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April 13th, 2011, 07:44
I the convo?? I'm too confused to get insulted! I'm fairly certain that I'm not reading anything that I don't think I'm reading…?

Hmmm… I don't know about UU2 (Ultima Underworld 2, I presume) but Planescape: Torment wasn't all that terribly complex, was it? I would be most worried that the story would get trimmed down to something less wordy (and cheaper to do via voice acting). It might be a lot like seeing your favorite book turned into a movie. I would shudder at the thought of what EA marketing might do to it, too. I wouldn't mind wandering around in a 3D city, though!
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April 13th, 2011, 08:16
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Of course preferences are influenced by past experience, nobody is denying that. The issue is the insinuation that people are incapable of objectively judging something because of it.
But your judgements are based on that same process of experience shaping your tastes and outlook. There is no objectiveness with media, with art… only subjective. If someone says Ultima VII is a piece of crap but Oblivion was great that does not make them wrong, it just means they had different experiences than you that led them to value different things in RPGs.
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April 13th, 2011, 09:51
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
You're pretty much saying what I am saying exactly, I just don't think you realize it. On your 1-10 scale some people started at 1 and think that is what an RPG is, but the people who started at 4 think that 4 is what an RPG is. If today is 7 then tomorrow there will be people who think 8 is what an RPG is.

Where you go wrong is assuming that 1 is the correct answer… it isn't. The first generation of something is far from the perfect version of it in any genre or category, games included. Which number is the "right" number is subjective and based off your personal experiences and tastes. There is no correct answer, it doesn't exist.
Stage one is not reached in one move. It took time to mature RP gaming as a genre. At one moment, it happens that enough characteristics were secured to speak of a different genre in gaming.

That is stage one: when the RPG genre was mature enough to be distinguished by their characteristics. People playing games that would lead to the genre before stage 1 did not play RPGs.

For cRPGs, today, games are labelled RPGS when they hold much more of other genres that existed before. That is where it changes it all. It is not a new redefinition within a same genre but one genre being sold as another.

Anyone who played beat'em ups in the 80s can see how DA2 is the natural evolution of beat'em ups thirty years later.

DA2 even recovers the classical three classes separation that so many beat'em ups thrived on.
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April 13th, 2011, 09:55
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
But your judgements are based on that same process of experience shaping your tastes and outlook. There is no objectiveness with media, with art… only subjective. If someone says Ultima VII is a piece of crap but Oblivion was great that does not make them wrong, it just means they had different experiences than you that led them to value different things in RPGs.
It is not about good or bad. Being of RPG genre does yield anything about good or bad.

It is about being part of a genre or not. At this point, either the notion of genre is accepted as useful or it is rejected. But once it is accepted, you have to discipline yourself into accepting the constraints going with it.

Why classify a game as RPGs when it exists another genre that better characterizes the game?
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April 13th, 2011, 10:10
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Of course preferences are influenced by past experience, nobody is denying that. The issue is the insinuation that people are incapable of objectively judging something because of it.
The underlying meaning is, there's one truth, the judgment of a game.

That's where you are wrong and what is trying to explain DoctorNarrative. The problem with DoctorNarrative argument is it ends in an impossibility to evaluate and debate of qualities of a game. But ultimately this argument is right anyway.

And one cause of evaluation differences is experience, age, nostalgia, and many other elements. So in the arguing, DoctorNarrative is right, and there's no subjectivity here. But it leads not very far when you want debate about games.
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April 13th, 2011, 10:24
If someone says Ultima VII is a piece of crap but Oblivion was great that does not make them wrong,
No but as I already mentioned, if someone says Ultima VII is dumbed down and Oblivion isn't that makes them wrong.
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April 13th, 2011, 10:26
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
..Can you imagine today's players getting upset that the person you needed to find urgently, A) wasn't always in the same place, and B) didn't have an exclamation mark over their head!!!!
Did the game provided clues where was this person? If not, the search could work because it's a pretext too explore more. But is anybody is enjoying in real life to search something he lost? I doubt a lot. There's matter of discussion on that sort of element. And even more when some games use a top down approach giving a more global vision and other give a much closer view and less global vision.

In no way I'm defending the awful cursor pointer of Oblivion and exclamation mark of Dungeon Siege, or it was some Diablo the first, not sure. But I'm trying to explain it's not that simple and obvious.
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April 13th, 2011, 10:31
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
It is about being part of a genre or not. At this point, either the notion of genre is accepted as useful or it is rejected. But once it is accepted, you have to discipline yourself into accepting the constraints going with it.

