Op Ed

ExtremeTech - Why I Don't Like Online Multiplayer Gaming.
"Something about perceived anonymity brings out the worst in some people. I don't want to pigeonhole teenyboppers, as I've met some very nice 12-year-olds, but they seem to be the worst of the lot, at least according to my admittedly unscientific survey. It consists of counting how often the voices—calling me a very, very naughty word—crack as they hurl curses."

Live Expansions: Future of the MMOG on Ten Ton Hammer.
"The idea of giving players a free expansion may be anathema to most, but there are some solid reasons why it's a good idea. First and foremost is the amount of content you can decide to include or not include. When you attach a price to an item, you immediately attach an imagined value, or worth."

IGN- Is Final Fantasy VII Overrated?
"Really, this is the best RPG ever made?"

Kombo.com - Is God of War III Taking Violence Too Far?
"Has Kratos finally stepped over the line from visceral gaming to snuff film?"

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41 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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41.
 
Re: Op Ed
Mar 15, 2009, 00:05
41.
Re: Op Ed Mar 15, 2009, 00:05
Mar 15, 2009, 00:05
 
Oh for another (3.5E) D&D RPG with the scale of BG2. Siiigh.

Dragon Age is looking pretty promising based on the preview stuff. The days of those old RPG's are pretty much dead though unfortunately I'd kill for another Daggerfall even though it was the buggiest and most punishing RPG I've ever played.
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40.
 
Re: Op Ed
Mar 10, 2009, 13:15
40.
Re: Op Ed Mar 10, 2009, 13:15
Mar 10, 2009, 13:15
 
Role playing is confined by the boundaries of the situation the character you play finds him/herself in. The freedom to go off on a alternate universe tear likened to good Kirk, bad Kirk does not a good role playing game make. It's a nice feature, but that's it.

For example in FF12, your main character is a young street urchin who lost his parents to plague, his brother to high court conspiracy, and has been watching everyone he knows get crushed under the boot of a conquering kingdom. Before he even has much time to parse his situation, and what to do about it, he is swept up in the resistance spearheaded by the queen, who is claimed to be dead, a loyal knight of the queen who was branded a traitor, and a cast of 3rd parties like the Sky Pirate Balthier and the playboy bunny with a head on her shoulders, Fran (I love these 2, they make the story charming).

By probability, peer pressure, motivations, and conditioning, most of his choices are already set in stone. Getting there is the only thing left to choice. To have the freedom to go against, character, story, and what that character really would do in that situation makes for a horribly bad playing of the role, not good.

To me what makes a good RPG are... Is the story good and does it make me believe? Is it fun? Do I find myself liking the cast? Is there enough depth to keep me interested? Will I want to play it again? Will it surprise me with added value and unforseen replay?

There are also other factors that are more personal like preference for turn based. Larger than life bosses that are different and complex. Puzzles hidden in a secret, wrapped in an enigma is a plus. Fanbase level quests like figuring out how to get the best weapons, hidden things that usually no single player will discover on his own is something I like too.

For me, min maxing is required. I find it funny all the people who whine about min maxing, and 9 times out of 10, they min/max the hell out of the characters they play. So many times this has occured, is so funny to see. I don't say anything, just chuckle to myself.
PS3 resurgance by GOW3 - Check! Mass Effect for PS3 - Check! Diablo 3 for consoles? I say "For sure"!
39.
 
Re: Op Ed
Mar 10, 2009, 00:50
39.
Re: Op Ed Mar 10, 2009, 00:50
Mar 10, 2009, 00:50
 
Good point, of course the "moral" reward (either for the good or evil guy) is always there and is the main reason such situations should exist throughout (eg. The Witcher).

The problem stems from the fact that there is no clear evil, so the Context is important, eg.

