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October 13th, 2011, 05:18
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
You said older games had "virtually no character customization". That's simply not correct.
I think you are confused, I never said anything like that. I said that BG2 and PS:T had virtually no character customization, which is correct, at least by modern standards. I never said that older games as a whole had no character customization, just that in general I felt that customization options had increased through the years.
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October 13th, 2011, 06:17
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
I said that BG2 and PS:T had virtually no character customization, which is correct, at least by modern standards.
Huh? So being able to choose your race, gender, profession, weapons skills, and starting stats is virtually no character customization to you? Or are you talking more about the cosmetic aspects?
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October 13th, 2011, 06:46
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Huh? So being able to choose your race, gender, profession, weapons skills, and starting stats is virtually no character customization to you? Or are you talking more about the cosmetic aspects?
Well yeah that is pretty much virtually no character customization to me. Those are pretty much the same options I had in the original wizardry 1, I create a male dwarf fighter with a high strength, and that's it….that's my entire character and I have no options beyond that. Only in Wizardry 1 I could at least choose that for my entire party. I mean it's better then having no options at all, but it's really pretty bare bones. I consider real customization to be having options about how my character develops, and what skills, powers and stats I choose when he levels, not just whether he will start off as a strong dwarf fighter with an axe. But I suppose we may have different opinions there.

Note however that I'm not criticizing BG2 at all, it was one of my favorite games of all time. I liked that they gave you characters with personalities to adventure with, and I liked this better then creating my whole party from scratch. But I am saying that by modern standards the customization was very limited. Some of this may of course be just because it was based on 2nd edition D&D which also had limited customization. Later D&D titles started to include more and more of the options from 3rd edition even before they actually started using 3rd edition rules.
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October 13th, 2011, 07:01
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
But I am saying that by modern standards the customization was very limited. Some of this may of course be just because it was based on 2nd edition D&D which also had limited customization. Later D&D titles started to include more and more of the options from 3rd edition even before they actually started using 3rd edition rules.
I'm just curious what these "modern standards" are that you keep referring to. Perhaps you could give some examples? Are you talking just within D&D, in which case I agree it's more customizable now compared to 2.0 rules , or are you talking about games in general?
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October 13th, 2011, 07:20
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I'm just curious what these "modern standards" are that you keep referring to. Perhaps you could give some examples? Are you talking just within D&D, in which case I agree it's more customizable now compared to 2.0 rules , or are you talking about games in general?
Well as we both know there aren't that many AAA RPG titles released for the PC these days. Certainly though most RPGs released these days, even if we might consider them dumbed down in many ways, contain a higher level of customization then you see in games like BG2. I mean DAO has all the same options that BG2 has (race, class, stats) but it has many more options every time you level up. Even if you scrape the bottom of the customization barrel with something like ME2, your still picking your class and recieving customization options when you level. In fact I'd be hard pressed to come up with a current RPG that does not have some kind of skill tree/customization option when you level up. Even shooters like Deus Ex HR which aren't really designed to be RPGs give you a good amount of customization over time now.

Then of course there are indies and non PC titles, both of which have also shown increasing amounts of customization over time. Look at spiderweb titles, for example. And today if I play a JRPG I'm generally shocked and appalled if it doesn't have skill trees or something along those lines.
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October 13th, 2011, 07:30
Skill trees and feats over class selections, I agree give you more customization of your build. But once we get past ADD and to 3.0/3/5, I would have to disagree.

But games like DX:HR (or even Batman AA) give you enough experience to get all skills/feats/, so i wouldn't count those. DA:O was an anomaly in modern RPGs. But still the customization pales to DnD 3.5 for me.
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October 13th, 2011, 07:47
Early D&D, especially if you were something like a fighter, sucked for customization. There was some, though:

"So I can specialize in the sword that does d6 damage or the axe that does d6 damage or the spear that does d6 damage. Yay!"
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October 13th, 2011, 08:00
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Skill trees and feats over class selections, I agree give you more customization of your build. But once we get past ADD and to 3.0/3/5, I would have to disagree.

