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Default Diablo 3 - Why Fallout 1 Could be succesfull Today @ Pixelitis

June 29th, 2012, 05:44
Ah but your misinterpreting what some of these rules were for. There are rules for playing games with no towns, no NPCs, nothing but monsters and dungeons and loot. You enter a room, you roll a random encounter, you kill them, you roll random treasure, you repeat until everyone gains a level. Then you start over with higher level random encounters.

3rd edition even created pen and paper D&D rules for Diablo. It was just about killing monsters and getting treasure, just like the computer game. There was nothing else. It was reasonably popular for a time.

Now if you want to say that there is still roleplaying in a game where you do nothing but kill monsters in room after room after room, because you still have choices and play a character, then I agree with you. You still have choices, they are just very limited choices, primarily restricted to combat. Just like certain hack and slash CRPGs…..

Originally Posted by CountChocula View Post
It doesn't matter if the dungeons and creatures are randomly generated, in fact this is a very important tool for adapting the story on the fly to accommodate roleplaying. Players choose to do what they think their character would want to do, which often results in them going into some new town, or some area that the GM (or the prefab module) did not anticipate.

And it can even be a lot of fun (and a bit challenging) to run an adventure or campaign entirely by the seat of your pants. The GM plays the part of all the NPCs and creatures in the world and those randomized lists come in very handy for adapting the story on the fly. But there is always a story.

In an improv game, and even in a preplanned adventure, the narrative unfolds organically out of the actions of the characters. The players have characters (not "Monster Basher #1"), and can choose to do anything they imagine their character would want to do. For example, a common event in some of those prefab modules from the 70s is the frightened NPC in a tavern complaining about goblins or dragons or whatever happens to be plaguing that particular town.

When your GM asks you, "what do you want to do next?" that question is overflowing with possibilities. Your next step could mean enlisting the aid of that frightened NPC, making a mortal enemy out of him, killing him, stealing from him, lying to him, blowing it off and going in a completely different direction, or choosing any of an infinite number of a possible actions, all depending on what you feel your character would choose to do.

From your post above, it sounds like you are implying that someone is playing D&D without any characters, without being able to choose what they think their character would want to do. If so, then they are definitely not role playing. You need a role and you need to be able to "play" it, by choosing what you think that character would want to do. Gary Gygax would not approve
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June 29th, 2012, 06:21
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
Ah but your misinterpreting what some of these rules were for. There are rules for playing games with no towns, no NPCs, nothing but monsters and dungeons and loot. You enter a room, you roll a random encounter, you kill them, you roll random treasure, you repeat until everyone gains a level. Then you start over with higher level random encounters.

3rd edition even created pen and paper D&D rules for Diablo. It was just about killing monsters and getting treasure, just like the computer game. There was nothing else. It was reasonably popular for a time.

Now if you want to say that there is still roleplaying in a game where you do nothing but kill monsters in room after room after room, because you still have choices and play a character, then I agree with you. You still have choices, they are just very limited choices, primarily restricted to combat. Just like certain hack and slash CRPGs…..
I'm quite familiar with 1e and 2e rulesets. The random loot, random dungeon, random encounter generators are very important tools in the GM's arsenal which greatly enhance the roleplaying experience. There are even random tables for figuring out an NPC's backstory and personality on the fly.

Never played 3e and although what you are saying sounds ridiculous, I'll take your word for it. I know the 3e ruleset has a bit more focus on battlemaps and minis.

However, regardless of whether you start your adventure in a dungeon or not, you still have a character (not "someone who bashes monsters") and the GM still asks you, "What do you want to do?" At that moment, you choose to do whatever the hell you think your character would want to do. Perhaps the story involves more battles with goblin tribes and less interesting NPCs, but that narrative is still going to unfold through the choices and actions of those characters. And you are playing with other players, who also make choices based on what they think their characters would want to do.