Imagine you (the robber) would be starving because of bad-food management or you are simply broke, your only choice is to rob someone or ask someone for help, you asked plenty of people and nobody helps you, you come across that rich wealthy merchant and he asks twice the price for food he normally would, would it be morally wrong to rob that merchant so that you could live? Is not a live more important than money? ;p

Aside that, such moral ambivalence is applicable to many quests, freeing the slaves of a slave driver might seem like a good deed, but in the constraints of a fantasy world (slavery might very well be legal, it sure as hell was quite a while perfectly legal in our reality as well) this might actually be a crime (And hence move your alignment away from lawful) but still a good deed (move your alignment torwards good)

Anyhow, DnD is the only game system that has a really well thought out alignment system, one that i think is applicable to the real world as well. One can argue that doing evil deeds though is punished too much in BG2 (prices !) Though i certainly never had a money problem, and i can not play an evil guy either, i always tend to fall torwads good chaotic, truly evil deeds are most of the time things i would not do even in a RPG.

That said, a game that does not supply me with the ABILITY to do such things (evil and good, lawful and chaotic) and True Neutral things (god i hate tree huggers) is not a good RPG .. ok enough brabbling from me ^^
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38.
 
Re: Op Ed
Mar 10, 2009, 00:22
38.
Re: Op Ed Mar 10, 2009, 00:22
Mar 10, 2009, 00:22
 
The proper setup for the merchant would be do you ROB him and kill him or ROB him and let him live (The choice not to rob him is irrelevant in that setup).

I disagree. You don't have to rob him. You have a choice. Robbing him grants you the most immediate benefit of loot but has potentially negative long-term repercussions. Choosing not to rob him gives you no immediate benefit but potential long-term rewards. Granted, most RPGs don't have any consequences for successfully stealing from someone so there's little incentive not to do. However, if there was a consequence, choosing to steal from him would be a meaningful choice. Any choice is driven by reward, though that reward isn't necessarily loot, experience or any kind of gameplay benefit. A sadistic player's reward would be seeing the merchant's family become poverty-stricken and forced into slavery/prostitution/crime. A morally righteous player's reward would be doing the "right" thing and let the merchant and his family continue their normal lives.

And yeah, I agree that modern RPGs are sorely lacking in such scenarios.
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37.
 
Re: Op Ed
Mar 9, 2009, 22:42
37.
Re: Op Ed Mar 9, 2009, 22:42
Mar 9, 2009, 22:42
 
If neither choice has any pro's its a perfect real world situation, nothing you do is a good choice, there is no such thing.

The proper setup for the merchant would be do you ROB him and kill him or ROB him and let him live (The choice not to rob him is irrelevant in that setup). He is out of his money in any case and you are getting stuff in any case, but will your morals prevent you from roleplaying thusly killing the merchant but being attacked by his family later or will you let him live, which in turn will make HIM and his family attack you.

That is a superb example of good RP'ing a choice which has no good or bad, anything you do *after* choosing to rob him is a non-reward guided choice, nothing you do gives you any reward and everything you do AFTER robbing IS a "punishment" choice, or rather the choice of least trouble.

With viable anyway, i ment that not any choice should offer an reward. (read above, where either choice will net you no reward, unless you already calculate on looting his family as well ;p) In this case letting him live is more profitable.

Anyhow, i would happy enough if i even had such choices, most modern rpg's do not give me such a situational choice as you described it or anything even remotely close ;(

Btw, a real good RP Master (I'm thinking of dnd gamemasters) would allow you to take sadism even further, causing his family to become poor the men to become a heavy drinker the women and child slaves. Etc, then you could "buy" the slaves and let em fight an evil dragon. Of course, some complexity like that is only possible when the game is allowing it in the first place. And in that sense RP servers in NwN 1 already came really close to "real" rping beause all that WOULD be possible there.
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36.
 
Re: Op Ed
Mar 9, 2009, 19:51
36.
Re: Op Ed Mar 9, 2009, 19:51
Mar 9, 2009, 19:51
 
You get the satisfaction of doing the right thing.
PS3 resurgance by GOW3 - Check! Mass Effect for PS3 - Check! Diablo 3 for consoles? I say "For sure"!
35.
 