But games like DX:HR (or even Batman AA) give you enough experience to get all skills/feats/, so i wouldn't count those. DA:O was an anomaly in modern RPGs. But still the customization pales to DnD 3.5 for me.
I agree about DX:HR, but then I don't necesarily consider it that much of a RPG, just as an example of how even non RPGs have customization trees now. But it does feel a lot more like one early in the game when you don't have all the options you want.

3rd edition and games based on 3rd edition gave a lot of choices, and so games based on them generally gave more choice. I personally don't think that the feats made that made a difference in most computerized versions of it though. Usually there were a couple really important ones that you always took and the rest were more filler. But it was a lot better then nothing. I never actually played NWN 2 though so it's harder for me to comment on that particular game. I hated NWN 1 though because it was so incredibly dumbed down in it's D&D rules.
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October 13th, 2011, 08:04
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
Well as we both know there aren't that many AAA RPG titles released for the PC these days. Certainly though most RPGs released these days, even if we might consider them dumbed down in many ways, contain a higher level of customization then you see in games like BG2. I mean DAO has all the same options that BG2 has (race, class, stats) but it has many more options every time you level up. Even if you scrape the bottom of the customization barrel with something like ME2, your still picking your class and recieving customization options when you level. In fact I'd be hard pressed to come up with a current RPG that does not have some kind of skill tree/customization option when you level up. Even shooters like Deus Ex HR which aren't really designed to be RPGs give you a good amount of customization over time now.
DA:O? You mean that game that had a whopping 3 races and 3 classes to choose from?

I guess I just have a different view of what "character" customization is then. Simply having a skill tree that gives you more ways to kill stuff doesn't make me feel like the game is that much more customizable. I prefer to have more options when creating my character(s) at startup.
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October 13th, 2011, 13:26
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
DA:O? You mean that game that had a whopping 3 races and 3 classes to choose from?

I guess I just have a different view of what "character" customization is then. Simply having a skill tree that gives you more ways to kill stuff doesn't make me feel like the game is that much more customizable. I prefer to have more options when creating my character(s) at startup.
Well keep in mind that DA:O had advanced classes as well. But overall that's the key difference now in terms of customization is that it's less front loaded. In BG2 you would start your character up and say I'm a barbarian, I hit people with a sword and get really pissed off. Then you would never get another option in the entire rest of the game. The more modern trend is to start the game as a fighter, and then choose abilities like rage, sword mastery, etc. that turn you into a barbarian and then to continue to customize your character as you go. I personally find that to be much more customization then choosing a package at the beginning. Either way though it boils down to ways to kill stuff.
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October 13th, 2011, 15:35
I like the latter way better too, fadedc. It's fun to be able to tweak your character every level or so, rather than doing everything at the beginning and then having very little or no customization later. D&D handled this better later, with multi-classing, prestige classes, etc. The original Fallout was great in this regard; so that would be an old game that really set the bar for all the new games that followed.

I'm very glad that TES has stolen perks from Fallout and added them to their series. It could really breathe new life into the franchise.

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October 13th, 2011, 15:40
I would put it out that some older games had a lot of customization, but at the same time a lot of the actual customization never even got used in the game. Realms of arkania was bad for this just off the top of my head. I think customization is great, having no effect on the game though other then a place to put character points does not empress much.

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October 13th, 2011, 15:54
Years ago, reading a handbook was a necessity for me - or otherwise I just couldn't play the game.

Reading was necessary for understanding the game.

I think this tells a lot about how games have evolved over the years that reading a handbook isn't necessary anymore … Except for strategy games, maybe … ?

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October 13th, 2011, 22:55
Well older games also had very poor in game documentation. There was rarely any in game text to explain what a spell, stat or class did. As a result you needed a manual, otherwise you couldn't function. Today games tend to have tooltips explaining what everything does.

Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Years ago, reading a handbook was a necessity for me - or otherwise I just couldn't play the game.

Reading was necessary for understanding the game.

I think this tells a lot about how games have evolved over the years that reading a handbook isn't necessary anymore Except for strategy games, maybe ?
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