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Default Bethesda Softworks - ZeniMax Acquires id Software!

June 29th, 2009, 10:10
I´m not a "codexer". I was merely commenting on the fact that rune rather frequently tends to post metacommentaries in the news threads and, well, I thought it was quite funny to do it via codex´s signature phrase, given the context .
I wouldn´t bump this thread otherwise, but since it was on the top anyway, I took the opportunity.

There probably should be some sort of umbrella topic to discuss these metathingies…
Last edited by DeepO; June 29th, 2009 at 10:56.
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June 29th, 2009, 10:46
:decline of RPGWatch:






Sorry, I couldn't resist …
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June 29th, 2009, 11:21
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
loser detected.
Are you trying to break the record for the shortest message posted here EVAR ?

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June 29th, 2009, 17:59
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
I´m not a "codexer". I was merely commenting on the fact that rune rather frequently tends to post metacommentaries in the news threads and, well, I thought it was quite funny to do it via codex´s signature phrase, given the context .
I wouldn´t bump this thread otherwise, but since it was on the top anyway, I took the opportunity.

There probably should be some sort of umbrella topic to discuss these metathingies…
Rune's first comment was completely understandable, and his second one was only a reaction to yours. So you are the only one, who started unnecessary attacks.
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June 29th, 2009, 18:39
So does anyone else think that this is actually just a publishing thing and there will be zero development crossover in reality?
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June 29th, 2009, 18:46
Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
So does anyone else think that this is actually just a publishing thing and there will be zero development crossover in reality?
At least this fragment of the original post seems to support this:

"id Software will continue to operate as a studio under the direction of its founder, John Carmack. No changes will be made in the operations of id Software in the development of its games."

I believe that besides aquiring some well-known developers (and may be some trade marks) the legendary history of id alone makes this a good marketing move.
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June 30th, 2009, 23:44
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
God. Your irrational hatred of Bethesda clouds your judgement.
It does? You mean Bethesda's games (in particular Oblivion and Fallout 3) and recent DLC releases have been shining examples of solid programming?

Heck, rune, if you want better posting on the site, here's an idea: when someone makes an argument, make a counter-argument. Unless you think dismissing someone's argument out-of-hand with a thinly veiled personal attack is a noble achievement.

Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
So does anyone else think that this is actually just a publishing thing and there will be zero development crossover in reality?
This is a publishing thing. Zero development crossover…I wouldn't know. It would make some sense for the studios to work together if it is opportune, but it's not like they're set to merge or anything,

Hell, it kinda amazed me how everyone jumped the gun on this being about Bethesda the developer+id, missing the fact that it's about Bethesda the publisher+id.

Originally Posted by bkrueger View Post
Rune's first comment was completely understandable.
Really? There's no love lost between me and Bethesda, but "irrational" would indicate I'm criticizing them for something they're really good at. I'm not really apt to do that. I hardly think someone who criticizes Bethesda's programming, animation or writing departments is being unreasonable.
Last edited by Brother None; June 30th, 2009 at 23:58.
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July 1st, 2009, 21:21
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
It does? You mean Bethesda's games (in particular Oblivion and Fallout 3) and recent DLC releases have been shining examples of solid programming?

Um….why would you not consider them "solid"? Some gameplay elements may have been watered down for the mainstream, but the games were quite sound from a technical standpoint.
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July 1st, 2009, 21:39
Originally Posted by bkrueger View Post
Rune's first comment was completely understandable….
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
Really? There's no love lost between me and Bethesda, but "irrational" would indicate I'm criticizing them for something they're really good at. I'm not really apt to do that. I hardly think someone who criticizes Bethesda's programming, animation or writing departments is being unreasonable.
I suppose it probably makes sense, somehow, from a certain point of view, but it's certainly not one I understand (or have ever really understood, honestly). Rune and bkrueger both have funny ideas about some things, IMO.

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July 2nd, 2009, 02:02
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Some gameplay elements may have been watered down for the mainstream, but the games were quite sound from a technical standpoint.
Gameplay elements aren't relevant to this question. Both Oblivion and Fallout 3 have the reputation of being buggy releases. Pegging that down is always hard, since people will have different experiences, but two facts come to mind:

1. Fallout 3 also had major technical issues for many players on the Xbox 360 and PS3. That's getting less and less rare, sadly, but not a showing of aptitude.
2. Three consecutive DLCs were released with widely-acknowledged problems. All three had to be pulled and relaunched. Bethesda blamed the problems on Microsoft pretty much every time, but honestly, since the constant here is them, and not Microsoft, I find that a bit hard to swallow.

Look, this isn't about like or dislike. I like Obsidian, and I loved Troika, but I'm not going to deny they had some pretty damned buggy releases. You could argue the scope of Bethesda's games is related to their general bugginess, but regardless of that, I don't think there's much denying that Bethesda is not at the forefront of releasing bugfree games.
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July 2nd, 2009, 02:37
How do you figure the constant is not Microsoft? All DLC releases are through Live, so Microsoft is as much a constant as Bethsoft. The missing art assets, for example, must surely be placed at MS' feet for at least failing to test the release. The DLC releases have been messy but that stands in contrast to the main releases.