Re: Op Ed
Mar 9, 2009, 19:40
35.
Re: Op Ed Mar 9, 2009, 19:40
Mar 9, 2009, 19:40
 
So are there any benefits to agreeing with Roberto?
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34.
 
Re: Op Ed
Mar 9, 2009, 16:00
34.
Re: Op Ed Mar 9, 2009, 16:00
Mar 9, 2009, 16:00
 
@Dryden - I despised X-2. It was very, very fashion model Barbie in FF universe. I don't know why they didn't just give us more of the same. It did however answer some question as to the fate of the main character in FF10, and the logic behind it. I am glad Square is trying all these different things with products. I think at the end of the day, they will realize you can't shortcut what players expect.

BTW the Gambit system was part of the ground up approach they take with each FF game. Back in the day the first 5ish FF games were pretty much the same system. But at 6 or so they started redesigning every game to be a new experience with just enough of the standard stuff to keep it real. I haven't played 8 and 9 so I don't know if they did there as well. But with 12, they really tried something new (Last Remnant they incorporated up to 18 people in squads) and I find it good in the way that it is something different.

I still like 10 better. It is my favorite and won't be dethroned for a very long time. Even after you finished the game, found all the secrets (yes even dodged 200 consecutive lightning bolts), there was an arena with scores of bosses in it that you had to quest to populate the arena, then defeat each boss. The bosses were varied enough to make you change tactics. Heck, I think the PAL version even had more content than what I got. I have to see if it will run on a PS3 with the chip, regardless of region. If it's worth getting.

@Jerykk - Ok Spoiler alert, stop reading if this kind of thing bugs you.


Roberto presents 3 "high road" questions. He is morally right to most people's perceptions. Ophelia presents a low road path each time and wants vengence. If you ever agree with Roberto, you miss the lesson of taking the low road via a hidden quest, and seeing it played out, along with it's words of advice. The rewards are Ophelia's Sword (special item), opening a part of Numor mines that can be opened by other means but it involves talking to every NPC and some people have trouble. It also counts towards achievements if you chase those. Numor mines portion that it opens contains many special guild quest and rare monster targets. It is easily missed, and even if you find it, easily messed up. That quest is one of the big know before you play tips (of many) if you want to only play the game 1 time and see everything.
PS3 resurgance by GOW3 - Check! Mass Effect for PS3 - Check! Diablo 3 for consoles? I say "For sure"!
33.
 
Re: Op Ed
Mar 9, 2009, 15:20
33.
Re: Op Ed Mar 9, 2009, 15:20
Mar 9, 2009, 15:20
 
RP Choices should never be equally viable

I'm not following you. All choices should have pros and cons. For example, if I kill this merchant, I can take all the loot he has right now. However, he won't be able to offer me anything in the future, whether that be new items or quests. In addition, his friends or family might try to avenge his death later on. The roleplaying comes into play when you weigh your priorities. Do you spare the merchant out of utilitarian motivation? Do you spare him because of morals? Do you kill him so you can take his stuff? Or do you just kill him for the fun of it?

If one choice has no downsides, it's not really a choice. Similarly, if neither choice has any pros, it's not really a choice either.
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32.
 
GOW3
Mar 9, 2009, 15:00
Kxmode
 
32.
GOW3 Mar 9, 2009, 15:00
Mar 9, 2009, 15:00
 Kxmode
 
snuff film?"

Snuff films are movies that show real people really dieing. So the answer is no. Confused
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
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31.
 
Re: Op Ed
Mar 9, 2009, 13:10
31.
Re: Op Ed Mar 9, 2009, 13:10
Mar 9, 2009, 13:10
 
Wait, what? RP Choices should never be equally viable, choices should exist completely devoid of reward thats the foundation of making free choices in the first place! Reward for an choice is like the horse and the carrot, not roleplaying but being guided by the developers

Choice is always being able to do what you want, want to kill that NPC, have fun (FF7 does not allow killing of NPCs...) Want to kill that annoying team member, have fun! (FF7 does not allow you killing party members)

And if an RPG has no "non immortal" children, its already on the FAIL boat as well
Avatar 54727
30.
 
