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Howard on Bugs and Why Skyrim is Not an MMOG

Joystiq spoke with Bethesda's Todd Howard about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim during PAX, learning more about Bethesda's upcoming RPG sequel. He has an interesting comment about bugs, which at this point are a signature component of the series, saying: "We try to solve most of it, we're sensitive to a lot of it. There is a subset of that where we say 'Well, that's what can happen.' If there's entertainment value in that, whatever it is, we'll leave a lot of it. If it's gonna break the game, or unbalance the game in some way, we do try to solve it. If the solution is gonna make the game less fun ... well, hey, leave it in." He also explains why they are not pursuing an online component or making this an MMORPG:

"I like this kind of game better," he said. "You know, it's what most of us are into. I'm not really an MMO guy. I respect them, I look at them, but I don't play them. It feels more real to me when I'm the hero and it's crafted for that. A community aspect to it, I recognize a lot of people would want that in a game like this, but it changes the flavor for me.

"The audience we have for our kind of thing is big enough that we don't have to tone it down. We can just do our thing, and it's kind of grown with each game. So there was no pressure from anybody above me to say 'Hey, you need to change this.'"

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45. Re: Howard on Bugs and Why Skyrim is Not an MMOG Sep 2, 2011, 06:26 InBlack
 
Beamer wrote on Sep 1, 2011, 23:31:
No, your argument is faulty. You assume DLC "completes" the game, rather than augments it.
That has been true exceedingly rarely. I can think of only one, and that was Fallout 3.

Which also happens to be the last game that Bethesda developed internally, EXACTLY the reason why Im worried.

Then again Elder Scrolls have always been their baby. So hopefully they will make the extra effort.

In comparison Fallout: New Vegas was much much better, and felt like a complete game from start to finish.
 
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44. Re: Howard on Bugs and Why Skyrim is Not an MMOG Sep 2, 2011, 02:32 saluk
 
Beamer wrote on Sep 1, 2011, 23:31:
I didn't see anyone say that the game is incomplete because it didn't include a single DLC out of 5 (or how many did the examples you brought up have?). The 'whole package' is incomplete without the WHOLE package...

I personally like the idea of DLC... But it's also extremely unlikely I'll buy it at the initial price, and I like the idea of waiting for the complete game even more, as by then, it's a GOTY, and costs half as much as the initial, with all the DLC.

No, your argument is faulty. You assume DLC "completes" the game, rather than augments it.
That has been true exceedingly rarely. I can think of only one, and that was Fallout 3.

You are arguing facts against a feeling. People who play rpgs tend to be completionists. If there is a quest added to the game later, the fact that it wasn't missed before does not matter - the game without that added quest is now incomplete. Since these "expansion packs" tend to come out fairly close to the original release, sometimes less then a year, they [i]feel[/i] like content that was left out, which can leave a bad taste in your mouth, regardless of what the reality might be. I have no problem with people who feel this was about dlc, and I don't think anything could be said to make them have a different opinion.

For me, if I can make it through es1-4 by skyrims release, I'm very likely to buy it soon. If I am lagging behind, I'll probably wait for a sale, and if I have to wait long enough it might make sense to wait for the complete, patched, package.
 
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43. Re: Howard on Bugs and Why Skyrim is Not an MMOG Sep 1, 2011, 23:31 Beamer
 
I didn't see anyone say that the game is incomplete because it didn't include a single DLC out of 5 (or how many did the examples you brought up have?). The 'whole package' is incomplete without the WHOLE package...

I personally like the idea of DLC... But it's also extremely unlikely I'll buy it at the initial price, and I like the idea of waiting for the complete game even more, as by then, it's a GOTY, and costs half as much as the initial, with all the DLC.

No, your argument is faulty. You assume DLC "completes" the game, rather than augments it.
That has been true exceedingly rarely. I can think of only one, and that was Fallout 3.
 