I also have no idea where you get the idea where OB or FO3 have "reputations" as buggy products. I've seen a handful of people on a couple of sites desperate to paint Bethsoft as the bad guy bringing up the same number of limited scenarios over and over but I'm pretty confident both games are seen (in general) as very polished products. Design decisions aside, the idea that Bethsoft can barely program a half-broken product with this engine is utterly ludicrous.

They have a bad history (Daggerfall etc) but both OB and FO are the relatively rare exceptions that don't require immediate 1st-day patches.

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July 2nd, 2009, 03:26
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
How do you figure the constant is not Microsoft?
Because I don't know a single other DLC release that MS messed up.

Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I also have no idea where you get the idea where OB or FO3 have "reputations" as buggy products.
What's a reputation? You see people desperate to point BethSoft as the bad guy, I read the BethSoft forums and see consumers noting they can't play their game. Like I said, such things are very hard to peg down, though your attempt to paint it off as anti-Bethesda propaganda is weak at best.

Anyway, you say it's polished, I couldn't play it for more than a few hours without a CTD. Can't be helped. Though there's always this. And yes, you could make a long list of bugs for most games, but they'd be minor ones, these are oft pretty major, if badly documented.

Besides, I said programming, which isn't just stability. Both Oblivion and Fallout 3 (mostly Oblivion) had some pretty daring and broken situational ("Radiant") AI. The combat AI in both games is weak as well.

Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
They have a bad history (Daggerfall etc) but both OB and FO are the relatively rare exceptions that don't require immediate 1st-day patches.
Ooof. Perhaps we have different definitions, because my definition of "solid release" is not "does not require first-day patch".
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July 2nd, 2009, 04:56
I can read any forum and find the same thing. You nominate the release, I'll point out the complaints. Any game with an official forum you like. Go.

Bethesda barely managed to make a functional game on a polished, stable engine like Gamebryo. Do you really want to hand them experimental tech? They might blow up your computer.
Does that sound like you are referring to AI? Of course it's hyperbole but "might blow up your computer" suggests their games are dangerously buggy. If we want to talk about design or other failures, I can wax lyrical all day long but I'm really confident the general consensus sees it the opposite of you. I'd happily hold a poll but I know fanbois of all persuasions would descend.

Let me approach it another way - since my definition is apparently different to yours, give me examples of RPGs in recent years that meet your standard on release.

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July 2nd, 2009, 06:08
Beth has hurt your feelings immensely w/ the whole F3 thing BroNo, and I do feel sympathetic to your plight on that front. You must wake up screaming, in a cold sweat some nights over it. But youre all wet if you think youre gonna win an argument that they release buggy messes of games. It just aint so
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July 2nd, 2009, 08:13
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
Gameplay elements aren't relevant to this question. Both Oblivion and Fallout 3 have the reputation of being buggy releases..

That's just it though, those 2 game do *not* have that reputation, at least not the PC versions which I'm refering to. Of course they have some minor bugs, as any games of that size are bound to have, but I definitely do not see people refering to them as "buggy" games. No one except you anyways….
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July 2nd, 2009, 13:45
*shrugs* Perhaps I read too much RPGCodex, GameBanshee and NMA (all hives of "fanbois" after all, eh Dhruin?), and perhaps my own experience of constant CTDs twisted my impressions…fair enough, I'll concede the point, they are known as stable releases.

Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Does that sound like you are referring to AI? Of course it's hyperbole but "might blow up your computer" suggests their games are dangerously buggy.
It's also obviously a joking remark.

Seriously dude, if someone says "Fiat makes such bad automobiles it's a wonder they don't blow up", do you take it literally, as him claiming Fiat makes dangerous cars?

Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
If we want to talk about design or other failures, I can wax lyrical all day long but I'm really confident the general consensus sees it the opposite of you.
The general consensus? The general consensus, dear Dhruin, is that Fallout 3 is the pinnacle of RPG design. Considering how much credit I give to that, it should be no small wonder the general reputation of the title in any other field is not that relevant.

The odd thing is you'd expect technical stability to be a more measurable factor. But it isn't. All you have is "people say" or "my experience is". It'd be a good mark game journalism is maturing if they put some real time an effort in studies in this department.