Perhaps your thief slips the GM a note having decided to try to pickpocket another player's mage. Perhaps your paladin is a brave soul with an unnatural fear of rats, who flees at the sight of them, only to be later chastised by his comrades, etc. Or maybe your elven mage speaks a little goblin, and wishes to use an invisibility spell and listen closely to what the goblin chieftain is saying to his underlings in hopes of finding some lost arcane book rumored to be hidden in this dungeon.

If you are contending that some folks are playing D&D without characters and without being able to choose what they think their character would want to do, in some way pretending to playing a video game with minis, then absolutely, those people are not role playing. The sad thing is that the video game they are emulating was influenced by some of those earliest computer games from the 80s where you pretend to play a role playing game.

In order to role play, you need a role and you need to be able to "play" it, by choosing what you think that character would want to do
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June 29th, 2012, 07:24
Well again, your missing the fact that there is no lost arcane book to find, or goblin chief to listen in on in these games. There are just random encounters, xp, and treasure.

But your absolutely correct that you still play a character, even in a pure combat game with nothing but random encounters. And that completely supports my entire point. You could decide that your scared of rats and run away from every rat you encounter. You could decide that your a fearless barbarian who never runs away even in certain death. You could also just decide that your a regular guy who kills things for loot, and who does intelligent and logical things to stay alive and become more powerful, and that's a perfectly valid (and probably more realistic) roleplaying choice too. This is something that you can decide to do in any game in which you play a character, whether that game is D&D, Diablo, or even Grand Theft Auto.

Now if your claiming that Diablo can't be a roleplaying game because you don't have unlimited options….because you can't choose to put on a mask and pretend to a monster, or build a canoe to sail down the river, or side with the dark lord and become a lord of hell, then that's a more reasonable distinction. Computer games are by their very nature much more limited in what you can do, and you will never have the options that you would have in a P&P game. If that was argument though, then you'd have to conclude that no computer game is a RPG, because every game severely limits your options. But that does seem to be what your leaning towards, certainly the reasons you've given for excluding Diablo would exclude every CRPG in existance.

Originally Posted by CountChocula View Post
I'm quite familiar with 1e and 2e rulesets. The random loot, random dungeon, random encounter generators are very important tools in the GM's arsenal which greatly enhance the roleplaying experience. There are even random tables for figuring out an NPC's backstory and personality on the fly.

Never played 3e and although what you are saying sounds ridiculous, I'll take your word for it. I know the 3e ruleset has a bit more focus on battlemaps and minis.

However, regardless of whether you start your adventure in a dungeon or not, you still have a character (not "someone who bashes monsters") and the GM still asks you, "What do you want to do?" At that moment, you choose to do whatever the hell you think your character would want to do. Perhaps the story involves more battles with goblin tribes and less interesting NPCs, but that narrative is still going to unfold through the choices and actions of those characters. And you are playing with other players, who also make choices based on what they think their characters would want to do.

Perhaps your thief slips the GM a note having decided to try to pickpocket another player's mage. Perhaps your paladin is a brave soul with an unnatural fear of rats, who flees at the sight of them, only to be later chastised by his comrades, etc. Or maybe your elven mage speaks a little goblin, and wishes to use an invisibility spell and listen closely to what the goblin chieftain is saying to his underlings in hopes of finding some lost arcane book rumored to be hidden in this dungeon.

If you are contending that some folks are playing D&D without characters and without being able to choose what they think their character would want to do, in some way pretending to playing a video game with minis, then absolutely, those people are not role playing. The sad thing is that the video game they are emulating was influenced by some of those earliest computer games from the 80s where you pretend to play a role playing game.

In order to role play, you need a role and you need to be able to "play" it, by choosing what you think that character would want to do
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June 29th, 2012, 07:28
I have never, ever, ever felt that a cRPG offered the range of choices to roleplay a character with any fidelity worth talking about. At best, you get to play a character archetype, and occasionally choose dialogue that might approximate the character's outlook. Even then, that range of games is vanishingly small - Fallout 1,2, Arcanum, a handful of others.

Beyond that, we've ruled out many classic RPGs, action/RPGs, roguelikes, Grimrock, early Wizardry and Bard's Tale titles. I can't really separate titles like ToEE in practical terms, so I'm wondering if this is even worth calling a genre?

