucien Lachance, get a unique dagger and 20,000 gold, murder a wedding party and ride a boat out to sea to assassinate the emperor.

Players who choose the good option and wipe out the brotherhood... Get nothing. REALLY?!? Nothing? Yes. Nothing. You get one mission to go to their stronghold like any other bandit cave and you're done. That is bullshit. It would have been nice if they developed a whole alternate quest line for you where you were at war with the brotherhood, dodging assasins and working for an organization like the knights of the nine, getting your own shining knight version of the shadow steed... but nope. You get nothing!

There are no consequences to choosing the dark brotherhood path, you are not barred from anything else in the game, nothing is denied to you. It is not a choice, there is something and there is nothing. Nothing is not an alternative, evil players should lose out on something to get what they want. No resources at all were committed to players who chose the other option, so I will say for my part, the game could stand to be more complex.

Dirty Apple:
That's when I found out that his parents bought him a official hintbook with every new game. He would then literally open up the book on page one and follow it word for word.

What I'm trying to say is that there is a generation of gamers that aren't interested in a challenge while they play only winning. They aren't looking to push themselves or fight through repeated failures. Because, to fail would mean that they aren't perfect and special like they'd been told.

That is just sad.

I mean sure, I look up the answer online upon occasion, after my 20th death or so, but I only feel clever or powerful when I beat a challenge fairly... or when I at least find the exploit on my own.

That said, I still want finding my questing area to be simple. Unless there's a legitimate "gather information" quest where you can logically figure out what sort of people, the locations of which are known to you, would be likely to know about the thing you're looking for, I don't think that traipsing all over creation unguided is much of a challenge, just busy-work.

Get me to the dungeon, though, and all I'll use that marker for is to figure out which way to go last. :-P

Frankly, I think Skyward Sword's Dowsing system worked pretty well... you could always get a hint as to where you needed to go next, but it wouldn't tell you how to get there necessarily and you paid for it by having to hold your sword out vulnerably and search in all directions. Otherwise, you could just slaughter your merry way accross the map until you found what you were looking for, which is generally what I did since the whole game was constructed more like a set of dungeons than an expansive world map.

But then, when you got to the actual dungeons, your Dowsing stops working. You want it to find keys or levers or puzzle clues for you? Well too bad, because you're on your own in here.

Seems a decent compromise.

I don't think compasses and whatnot are a difficulty matter at all. Fallout 2 was hard but not because you didn't know where to go, it was hard AND you didn't know where to go.

Mainstream modern games are all generally easier simply cause they're aimed at a wider audience and the problem is that turning a game like that harder doesn't make it actually more difficult, it' just makes it more broken so you need to in turn play the game in a broken way, rather than be even more strategical about it, since they don't actually develop higher AI for a mode most people won't use.

The man makes some fair points, and fortunately, it seems some other developers have taken notice as well. Can't remember the link, but Bioware confirmed that [for Mass Effect] there will be different campaign styles to adjust for the different types of gameplay, like an action focused one, and a story focused one.

I think they need to change how difficulty settings are done. Instead of harder difficulty just giving enemies more health/damage certain features need to change,while still keeping the game balanced. Also as a personal preference I'd like more games with melee combat to adopt the bushido blade style and instead of your dps v wall o health it's glass cannon v glass cannon. And also, no more big enemies to increase difficulty. Yeah it's big omg so scary but hey 100% chance that boss is all gimmick and 0 skill.

I agree. I think a certain air of challenge and mystery is important to a good rpg. Games that handle quests like objective lists miss out on that. You know exactly where you need to go and what to do right from the start and as a result there's no excitement when that objective is completed. There's no challenge, no sense of accomplishment or adventure and for me at least that's kinda the point in an rpg and often just gaming in general.

Which isn't to say a clear and well marked objective is a bad thing, often quite the opposite especially if it's something important the game is trying to steer you towards or a matter of story pacing. But still I think there's also a need for the less well marked and trodden path, for situations where the player genuinely does get lost and as to explore or use their own wits to get out of it. Why? It involves the player. Makes playing the game less of a brain-dead check-list of activities and gives them some puzzle, however small, to solve.