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42. Re: Howard on Skyrim Bugs and Why Skyrim is Not an MMOG Sep 1, 2011, 18:21 Jonny
 
Alamar wrote on Sep 1, 2011, 17:58:
Sepharo wrote on Aug 31, 2011, 21:02:
"I wish Elder Scrolls had multiplayer" annoys me almost as much as "It's dumb that Gordon doesn't talk".

I would consider playing TES games if they had multiplayer ; )

A few tweaks, and just about any SP RPG would be better with a friend.

-Alamar

Why's that? I don't find reading a book an experience best shared, sometimes things are nice because they give you a bit of me time.
 
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41. Re: Howard on Bugs and Why Skyrim is Not an MMOG Sep 1, 2011, 18:11 Alamar
 
Beamer wrote on Sep 1, 2011, 09:25:
Next person to say "incomplete game" is getting kicked very hard in the crotch.

It's like some of you are willfully stupid. Was Oblivion incomplete because it didn't come with overpowered add-ons that blew balance like the Wizard's Tower? No. Was it incomplete without Horse Armor? No, and if you didn't like it don't buy it (no one did.)

Was Fallout incomplete without that mission involving the giant robot? Ok, I'll give you that one, but that's also the exception, not the rule. A very rare exception.

While I agree with your sentiment, your argument is faulty : )

I didn't see anyone say that the game is incomplete because it didn't include a single DLC out of 5 (or how many did the examples you brought up have?). The 'whole package' is incomplete without the WHOLE package...

I personally like the idea of DLC... But it's also extremely unlikely I'll buy it at the initial price, and I like the idea of waiting for the complete game even more, as by then, it's a GOTY, and costs half as much as the initial, with all the DLC.

Or even down to $7.50 for Borderlands (a good sized game at launch, with 3 (out of 4) good DLC purchases (at the $3.33 or so I paid).

-Alamar
 
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40. Re: Howard on Skyrim Bugs and Why Skyrim is Not an MMOG Sep 1, 2011, 17:58 Alamar
 
Sepharo wrote on Aug 31, 2011, 21:02:
"I wish Elder Scrolls had multiplayer" annoys me almost as much as "It's dumb that Gordon doesn't talk".

I would consider playing TES games if they had multiplayer ; )

A few tweaks, and just about any SP RPG would be better with a friend.

-Alamar
 
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39. Re: Howard on Bugs and Why Skyrim is Not an MMOG Sep 1, 2011, 16:12 saluk
 
I'm not concerned about skyrims lore. Throat of the world baby. I also agree with Todd - the srpg definitely gives me the feeling of being a hero that mmos just can't do.

I wouldn't mind even a tacky coop mode though. I'm one of those who appreciates coop if its there, regardless of quality or what it does to the game design But I don't begrudge it missing in these games, they are buggy enough as it is.

I kind of like that they are ok with leaving in quirky, fun bugs. I have a lot of good memories of bugs in various games that I would have been sad if they had been fixed. Riding on the wings of a plane is what's missing from the recent battlefield games I just wish they would put more time into fixing the unfun ones.
 
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38. Re: Howard on Skyrim Bugs and Why Skyrim is Not an MMOG Sep 1, 2011, 11:57 Creston
 
Kajetan wrote on Sep 1, 2011, 06:46:
Beamer wrote on Sep 1, 2011, 06:16:
Also, can't believe that after Oblivion gave such good DLC in the long run ...
That "DLC" was in fact a complete and gourgeous addon and not some fancy horse armor or a nice little tower with a few quests. People bitching about DLC do want full grown addons and no DLC crap. They consider themselves "customers" and not sheeple who fall for the very clever micropayment scheme, where you pay in the long run MUCH MORE for the same content.

I wish people would stop whining about horse armor. Yes, it was retarded. Even Bethesda has said that, in hindsight, it wasn't the smartest thing they've ever done. (which is about as far as a dev will go in saying "We fucked up.")

Some of their DLC was very much worth it. If you don't think so, don't buy it.