I get where you are coming from emotionally, CountChocula, but I think this is worthless in practical terms.

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June 29th, 2012, 07:45
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
But your absolutely correct that you still play a character, even in a pure combat game with nothing but random encounters. And that completely supports my entire point. You could decide that your scared of rats and run away from every rat you encounter. You could decide that your a fearless barbarian who never runs away even in certain death. You could also just decide that your a regular guy who kills things for loot, and who does intelligent and logical things to stay alive and become more powerful, and that's a perfectly valid (and probably more realistic) roleplaying choice too. This is something that you can decide to do in any game in which you play a character, whether that game is D&D, Diablo, or even Grand Theft Auto.
All that matters is, do you have at least some basic concept of your character (not just "someone who bashes monsters"), and are you considering that character's perspective, doing what you think your character would want to do? If so, then you are certainly role playing.

It was my understanding that you had no opportunity to make roleplaying choices when playing Diablo, just move forward and attack or be killed by monsters. Perhaps I was mistaken, if you really can choose to do things you think the character would choose.

Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
Now if your claiming that Diablo can't be a roleplaying game because you don't have unlimited options….because you can't choose to put on a mask and pretend to a monster, or build a canoe to sail down the river, or side with the dark lord and become a lord of hell, then that's a more reasonable distinction. Computer games are by their very nature much more limited in what you can do, and you will never have the options that you would have in a P&P game. If that was argument though, then you'd have to conclude that no computer game is a RPG, because every game severely limits your options. But that does seem to be what your leaning towards, certainly the reasons you've given for excluding Diablo would exclude every CRPG in existance.
Of course, video game technology will never approach the infinite sandbox of pen and paper games, where you are only limited by your imagination.

Being able to choose what you think your character would want to do is all that matters. Some games provide a much broader canvas, with hundreds of NPCs, factions, branching path quests, etc., and others might have more limited opportunities for role playing, but either you are playing a role or you're not. Either you can take that concept of your character and choose what you think he would do in a situation, or you can't.

Those very first computer games influenced by D&D in the 70s and 80s were not role playing games, because there was no role playing. It was more like, "Hey we have this machine that can calculate stuff, let's program in some THAC0 mechanics and attributes and you can fight some goblins in a dungeon and pretend you're playing an RPG."
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June 29th, 2012, 08:08
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
Now if your claiming that Diablo can't be a roleplaying game because you don't have unlimited options….because you can't choose to put on a mask and pretend to a monster, or build a canoe to sail down the river, or side with the dark lord and become a lord of hell, then that's a more reasonable distinction. Computer games are by their very nature much more limited in what you can do, and you will never have the options that you would have in a P&P game. If that was argument though, then you'd have to conclude that no computer game is a RPG, because every game severely limits your options. But that does seem to be what your leaning towards, certainly the reasons you've given for excluding Diablo would exclude every CRPG in existance.
I don't think that's what he's claiming. He seems to be saying that Diablo is too limited to meet his criteria of a role-playing game. I'm not saying I agree with him, but I can understand where he's coming from. Diablo is pretty limited even for an action-RPG.

His reasons for exlcuding Diablo would not exclude every other crpg because not every crpg is as limited as Diablo. Yes, all crpgs are limited compared to P&P games for obvious reasons, but some are much more so than others.
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June 29th, 2012, 09:11
Originally Posted by Cacheperl View Post
Look at all those ego/ots RPGs (Gothic3, Arcania, Risen 1/2, etc.). Nice and shiny, but dont go beyond the outer looks…
QFT!

This is the best statement I have read here in a while.

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June 29th, 2012, 10:23
Originally Posted by CountChocula View Post
On the contrary, this is exactly what playing a role is, whether you are performing in the theater, film, or playing a role in a role playing game.
That may be your opinion, but it's not part of the definition of playing a role. It depends on the people involved. Some movie directors take full control and basically dictate exactly what the characters should do. Sure, the actors get to interpret the character within those parameters, but that's hardly the kind of choices you're looking for.