I can take or leave what he is saying. I don't see journals as a bad thing. Compasses are great but not if they show you everything. The problem is, without these things you cannot create an open game that is accessible to everyone. How about a simple option to turn them on or off. Back in the days of good old Final Fantasy (SNES for me) they didn't have these things. They did however have a linear story. Same thing with Super Metroid. You had to end up finding the right item to progress in the game, but the game lead you there by restricting you from going to other places by not having the right item. It was really quite genius.

His statement is far too broad. He has had his hands in some great games, but to denounce the use of tools to find your way around a world is just stupid. Spending 4 hours trying to find a temple doesn't make you a hard core gamer, it makes you someone with far too much time on their hands.

Bethesda said he didnt know what he was talking about when trying to explain the PS3 bugs with Skyrim.

He is lashing out in a hissy fit of critical comments aimed exclusively at Skyrim.

Obsidian has never made a game that I would say is truely excelent. KOTOR 2 is their best one, and its missing an ending.

Ehem. I said EHEM! EASY ? You are the one that actually developped these mothers right here!

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Has anyone ever tried taking one of these on, without a companion and without the T-51b Power Armor ? Huh ?

Also, journals and compasses are a given when you are up against a world the size of Washington DC or Skyrim. They let you keep track on where you are and I always wanna know where I am.

My problem with journals, quest markers/maps, and voice acting isn't that they exist, but that they're implemented badly. Journals in RPGs don't seem to be written by the same person that scripted the dialog. It's easy in these games to run into a new quest while in the middle of another one. So say your off to kill some ogres that stole something and you talk to someone who asks you to rescue their daughter. They tell you their daughter was taken to a fort and to get there you go south until you see a big tree then head west. But it's ogre smashin' time so you put the kidnapping aside, go to the ogre cave, kill them, and recover the Chalice of Unflatulence. Now that the king is safe from beer farts, you can rescue the girl from the Wet T Shirt Bandits. So you open up the journal and it says, "Rescue Natia Ipples from The WTS Bandits. They are hiding in a cave south of town." WHERE DID THE SPECIFIC DIRECTIONS GO! You go back to the parents to get the directions again, but all they do is ask, "Have you found our daughter yet?" Yes you idiots, she's just invisible. Who would have guessed that the Wet T Shirt Bandits wanted to make women less visible?

I have the opposite problem with quest markers and maps, they are too specific. I was playing New Vegas today and I needed some information from a deputy, but he had been captured by some escaped convicts so I had to rescue him. Someone told me he was in the hotel across the street and I got a map marker for the hotel, reasonable enough. But when I entered the hotel, I still had a marker that lead me right to him. Now none of the dialog told exactly where he was in the hotel; No one said,"They probably tied him up in the bathroom, because our deputy gets the squirts when he's nervous." Where did the specific directions come from? Holes like that really damage my immersion in RPGs.

Voice acting, yeah I have some problems with that too. You always get an opportunity to name your character, but no one ever uses it. In New Vegas, everyone refers to you as "that Courier," which is a problem because getting shot in the head pretty much ended that career. In Fallout 3, you're the "Vault Dweller" to Three Dog, even when you've gotten so famous or infamous that he should know your name. (Shoot him shoot him in the head Go get the dish he wants then drop it in the radio station and say,"Here's that dish you wanted you extorting prick and here are some bullets too!")

Another problem I have with voice acting is that conversations always return to a medium tone. In the beginning of Fallout 3, a female character wakes you up to warn you of impending doom. I always respond to the wake up call with the dialog choice,"Oh I was just dreaming about you," to which she says something like,"Oh Gross!" My problem is that the creeped out tone of voice she has stops after that line and she goes into the normal exposition of the situation. It must be too expensive to have a voice actor record the same lines with different underlying emotions, but what is possible just feels unrealistic to me. And it gets worse, just tell your father (Liam Neeson) that you murdered an entire population and he'll be upset for about two lines before he remembers that he needs you to advance the plot.

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