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September 2nd, 2010, 02:33
Originally Posted by UK_John View Post
Well, think of the Gold Box RPG's from the 80's,
think of the Elder Scrolls RPG's from the 90's and 00's,
think of the Ultima series from the 80's and 90's,
think of the Wizardry series from the 90's and 00's,
think of the Might and Magic series from the 90's and 00's,
think of the Fallout series from the 90's and the 00's,
think of the Gothic series from the 00's,
yes, and think of the Baldur's Gate series
and the Neverwinter Nights series
and the Icewind Dale series.

Think of all the classic cRPG's of the last 30 years and you'll find non linear exploration, that got you the side quests, that got you the loot, that got you the better armour. that helped you level up. that progressed you in the story!

So yes, the first so-called cRPG for PC that did not have non linear exploration.

…. Oh, and by the way, I still own and play most of these games, so it's not guess work!
The Gold box games were mixed, some were fairly linear, like Secret of the Silver Blades, while others were open, like Treasures of the Savage Frontier. Wizardry was strictly linear until 7; and before 6 there was literally nothing but a single dungeon. Most "Wizardry-likes" (eg Bard's Tale) were similar, with limited to no variation in where you could go.

Many Rogue-likes have very linear exploration as well; being a single dungeon with one entrance and exit per level.

In fact, many of these older games did not have quests in the modern sense of the word; you had the main story you followed, and if you were lucky one, maybe two endings. There was no one giving you additional things to do. I'm not sure when that started, but it was probably an Ultima.

Even the games that did offer a semblance of open world exploration, you had to complete the quest events in a certain order, or it wasn't getting done.

And yes, I own and play these same games. I just started a run in Phantasie, even though EGA hurts my eyes (and did even when all I had was EGA games or C64 games; I always chose the C64). The only ones missing off my drive are the Gothics, which I haven't gotten around to installing on my newish computer, the Fallouts, which I can't find my copy, and Neverwinter Nights, which I oddly never picked up.

So no, Dragon Age is not even remotely the first CRPG without an open, sandbox style of exploration. Heck, as pointed out, the traveling from area to area is pretty similar to Baldur's Gate 2; you were told about an area, and it appeared on your map.

Whats more, is the last Elderscrolls game WAS very open world… TOO open world in fact, as it was a huge expanse of nothingness broken up by the odd deer or bandit. I just wonder how the bandits survived, with nothing to do but throw the bones and hunt the all-too scarce game. It also retained a very detailed and open character creation and development system. So the comment that crpgs are not coming from Bethseda is patently false. They make games with every bit and more of what the older titles offered, except actual content per game world area, which they are sorely lacking in.

It was the night before Hogswatch…

I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity - Edgar Allan Poe
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