Re: Op Ed
Mar 9, 2009, 12:12
30.
Re: Op Ed Mar 9, 2009, 12:12
Mar 9, 2009, 12:12
 
Look up Roberto and Ophelia, The Last Remnant. It's just one of the things worth mentioning.

I looked them up on Gamefaqs and all I saw was that one of Ophelia's quests is only available if you agree with her at the end of all three of Roberto's quests. I'm not sure if I'd really consider that a moral choice, though the ability to agree with different NPCs is a surprising amount of freedom. However, it seems the only impact of this is that you get a unique item.

I think there should be wrong choices in the sense you can't manipulate the game and the outcomes aren't always predictable.

I agree. However, choices should always be made obvious to the player and should be balanced to be equally viable. The consequences of these choices shouldn't always be predictable but they should be logical. If a choice is given but the player doesn't know it's a choice, or if a choice is given but only rewards or punishes the player, I don't really consider it a choice.
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29.
 
Re: Op Ed
Mar 9, 2009, 08:44
29.
Re: Op Ed Mar 9, 2009, 08:44
Mar 9, 2009, 08:44
 
Oh for another (3.5E) D&D RPG with the scale of BG2. Siiigh.
28.
 
Re: Op Ed
Mar 9, 2009, 07:52
28.
Re: Op Ed Mar 9, 2009, 07:52
Mar 9, 2009, 07:52
 
Z9000 I like your posts but it has to be said -- if you remove Japanese sales of these jrpg's, then the sales numbers go wayyyyyy down. For the West, the big negative moments were FF X-2 and then far worse FF12. FF12 introduced the "gambit" system where the game essentially plays itself.

FF fans in DROVES did not like those 2 games. With FF12, many bought it but dropped it like a brick. Square has been varying gameplay mechanics ever since looking for something that works.

To put it another way, everyone's talking about the older FF's, which adds further weight to my argument that Square's games are losing appeal.


27.
 
Re: Op Ed
Mar 9, 2009, 04:22
27.
Re: Op Ed Mar 9, 2009, 04:22
Mar 9, 2009, 04:22
 
@Jerkk - Look up Roberto and Ophelia, The Last Remnant. It's just one of the things worth mentioning. I think there should be wrong choices in the sense you can't manipulate the game and the outcomes aren't always predictable.

JRPGs are coming back with a vengence. We have had what, 5 released in 12 months? Maybe more? Most next gen.

BTW I disliked Blue Dragon. Too kiddyfied and the incestant searching every thing in the world. Combat was shallow characters boring. Story was ok but probably appeals more to Dragonball Z fans.

Lost Odyssey - Ok but simplistic character system and fixed. I played it for the story.

Tales of Vesperia - Was good. I quit about half way through and will go back to it one day. It was one of the better this year but it didn't hook me.

Persona 3-4 (ps2) - Very complex and detailed but I don't like being forced to have a sim high school life for half of the game.

Eternal Sonata - Really wanted to like this one but just so simplified it was too little to keep my interest.

Enchanted Arms - Actually liked this one as the boss fights actually required some thinking.

See, I am picky as hell about JRPGs, and all games. I don't care if a game is on a console or a computer, if it's good I am there, if it isn't, adios. Anyone who hates all JRPGs has a smaller gaming universe, and my pity that they won't enjoy some of them as much as I do.
PS3 resurgance by GOW3 - Check! Mass Effect for PS3 - Check! Diablo 3 for consoles? I say "For sure"!
26.
 
Re: Op Ed
Mar 9, 2009, 03:34
26.
Re: Op Ed Mar 9, 2009, 03:34
Mar 9, 2009, 03:34
 
Oh, Grandia ! Yes that was indeed great... but rare exception in an ocean of mediocrity...

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25.
 
Re: Op Ed
Mar 9, 2009, 01:25
PHJF
 
25.
Re: Op Ed Mar 9, 2009, 01:25
Mar 9, 2009, 01:25
 PHJF
 
Not every jRPG has a canned story and boring characters. That's why I like Chrono Cross. That being said, I like games like the Tales series just because of the frenetic real time combat.