Anyone complaining that an Elder Scrolls game doesn't give you enough content straight out of the box seriously needs to get his head examined. They're one of the few devs left who will give you a 50 hour game for your 50 bucks, as opposed to the 4 hour "game" that seems to become the norm nowadays.

Creston
 
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37. Re: Howard on Bugs and Why Skyrim is Not an MMOG Sep 1, 2011, 11:54 Creston
 
InBlack wrote on Sep 1, 2011, 03:32:
Have any of you guys actually clicked on the "link" and read the article??

Isnt anyone worried that they this is going to be the "smallest" Elder Scrolls game yet?

Seeing as how Todd Howard himself said that, content wise, this is going to be the biggest game they've ever done... No, not really.

And yes, I did read the article.

No one is worried that nothing whatsoever is mentioned about the lore of the series?

What, in this particular interview, you mean? It's already been mentioned before there will be ~ 300 books in game, all filled with lore, just like the previous games. He even showed some of them in that illegit trailer that came out a few weeks ago.

I'm not really sure why you're so worried.

Creston
 
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36. Re: Howard on Bugs and Why Skyrim is Not an MMOG Sep 1, 2011, 10:24 wtf_man
 
Skyrim is not a MMO, and I'm pretty sure Bethesda's in-house Elder Scrolls team will CONTINUE to make single player TES games.

That said... Zennimax (Parent Company) IS making an MMO.... and I have good reason to believe that it IS an Elder Scrolls title. I do have a couple of friends in Bethesda Studio that do not deny anything when I ask "How is that Elder Scrolls MMO going?"... but at the same time they don't confirm it either, because they would say "I wouldn't know... that's a whole different studio".

Read into that what you will... and yes, I could be completely wrong in my interpretation, but we'll see if my suspicions are correct when the title of the MMO Zennimax is working on, finally gets announced.
 
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35. Re: Howard on Bugs and Why Skyrim is Not an MMOG Sep 1, 2011, 10:03 InBlack
 
LoL Beamer, Incomplete game, incomplete game, incomplete game. Beam

In all sense of that word. Verno has it right partly, but Im talking incomplete storywise too.

Next time read my post more carefully. I said "these days" not 6 months ago, or a year ago, or 3-4 years ago when Oblivion was released...

These days means that nearly every NEW game coming out these days is designed from the ground up with DLC in mind. Some games even go so far as to include the DLC with the original content, and allow it to be unlocked after a certain period of time. (For a price of course)

I dont have a problem with DLC, I really dont. I just dislike the fact that its developed at the same time as the game. This allows design flaws to creep into the game. We get teased into certain story lines only to find out later that we have to pay to see them through, we get cliffhanger endings, etc. etc.

 
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34. Re: Howard on Bugs and Why Skyrim is Not an MMOG Sep 1, 2011, 09:57 Luke
 
Hmm maybe i like it lets see.....INCOMPLETE GAME !

Games today are stripped down so they can earn extra on DLC shit
Old games longer and made with a passion you won't see today
 
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33. Re: Howard on Bugs and Why Skyrim is Not an MMOG Sep 1, 2011, 09:29 Verno
 
They probably mean incomplete PC game and in many ways the Bethesda titles are subjectively incomplete in some aspects - user interface in particular stands out. It's a perfectly legitimate point, Bethesda games are notorious for needing mods to really flesh them out. Does that mean you can't complete the game without them? No but often times you're going to have a less than optimal (if not outright broken at times) experience. You can label Oblivion a complete game but most of the PC base who played it with and without mods will likely snicker and mock you.

The fact that Skyrim will have DLC isn't indicative of anything by itself but people can be forgiven for being skeptical based on how monetization crazy the industry is these days and past history with some Bethesda titles.
 
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32. Re: Howard on Bugs and Why Skyrim is Not an MMOG Sep 1, 2011, 09:25 Beamer
 
Next person to say "incomplete game" is getting kicked very hard in the crotch.