You must consider your character's perspective (again "someone who bashes monsters" is not a character) and make choices, taking actions you think that character would take.
Again, that's logically and semantically wrong.

A role can be extremely simple or extremely complex - or anything in between. Some roles are basically "extras" that involve absolutely nothing except "being there" in a crowd.

A role can be dictated in such a way, that everything the character does is the opposite of what the actor would have wanted to do. Effectively, giving the actor no freedom to act or play the role. But he's still playing a role.

Playing a role is - at the core - an extremely simple concept. It's about pretending to be someone else, or simply acting as if you were someone else. There is absolutely no implicit level of choice that's required for playing a role.

Monster basher is a role, whether you like it or not. Also, in a typical RPG - it involves a lot of roleplaying choices - whether you like those choices or not.

When you are performing as an actor in a film, obviously, you don't rewrite the script and go to a different location, etc. However, acting in a film is still all about your choices, just as playing a role in an RPG.
There is no one way to perform as an actor. Some actors are also the directors and the script writers. Some actors have enough clout to make significant script changes. Then again, there are actors with minimal roles and basically no say in what their character does. They're just placed there based on their physicality or whatever.

Same goes for some games. Some roles are extremely rigid and limited - but they're still roles.

Certainly there are bad films and bad actors and cases where you could say someone is not even acting, just standing in front of a camera and reading lines.
Exactly and they're playing a role.

But when an actor is truly acting, he is taking actions he feels his character would take, making choices he feels his character would choose, saying things he feels his character would say.
You're talking about the QUALITY of acting/roleplaying. There's nothing "truer" about a better quality. It's just different.

—-

You can tell yourself that a monster basher isn't a role for as long as you wish, but it'll never be logically or semantically correct.

But I fully understand that such a role isn't sufficient for you - and that you, personally, have some need to disqualify such a game from the RPG genre - as if it was an honor to be one.

That's on you, though.
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June 29th, 2012, 10:27
I generally don't consider D3 an RPG - it's clearly an action game, or simply "hack'n slash" as Diablo clones tend to be called. Being able to change your skill set is similar to changing weapon load-out in other action games, so I really don't see how it differs from GTA and so on. If anything, GTA is more of an RPG than D3 due to the quest structure and open world.
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June 29th, 2012, 10:39
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I have never, ever, ever felt that a cRPG offered the range of choices to roleplay a character with any fidelity worth talking about. At best, you get to play a character archetype, and occasionally choose dialogue that might approximate the character's outlook. Even then, that range of games is vanishingly small - Fallout 1,2, Arcanum, a handful of others.

Beyond that, we've ruled out many classic RPGs, action/RPGs, roguelikes, Grimrock, early Wizardry and Bard's Tale titles. I can't really separate titles like ToEE in practical terms, so I'm wondering if this is even worth calling a genre?

I get where you are coming from emotionally, CountChocula, but I think this is worthless in practical terms.
Yes, I have to say I completely agree.

That's why I prefer games like Skyrim - where my personal choice is about how I approach gameplay, and indeed - how I interact with the world and the environment.

I much prefer that kind of freedom, to picking between 2-4 written sentences - as if that could ever match what I really wanted to say - and especially who I wanted to be. In almost all RPGs - I end up in situations I would never have been in, as myself - because my personal opinion of how to do things is very, very different from that of almost all developers.

Picking dialogue options is just following a script that's slightly less tight than if those options weren't there. It's still very much a script - and that means I don't get to be who I want to be.

No, I want as many avenues of gameplay with as much freedom to purse them as possible. Having a rich dialogue tree on top of that is wonderful, but it will never constitute "roleplaying" for me.

As if roleplaying was just about dialogue or predefined choices.
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June 29th, 2012, 11:03
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
That may be your opinion, but it's not part of the definition of playing a role. It depends on the people involved. Some movie directors take full control and basically dictate exactly what the characters should do. Sure, the actors get to interpret the character within those parameters, but that's hardly the kind of choices you're looking for.
….
A role can be dictated in such a way, that everything the character does is the opposite of what the actor would have wanted to do. Effectively, giving the actor no freedom to act or play the role. But he's still playing a role.
I think you may have misunderstood my previous comment. An actor does not need to rewrite a script, or ignore his director in order to play a role.