But anyways, the golden age of the jRPG has come and gone. Current generation offers like Last Remnant and Blue Dragon have been acceptable but far from perfect. The best jRPGs will remain on PSX and PS2, especially PSX: Chrono Cross, Parasite Eve, Xenogears, Vagrant Story, Lunar, Valkyrie Profile, Grandia...
Steam + PSN: PHJF
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24.
 
Re: Op Ed
Mar 9, 2009, 00:00
24.
Re: Op Ed Mar 9, 2009, 00:00
Mar 9, 2009, 00:00
 
Most players who do not like FF7 probably never got beyond the horrid combat and spell "learning" grind. The RPG aspects of FF7 are negligible and the story is, and i doubt you will disagree, worlds away from a *good* story.

I can only put it this way. Every character class you choose in BG2 nets you a different game. Thats besides the group choice, THAT IS ROLE PLAYING

In FF7 you are always playing the same guy with the same class with no impact of your skill choices on the game = JRPG

- Speaking of that, the JRPG vs Real RPG discussion is as old as the internet , i can not put it well in words, but there is an absolute difference and i hate the JRPG's with a passion. Except my Chrono Trigger (which was pretty cool).

Nevertheless, all this talking makes me want to play Torment again

This comment was edited on Mar 9, 2009, 00:14.
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23.
 
Re: Op Ed
Mar 8, 2009, 23:34
23.
Re: Op Ed Mar 8, 2009, 23:34
Mar 8, 2009, 23:34
 
Most Square games bust you "squarely" in the balls if you make wrong decisions or pass things up.

That's the thing: There shouldn't be any "wrong" decisions. All choices should be equally viable and have their own respective consequences but no choice should ever truly punish the player. A choice should be balanced with benefits and downsides and it's up to the player to decide which is more important. If a game punishes me unfairly because I didn't do what the designers wanted, that's not really a choice.

Even The Last Remnant will send you packing on a particular set of moral decisions and quite a few missed events. Decisions you make with your leaders have game lasting consequences and benefits.

Interesting. What are some examples of these moral choices and long-term consequences? Is it merely a stat bonus/penalty, a unique item or is it actually a significant impact on the story and the game world?

And these events? How do you miss them? Are they based on a timer of some sort? Are they random? Is it actually a choice on the player's behalf or is it something they just happen to run into?

I have no doubt that JRPGs have meaningful choice when it comes to stats (at least in combat). But I'm very curious to see whether the examples you've cited apply to more than just min/maxing.

This comment was edited on Mar 8, 2009, 23:35.
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22.
 
Re: Op Ed
Mar 8, 2009, 23:18
22.
Re: Op Ed Mar 8, 2009, 23:18
Mar 8, 2009, 23:18
 
Baldur's Gate 2 was the closest CRPG players ever got to understanding what makes JRPGs so fun. Most people who do not like JRPGs only know the surface game, judge a book by it's cover and move on. Once people started figuring out the ins and outs of BG2, they started expirementing, digging and finding secrets, replaying and uncovering the hidden game. Most JRPGs have had this for ages. But some gamers are either embarassed or too obtuse to allow themselves to enjoy them. To each his own.

As for no long term concequences... Most Square games bust you "squarely" in the balls if you make wrong decisions or pass things up. Expect 2-3 play throughs for a perfect finish. Square Enix is notorious for playing shell games with fate. Even The Last Remnant will send you packing on a particular set of moral decisions and quite a few missed events. Decisions you make with your leaders have game lasting consequences and benefits. Who you hire and what party make up you make will dictate your strengths and weaknesses for the whole game, unless you substitue heavily which dilutes your strength in trade for change. That's just TLR.

This comment was edited on Mar 8, 2009, 23:20.
PS3 resurgance by GOW3 - Check! Mass Effect for PS3 - Check! Diablo 3 for consoles? I say "For sure"!
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