Why classify a game as RPGs when it exists another genre that better characterizes the game?
The whole "what defines an RPG" argument is long and involved, I don't think anyone has a real answer. That's even more decided by experience if you ask me, since it's likely the previous games you played that identified themselves as "RPGs" would define what you consider an "RPG."

I personally think of choice and consequence when I think of "RPG." You roleplay a character you design and make choices based on that character's personality, which then have effects and consequences in the game world. To other people though RPG just means stats, or means a videogame version of pen and paper RPGs, or whatever else. I would bet after Oblivion there are a large number of youngsters who identify an RPG around exploration.
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April 13th, 2011, 10:36
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
No but as I already mentioned, if someone says Ultima VII is dumbed down and Oblivion isn't that makes them wrong.
"Dumbed-down" is subjective as well. You can streamline a game in a positive way that does not diminish the gameplay. If you streamline badly or too much then it is "dumbing down" but what is "bad" and "too much" will depend on the player, i.e. subjective.

I think Oblivion is dumbed down to hell and back but many people would say it streamlined Morrowind in a positive and enjoyable way.

I guess you could say streamlined is an objective descriptor while dumbed down is a subjective remark.
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April 13th, 2011, 11:24
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
But your judgements are based on that same process of experience shaping your tastes and outlook. There is no objectiveness with media, with art… only subjective. If someone says Ultima VII is a piece of crap but Oblivion was great that does not make them wrong, it just means they had different experiences than you that led them to value different things in RPGs.
I'm really confused as to what your point is now.

This started with you claiming that nostalgia and gaming conditioning being the reasons for what you like. I agree with that to a certain extent, as I've said.

But now it's about how you develop as a human being - and it's like games and what they do and their designs are largely irrelevant.

I mean, isn't that somewhat cyclical to you?

Why ever talk about what you like and what features you prefer - if it's never about that. If all games are potentially brilliant if you're "conditioned" by your environment to like them - then all games are basically 10/10 games that you just have to be conditioned to like?

That makes absolutely no pragmatic sense to me, but I agree that theoretically it's a way to look at things.

Still, I certainly prefer to believe that what I think games are doing right is something that's worth taking notice of - and something developers can learn from.

Otherwise, I find the whole thing becomes incredibly fuzzy and there would be no point to any vision at all. We could just remake Tetris indefinitely and resign ourselves to having to be pre-conditioned to like them or do without fantastic games.

Essentially, we all have our subjective angles to what we like and what we don't. That's fine - and I don't think it serves as a revelation to any adult human being.

But with that said, I actually do believe there are universal markers of fascination - however blurry - and while some like this or that, there will be things that will appeal to a particular mindset - regardless of tangible pre-conditioning.

Things like exploration, puzzle-solving, combat, or what have you. These things are part of the human condition as a whole - and won't be dependant on conditioning apart from being human on Earth.
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April 13th, 2011, 12:35
I'm trying to say it's not nostalgia. To me nostalgia means I like Quantum Leap because I watched it as a kid, despite knowing that show actually really sucks. That is nostalgia to me.

With games I am simply saying the era you started gaming in and the games you chose to play over the course of your development as a "gamer" heavily influence what games you like today. Someone who was introduced to RPGs 5 years ago will very often have much different perspectives on RPGs than someone who was introduced to them in the mid-80's. Even something as simple as tolerance for Morrowind's attacks not necessary hitting despite looking like the hit can be baffling and insanely off-puting to someone who played Oblivion before that.

There are exceptions of course, you can re-train yourself. I'm trying to train myself to enjoy FPP dungeon crawlers like Lands of Lore. In general though when I see comments like "OMG RPGs ARE DEAD" I tend to immediately classify the person saying that as someone with one idea of what an RPG is that was probably decided a long time ago.

And then I rambled on and brought greater sociology into it… that your personality is largely decided by societal interaction in my opinion, and that includes why you play games and what games you like. That's really a much grander and more abstract point though.

Anyway, I've rambled a lot. I enjoy thinking about this kind of stuff and talking about it. I find the idea that someone decides which games they like based purely on objective quality to be quite silly. There is no objective quality in games. Every game you like someone hates. Every game you hate someone loves.
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April 13th, 2011, 12:52
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
I'm trying to say it's not nostalgia. To me nostalgia means I like Quantum Leap because I watched it as a kid, despite knowing that show actually really sucks. That is nostalgia to me.
Ok, but then you should probably not have started out saying it's part nostalgia.