It's like some of you are willfully stupid. Was Oblivion incomplete because it didn't come with overpowered add-ons that blew balance like the Wizard's Tower? No. Was it incomplete without Horse Armor? No, and if you didn't like it don't buy it (no one did.)

Was Fallout incomplete without that mission involving the giant robot? Ok, I'll give you that one, but that's also the exception, not the rule. A very rare exception.
 
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31. Re: Howard on Bugs and Why Skyrim is Not an MMOG Sep 1, 2011, 09:15 Verno
 
Also, can't believe that after Oblivion gave such good DLC in the long run people are annoyed that Bethesda is planning Skyrim DLC. What planet do some of you live on?

Oblivion's standout post-release content was expansions, not traditional DLC per se beyond a few knick knacks. There's a big difference between the types of expansions developed back then and much of the DLC we see these days. That being said, Bethesda did a pretty decent job with the Fallout series DLC so I always give them the benefit of the doubt.
 
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30. Re: Howard on Bugs and Why Skyrim is Not an MMOG Sep 1, 2011, 08:21 Jonny
 
Ah, The Elder Scrolls. Daggerfall was awesome, Morrowind less so but rescued by mods, Oblivion was pretty shit but made tolerable by mods. I'm guessing that Skyrim will continue the trend, but I may be surprised.

The main thing I truly enjoy about Bethesda is that they're so stubbornly singleplayer and make a damn good living out of it. In a world infested by MMOs, when there's a good chance the next game in an IP you enjoy will end up being a MMORPG, it's refreshing to be able to rely on a company to stick to the singleplayer experience and prove it's viable.

Having Kotor 3 be turned into an MMO was bad enough, but when some MMO fuckwit on the TOR forums told me to piss off and play a singleplayer game when I asked if the forced grouping could be dodged, I was left disbelieving.
 
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29. Re: Howard on Bugs and Why Skyrim is Not an MMOG Sep 1, 2011, 07:46 Prez
 
"I like this kind of game better," he said. "You know, it's what most of us are into. I'm not really an MMO guy. I respect them, I look at them, but I don't play them. It feels more real to me when I'm the hero and it's crafted for that."

Totally agree. There's more than enough MMO's - way too many really. If Skyrim was an MMO it wouldn't even register on my radar.

Have any of you guys actually clicked on the "link" and read the article??

I didn't. I generally just respond to the part which is referenced in the headline and the quote underneath it. I don't really care to read long interviews - give me the gist and I'm happy.

 
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28. Re: Howard on Bugs and Why Skyrim is Not an MMOG Sep 1, 2011, 07:41 FU
 
By USED. IT creates a nice cushion. amazon has a great used game market place. I'm older i couldn't give two shits about multilayer(charge to unlock multiplayer who cares). And nor do i have the time to invest on getting good at them. Also I have a rule. I never download DLC that smells like it was ready at launch or is just an "unlock code".  
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27. Re: Howard on Skyrim Bugs and Why Skyrim is Not an MMOG Sep 1, 2011, 07:20 InBlack
 
We live on planet earth where we have to pay 50 or 60$ for an incomplete game, and then pay an aditional 30-40$ to be able to play that game to completion.

And no Im not talking out of my ass, since thesedays (Todd Howard confirmed this in this interview) DLC packs are developed at the same time as the game and most of the time are completed even before the game is released.
 
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26. Re: Howard on Skyrim Bugs and Why Skyrim is Not an MMOG Sep 1, 2011, 06:46 Kajetan
 
Beamer wrote on Sep 1, 2011, 06:16:
Also, can't believe that after Oblivion gave such good DLC in the long run ...
That "DLC" was in fact a complete and gourgeous addon and not some fancy horse armor or a nice little tower with a few quests. People bitching about DLC do want full grown addons and no DLC crap. They consider themselves "customers" and not sheeple who fall for the very clever micropayment scheme, where you pay in the long run MUCH MORE for the same content.
 
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