You play a role by considering your character and taking actions you think your character would take. In a film, you are going through this process, on camera, of choosing what your character would choose to do.

Your director might have a completely different interpretation of your character, in which case it is your job to respond to the director's notes and find a way to justify that choice and make it work.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Playing a role is - at the core - an extremely simple concept. It's about pretending to be someone else, or simply acting as if you were someone else. There is absolutely no implicit level of choice that's required for playing a role.
You are somewhat correct, in that it is a very simple concept, to act as if you were someone else. The way that you do this is through your actions. You do the actions you think your character would do, you say what you think your character would want to say, in the manner you think they would say it.

If you dress someone up in a costume and have them stand paralyzed in front of a camera without moving a muscle, thinking or doing anything at all, this is not playing a role, because they are not taking those actions their character would take.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
A role can be extremely simple or extremely complex - or anything in between. Some roles are basically "extras" that involve absolutely nothing except "being there" in a crowd.
You can sit in front of a camera in a costume and do nothing and you are not acting, you are not playing a role. You can even perform a lead role in a horrible film by not playing your role at all, but simply standing there reading lines.

On the other hand, I have friends who have appeared in films as extras and they had a concept of their character and took actions they thought that character would take, whether it's the tiniest gesture, or the thought process that go through as you silently mouth a conversation with the other extra in your scene, the only way to act is through taking actions you think your character would take.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Monster basher is a role, whether you like it or not. Also, in a typical RPG - it involves a lot of roleplaying choices - whether you like those choices or not.
"Someone who bashes monsters" is simply not a role, anymore than "someone who breathes," or "someone who sleeps," etc. On the other hand, you could be cast in a play, where there is a character named "Monster Basher #1," and if you really want to play this role and act the part, you must establish clear concept of your character and what this character wants in the scene you are playing. Once you have that, then you can play the role by taking actions you think that character would take.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Exactly and they're playing a role.
This is not acting. Simply reading lines on camera is not playing the role.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
But I fully understand that such a role isn't sufficient for you - and that you, personally, have some need to disqualify such a game from the RPG genre - as if it was an honor to be one. That's on you, though.
If we are talking about roleplaying, there are more complex, detailed character concepts, and much more simple concepts, but "someone who bashes monsters" is not even a concept for a character.

At a very minimum, you must be able to consider that character's perspective and what your character wants.

You could say, "well, my character wants to bash monsters." Already that is much closer to a concept for a character. "Someone who wants to bash monsters" is very different from "someone who bashes monsters," and almost a role you can play. Then you ask yourself, why does my character want to bash monsters? You develop a name, a history, why you think it is that they want to bash monsters, and now you actually have a character concept that you can role play. But you can't just go with "someone who bashes monsters" - this is simply impossible to role play because you don't know what this character wants, you don't have way to consider the perspective of the character and do things you think your character would want to do.

Now that you have a character concept, whether you can take it and play the role in a particular video game or not is another matter, which depends on the extent to which the game makes it possible to act upon what you think the character would choose to do.
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June 29th, 2012, 11:15
At this point, we should agree to disagree - as we're going in circles.

I gather that you don't think being a monster basher qualifies as a role, and I think it does. I can't prove it to you - nor would I want to.

I also can't make you see that a "role" has absolutely no complexity/depth requirements in terms of the logical/semantic definition. At least, I dare you find a reputable source that clarifies how and why.

I linked the definition of a role earlier - and I haven't got a single shred of doubt that being a monster basher can easily qualify as a role - without any extra depth or background. I consider part of the fun to invent my own background and motivation for bashing monsters - and I don't need the game to provide me with much of that. All I know is that when I'm playing a game like Grimrock - I'm pretending to be the people I'm playing. That's quite enough for me.

I wish you good luck with your definition, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be a very personal one
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June 29th, 2012, 11:25
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I consider part of the fun to invent my own background and motivation for bashing monsters - and I don't need the game to provide me with much of that.
Perhaps we have completely misunderstood each other. From your comment here, it sounds like we are already in agreement on this.