With games I am simply saying the era you started gaming in and the games you chose to play over the course of your development as a "gamer" heavily influence what games you like today. Someone who was introduced to RPGs 5 years ago will very often have much different perspectives on RPGs than someone who was introduced to them in the mid-80's. Even something as simple as tolerance for Morrowind's attacks not necessary hitting despite looking like the hit can be baffling and insanely off-puting to someone who played Oblivion before that.
Who, in their right mind, would deny that your past is a strong influence on your present?

The point is that because you liked something in the past, it doesn't necessarily translate into liking it in the future. So while the influence is there, it can also be the opposite effect - in that you EVOLVE and genres can do the same.

So we agree there's an influence, but we most certainly don't agree that influence is as simplistic as you make it seem.

There are exceptions of course, you can re-train yourself. I'm trying to train myself to enjoy FPP dungeon crawlers like Lands of Lore. In general though when I see comments like "OMG RPGs ARE DEAD" I tend to immediately classify the person saying that as someone with one idea of what an RPG is that was probably decided a long time ago.
I find myself disagreeing that it has do with willful "training" - as much as it has to do with naturally or randomly evolving or changing.

These things are not static or as simple as you seem to believe. That's my opinion, though.

It's also about mood or "where you are" at the point of playing. You can start enjoying something you used to hate simply by being in the correct mood - or because you've been inspired recently. In that way, I think our past is much less a chain around our angles than you seem to think.

I can't "train" myself to enjoy things like you seem to be able to do. I can only hope to enjoy that which I'm playing - and I find it changes all the time.

But there are certain core features that I will always love - like exploration and strong immersion. Those things have less to do with "gaming conditioning" and more to do with my basic personality.

In fact, I think most of these "core markers of fascination" are pretty universal. As such, I think all people are fascinated by it - when presented in the right way, at the right time. So sometimes our past can make us rigid and prevent us from trying new things. In that way, I suppose we agree - partially.

And then I rambled on and brought greater sociology into it… that your personality is largely decided by societal interaction in my opinion, and that includes why you play games and what games you like. That's really a much grander and more abstract point though.
Indeed.

Anyway, I've rambled a lot. I enjoy thinking about this kind of stuff and talking about it. I find the idea that someone decides which games they like based purely on objective quality to be quite silly. There is no objective quality in games. Every game you like someone hates. Every game you hate someone loves.
We can agree on that, but unlike you - I don't really think anyone here is that deluded. There is no such thing as quantifiable objective quality when it comes to entertainment.
Last edited by DArtagnan; April 13th, 2011 at 13:18.
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April 13th, 2011, 15:16
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Who, in their right mind, would deny that your past is a strong influence on your present?

The point is that because you liked something in the past, it doesn't necessarily translate into liking it in the future. So while the influence is there, it can also be the opposite effect - in that you EVOLVE and genres can do the same.

So we agree there's an influence, but we most certainly don't agree that influence is as simplistic as you make it seem.
I don't think I mean to make it sound simplistic. I think we pretty much agree entirely, only my expression and your comprehension are not synching. Probably the same thing with JD.

In any case the point is X likes Y for reasons more than just "it's a good game." When people start threads like this I don't think "yeah, RPGs suck now," I think "what makes this person think RPGs suck now?"
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April 13th, 2011, 15:29
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
I don't think I mean to make it sound simplistic. I think we pretty much agree entirely, only my expression and your comprehension are not synching. Probably the same thing with JD.

In any case the point is X likes Y for reasons more than just "it's a good game." When people start threads like this I don't think "yeah, RPGs suck now," I think "what makes this person think RPGs suck now?"
Well, for my part - I don't think CRPGs objectively suck now - but that they're objectively very different now.

As for whether that's good or bad, that's the subjective part.

I think it makes sense to debate why we think the new CRPGs "suck" - because I actually do believe that there are casual/new gamers out there who simply haven't been exposed to certain features and certain gameplay paradigms - and I actually believe that, regardless of any prior conditioning, there is a good chance many "new" gamers can come to GREATLY appreciate "old" paradigms.

Not old games, as such, but new games that re-employ old strong ideas - rather than these streamlined experience driven games.

I have no interest in forcing game designs on anyone, but simply to expose them to them - and through that, explore how we can all come to appreciate where things were and where they are.

To test, in a way, whether there really ARE designs or approaches that are "universally appealing", if you take my meaning.