Now, to take a step back before everyone starts talking to me like I'm a retarded 8-year old again, when people claim a criticism of a game can be seen as objective they usually mean it has the general consensus behind it. It's no wonder that the places I tend to hang out in as well as my own frustration at CTDs and quest-stopping bugs (I encountered two, without even looking for 'em) skewed my own view of Fallout 3. Heck, I don't think I'll be fully impressed by Bethesda's programming department until they release something that runs fine on my computer (most games do, by the way, I keep it very clean and up-to-date driverwise) and doesn't require a big-ass fanpatch, but general consensus is what it is. I'm also fully convinced Fallout 3 is a good game and significantly better than Oblivion, but a pretty terrible Fallout game, but I could argue that on BethSoft 'till my face turns blue and still get called an idiot for not calling it the greatest RPG ever, or I could state that over and over here and you guys would still pretend I'm a zealot who lashes out at Bethesda and never says anything positive about them, ever…



Are we at least agreed that their AI isn't that good, animation department is absolutely horrid, and writing varies from just ok to terrible? Or do we have yet more personal illusions to dispel?

Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Let me approach it another way - since my definition is apparently different to yours, give me examples of RPGs in recent years that meet your standard on release.
King's Bounty, Mount & Blade (final version, obv), any Avernum game.

Realise, Dhruin, that these things are always impressionistic. I've had no trouble with any of the above games, the only bug I encountered was one in M&B where it would span a siege engine way up in the air for some reason. I've also never heard of people who had problems with these games.

Obviously that's not a scientific method, and if I went looking for them I'd no doubt find them. As I said, I think gaming journalism has a ways to go in these kinds of departments.
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July 2nd, 2009, 17:22
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
Besides, I said programming, which isn't just stability. Both Oblivion and Fallout 3 (mostly Oblivion) had some pretty daring and broken situational ("Radiant") AI. The combat AI in both games is weak as well.

Are we at least agreed that their AI isn't that good… Or do we have yet more personal illusions to dispel?
I have some more personal illusions to dispel, please . While I would fully agree that the combat AI in Oblivion was by far not what it was hyped up to be, I'd still call it above average. Remember how enemies would pick up weapons of slain peers if their own weapon broke? That single feature made the AI more impressive than in 99% of all other RPGs where the AI only knows 'attack' and 'flee if health is low' at the most.
That's why I would be hesitant to call Oblivion's combat AI "weak". Compared to most other RPGs it was actually pretty decent in my opinion.

Don't know about FO3 since I have only played maybe 20 hours of it or so and have only had standard (attack/flee) encounters, not any high level stuff. That limited experience would still lead me to believe that the FO3 AI is pretty much "average" or "standard" and not "weak" unless we consider the standard AI in just about all video games as "weak" which would be an entirely different topic (and a thesis I would actually support since I would generally love to see the AI do much more stuff and see it be a lot more reactive).
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July 2nd, 2009, 17:46
I'd say Radiant AI didn't work well for Oblivion, including in combat-situations (both in setting hostility and in determining line of sight), but it was mostly ambitious, and that's admirable even when it doesn't work out. They decided to limit it heavily and script more with Fallout 3, a sound decision but not one that led to an impressive AI performance, though it's a lot more predictable than it was in Oblivion.

I notice a bit of a bifurcation of standards as well. Compared to RPGs, TES IV and F3's combat AI is pretty solid or at least ok, I agree. But I would call the combat AI in most RPGs weak, compared to that in other games. Heck, I'm not overly impressed by the evolution of AI in general, but we do need a standard. If you take RPGs as a standard and hold Fallout 3 up to it, it's pretty ok. If you take FPSs as a standard and hold Fallout 3 up to it, it's terrible. So I go for the middle ground, and call it weak.

But it's pretty hard to determine a standard. Do we try to determine it through comparison to other games? Then you probably go into a highly subjective debate of opinions. Do we use reviewer reaction? I'd say they tend to be a bit skewed towards the positive on almost every game. Do we use fan reaction? Probably best in the sense that they, as the consumer, are most important, but they're not experts, and opinions can be hard to measure. Do we treat other developers' opinions as standards? Considering an expert status would be nice, and most reviewers are not experts at all, that'd be nice, but we all know the game industry is too fluid in job position for most developers to feel they can be honest in criticism, as it can bite them in the ass. I've had professional game developers privately mock Radiant AI, state the Bethesda's animation department is seen as "a joke" by most of the industry, and states he thinks Oblivion sucks, needing to upgrade his system just to get it to be "chuggy and barely playable" (a programming issue, perhaps?), yet I don't think a single one of them would ever say this publicly.

So we're left with these debates. Which are in good fun and certainly enlightening for someone like me, who hangs around Dhruin's dreaded fanbois way too much for my mental health, though it would help if fewer of you had such pronounced affirmative bias.
Last edited by Brother None; July 2nd, 2009 at 17:57.
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July 2nd, 2009, 23:20
Actually, I meant the Elder Scrolls forums as much as anywhere else.

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July 2nd, 2009, 23:59
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Actually, I meant the Elder Scrolls forums as much as anywhere else.
You think the requests in the Bethesda tech forums are all from a handful of guys desperately trying to paint off BethSoft in a bad light?

That's a bit too conspiracy theory for me, Dhruiner ;P
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