"Someone who bashes monsters" is not a role that you can play. It's not even the most basic concept of a character. However, once you expand upon that with a background and motivation for bashing monsters, now you have a role.

Absolutely, I'm 100% in agreement that you can take "someone who bashes monsters" as a starting point and flesh this out to come up with a character concept you can role play. There are very few video games that hold your hand and provide you with a character that is fleshed out enough to be able to consider the character's point of view and motivation, etc. Half the fun is usually coming up with this yourself, anyways.

Once you have a workable character concept, then, whether you can use it to role play in a particular video game or not depends on the gameplay mechanics, whether you can act upon what you think the character would choose to do. And there are games with more expansive RP opportunities as well as games with more limited RP environments.
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June 29th, 2012, 11:32
Well, we can agree that Grimrock is a game that provides very limited roles in terms of personality and background material. There is a backstory of why you were brought to the dungeon - but not much else.

It's also not a game where you roleplay through pre-defined dialogue.

I think where we differ is in how I consider roleplaying ACTIONS as important as roleplaying DIALOGUE. As such, I consider the actions involved in a combat scenario as relevant to a personality as his words when speaking. At least, I wouldn't know how to measure the importance of either - and as such they're simply both relevant. Every act you make as a person/being is relevant to your role in the world. There's just no way around that.

But given that the actions you take are limited to combat and interacting with simplistic environments - coupled with a relatively sparse character development system - I find the game pretty light on RP'ing. But it's most definitely an RPG - and not just because of the RP'ing involved.
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June 29th, 2012, 12:38
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Well, we can agree that Grimrock is a game that provides very limited roles in terms of personality and background material. There is a backstory of why you were brought to the dungeon - but not much else.

It's also not a game where you roleplay through pre-defined dialogue.

I think where we differ is in how I consider roleplaying ACTIONS as important as roleplaying DIALOGUE. As such, I consider the actions involved in a combat scenario as relevant to a personality as his words when speaking. At least, I wouldn't know how to measure the importance of either - and as such they're simply both relevant. Every act you make as a person/being is relevant to your role in the world. There's just no way around that.
I haven't tried Grimlock yet, but I think you make a great point in that some of the actions you choose can be as important as dialogue choices in terms of RP opportunities.

Provided you have a workable character concept to start with, even small actions can be RP choices, by acting upon what you think your character would want to do. It depends on the extent to which the gameplay mechanics facilitate or hinder roleplaying, but I imagine it's possible to have a role playing game with very little or no dialogue.
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June 29th, 2012, 17:45
Sorry to derail the derailment and to get back on topic but I'm a little surprised it took the author at pixelitis that long to come around to mentioning Wasteland 2. It's unclear to me if the author knows of the history between the two ( though I'm not sure how anyone who's read anything about W2 couldn't know).

Wasteland 2 will be the spiritual successor to the first two Fallouts
Er, um, sorta, I guess so? I'm not sure how a sequel of the spiritual predecessor of the Fallouts can be a spiritual successor to the Fallouts but I'm probably being too pedantic.

or all of the other interesting story-related elements that made Fallout what it is.
The future 50s culture thing between the settings is definitely different as Wasteland was set from the point of view of the modern day at the time (late 80s) . Though Fargo has already said he plans to build in a lot of 80s references in homage to the original Wasteland and that certainly carries some of the same nostalgic vibe and humor as the Fallouts.

However, considering W2 is being written/designed by many of the same people that were involved with Fallout 1 & 2 & New Vegas I think he might be selling Wasteland 2 short on the "interesting story-related elements". I recently replayed Wasteland several times and the story and setting were great as well, there's a reason it's a classic.