I think there are, and I think a much better merger of the old and the new can exist in the future - should we wish to try.
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April 13th, 2011, 17:53
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
But your judgements are based on that same process of experience shaping your tastes and outlook. There is no objectiveness with media, with art… only subjective. If someone says Ultima VII is a piece of crap but Oblivion was great that does not make them wrong, it just means they had different experiences than you that led them to value different things in RPGs.
Video games are not art, and yes, there are objectively good and bad games. Although I could have said subjective and my point would have been the same.
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April 13th, 2011, 18:17
Originally Posted by CelticFrost View Post
I bought a 486 dx 66 with 4m of ram and 1/2 m video card for ulitma5 i do believe it might have been a different game in 90. It cost me almost 4000.00.
The likely would have been Ultima VI. The requirements for Ultima V weren't that great for a 1990 PC. Ultimat VI though brought my 286 to its knees and I had to beg my father to buy us a 386 just so we could get the game to play! We actually were even able to play Ultima VII on that PC (with a new video card IIRC), but it had some issues. There was a bug in U7 near the telescope in the Lyceum IIRC that on most 386's, totally locked the game up. And you had to use the telescope to go forward in the game. Ended up not finishing U7 until the next year in college when I bought a 486SX.

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April 13th, 2011, 18:57
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
Yeah, it's a fact, but it's a false one. Graphics have always been a big deal in RPGs. Not as big as in first person shooters but not far behind.
That doesn't even make sense. A false fact?

I didn't say graphics were never big, my point is graphics were never the main focus AT THE EXPENSE of gameplay.

The problem these days is that graphics have become so advanced that it just takes a hell of a lot more time and resources than it used to. Time that could be spent more on the gameplay elements like A.I., puzzles, more organic and involving quests, less linear structure.

And my point wasn't just graphics themselves but overall presentation: In-game graphics + cut-scenes + voice acting + sound effects.

It's gotten to the point where games take too long and cost too much to make. And I feel it doesn't need to be that way for RPGs which always seemed to appeal to gamers more on a cerebral than a visceral level.

I care more about stats, character systems and gameplay than I do about real-time shadows, "60FPS" or whether Patrick Stewart is voicing a character.

And what happened to isometric 2D/3D games? I'd gladly play a game using the TOEE engine or something similar. Not every RPG has to mimic an FPS or be real time action for that matter - I want TB games!!!

It just seems like RPGs have suffered the most in the modernization of games. Platformers, action games and FPS games haven't changed a whole lot but RPGs have gotten simpler and simpler as time goes by and are emulating action/shooters more than ever, it seems.

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April 13th, 2011, 19:07
And I must add: it's NOT that I'm afraid of change or hate other genres.

Like I said, I disliked ME but eventually warmed up to it. I finished it only because I'd gotten ME2 as a present though, I found it boring. But I absolutely had a blast with ME2.

YES, it was further streamlined from ME but it actually helped the game. Did it become the RPG I've been waiting years for? Nope, it felt more like an action game than the first one did but guess what? It WAS FUN.

And approaching Oblivion as an action/adventure with light RPG elements or as a medieval GTA after all these years, and playing it on the 360, I'm actually enjoying it. Not LOVING it, not even close, but it's mildly enjoyable. Hell, maybe I still do hate it deep down, but it's enjoyable for a few minutes at a time. And I certainly changed my mind about Fallout 3 recently as well.

So again, I welcome change and not every RPG has to follow the same formula, but it would be nice if there was still room for classic style RPGs, with TB combat, lots of stats and optional quests, and little to no handholding. I want that sense of discovery and wonder that is missing in so many RPGs these days.

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April 13th, 2011, 19:10
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Video games are not art, and yes, there are objectively good and bad games. Although I could have said subjective and my point would have been the same.
You're kidding, right?

What games are objectively good?
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April 13th, 2011, 19:10
Originally Posted by Relayer View Post
I didn't say graphics were never big, my point is graphics were never the main focus AT THE EXPENSE of gameplay.

The problem these days is that graphics have become so advanced that it just takes a hell of a lot more time and resources than it used to.

[…]

It's gotten to the point where games take too long and cost too much to make. And I feel it doesn't need to be that way for RPGs which always seemed to appeal to gamers more on a cerebral than a visceral level.

[…]

It just seems like RPGs have suffered the most in the modernization of games. Platformers, action games and FPS games haven't changed a whole lot but RPGs have gotten simpler and simpler as time goes by and are emulating action/shooters more than ever, it seems.
I agree very much. I think you've hit the point quite good.

Look at it like a set of scales :
On the one side there's graphics …
On the other side there's gameplay …

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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