To be fair, I guess I'm being overly protective of Wasteland 2 at this point.
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June 29th, 2012, 18:45
Well but then your just talking about scale, and not any form of official rule. Certainly the choices in Diablo are more limited then in FO3, but there are much less limited then in games like Wizardry, Might and Magic, Bard's Tale, Eye of the Beholder, Dungeon Master. Chocola admits that he doesn't think that these are RPGs, so that's fine for his definition, but problematic on a board where many consider these the purest forms of RPGs. But at what point do you draw the line? What is "enough" choices. Really every game is very limited in what you can do, you get a few options and only if the programmers thinks to put them in. Sometimes in FO3 you can talk the evil thugs, but 90% of the time you can't and have to kill them.

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I don't think that's what he's claiming. He seems to be saying that Diablo is too limited to meet his criteria of a role-playing game. I'm not saying I agree with him, but I can understand where he's coming from. Diablo is pretty limited even for an action-RPG.

His reasons for exlcuding Diablo would not exclude every other crpg because not every crpg is as limited as Diablo. Yes, all crpgs are limited compared to P&P games for obvious reasons, but some are much more so than others.
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June 29th, 2012, 19:20
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
Well but then your just talking about scale, and not any form of official rule. Certainly the choices in Diablo are more limited then in FO3, but there are much less limited then in games like Wizardry, Might and Magic, Bard's Tale, Eye of the Beholder, Dungeon Master. Chocola admits that he doesn't think that these are RPGs, so that's fine for his definition, but problematic on a board where many consider these the purest forms of RPGs. But at what point do you draw the line? What is "enough" choices. Really every game is very limited in what you can do, you get a few options and only if the programmers thinks to put them in. Sometimes in FO3 you can talk the evil thugs, but 90% of the time you can't and have to kill them.
How is Diablo much less limited than a game like Might and Magic?

As far as an "official rule" goes, I didn't know one existed. Of course it's about a scale, and everyone's personal scale is different.
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June 29th, 2012, 19:37
Hey there, fellow brothers.
I couldn't resist registering after reading through this intriguing debate (which has nothing whatsoever to do with topic of this thread, heh).

What I think some of you are missing, especially DArtagnan, is a very semantic and logical thing: that 'playing a role' and 'roleplaying' are completely different things.

'Playing a role', or 'acting out a role' is the one you were referring to, whereby you have the (you say relatively simple) task of imagining you are someone else, and with that certain background in mind you need to react to other people playing roles and/or react to scripted situations. In theatre and cinema it gets a little more specific. But no matter how free-spirited and revolutionary a director you have (be it in theatre or film), you have little to no freedom of action in the given situation. You cannot decide to act or not, or choose your approach, only adjust the way the action is taken. Here, the role of an audience is also very important, that is, you are being observed by people on a different level, non-participants.

'Roleplaying' is a term that was coined after the rise of PnP and tabletop games in the 70s and 80s, and it involves an activity where you are put in a context (just as above), given some level of background (just as above), and are presented a range of choices that include various types of actions and non-action. You can do much more than to adjust the way the action is taken. Also, observers and interpretation as in 'playing a role' is not necessary. You are only grouped with participants.

(You could argue that a certain experimental kind of theatre/film, where actors are given vague instructions in the beginning and then left to improvise are 'roleplaying', but that's not the point.)

What I think the Count and others are tying to promote, is that for an RPG, 'roleplaying' is required, and not 'playing a role'. With the latter, almost every game that has a minimal background and a hint of narrative would qualify as an RPG. The degree of 'roleplaying' then, of course, varies from RPG to RPG, but like someone explained, it requires a context, situations with options for different actions and non-action, and a feedback system of sorts.

That's how I look at it, anyway. I am lucky enought to have been a PnP roleplayer, game master, and an actor in theatre for over 15 years now, so I have given it considerable thought. I might be completely wrong, too. Anyways, sorry for being off topic in my very first post here…
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June 29th, 2012, 20:04
Well M&M 1 was certainly very limited in the number of choices you had. For your fighter, you just hit attack over and over again.

Regarding rules, well yeah that's the whole point of this discussion. There can be no hard rule for what is or isn't a RPG.

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
How is Diablo much less limited than a game like Might and Magic?

As far as an "official rule" goes, I didn't know one existed. Of course it's about a scale, and everyone's personal scale is different.
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