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Default RPG Codex - The Lists to Dwarf Them All

March 28th, 2013, 23:01
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Because the more choice you provide, the harder it becomes to take everything into account when balancing your game.

I'd have thought that was pretty obvious.

If you want perfect balance - you pretty much have to mirror everything. That's extremely boring - at least to me.
Or, you can narrow down the amount of choices. Which would have been a good thing for Fallout.

Almost infinite number of ways to build completely crappy characters? I'm the one using hyperbole?

Ok, so if you choose bad perks - then you can have a LOT of characters with minor adjustments using those perks - so that would end up being a lot of ways to build the same crappy character.
You can choose bad perks, you can choose perks that do nothing for your build, and you can choose perks that are simply vastly underpowered compared to others at the same level. You can also spend your skill points in a wildly inefficient manner, or on underpowered skills (like gambling).

All I can say is that I've never had trouble making strong characters in Fallout - and it doesn't take much time with the system to realise what's good and what's bad.
Eh, that doesn't make it better. I never said that it's hard to build strong, or even overpowered characters in Fallout. As for weak choices - it's not my job to cut through the crap in a system, it's the designer's job to lay bare the meaty (=useful) bits of their character development system, so I can pick and choose among them. Lack of clarity here is bad design.

Again, overpowered and underpowered characters exist in a LOT of RPGs with a sufficient amount of development aspects and options. Especially older games - where casual gamers weren't a big concern. Some people get upset when they make characters that suck - and some people enjoy the challenge of figuring out the ins and outs of the system. I'm very much part of the latter group.
Like you already said, and as I said, in a lot of possible crappy Fallout builds, you don't really have to know the "ins and outs" of the system to recognize them as crappy; well, maybe you need to have played for an hour. All these potential crappy choices sit there, looking at me like turds. I can't help that feeling.

And yes, a lot of RPGs have balance issues, or are even outright killed for me because of holes in the balance. In a lot of games I play/ have played I even restrict myself with (sometimes arbitrary) guidelines as to what not to do. But it's infinitely better if such measures don't have to be taken at all.

Why don't you give me just a single example of a great RPG system with what you consider acceptable balance between character builds?
The fewer choices you have, the fewer things that can be screwed up (by you). One of my favorites as far as character building goes is Wizardry 8, FWIW. "But Lords are just weaker Valkyries!", yes, I can hear you loud and clear


You should probably have chosen not to comment at all - as your bias is pretty clear. Bias combined with ignorance is not very useful when it comes to informed opinions.
Welp, I assume I'm mostly right about the point I made. "Perfect" balance would be the death of a lot of what drives MMO's. Of course it could then simply shift the focus more towards cooperative play, but that's just theoretical anyway.

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March 28th, 2013, 23:19
This thread reminds me what a popamole bunch the Watch is. You probably think that Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2 are the best RPGs of all time, amirite?
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March 28th, 2013, 23:28
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
Or, you can narrow down the amount of choices. Which would have been a good thing for Fallout.
Sure, but my point was that with more choice comes more imbalance. You asked me to elaborate, remember?

I don't think narrowing them down would have been good for Fallout - though it would of course depend on degree.

You can choose bad perks, you can choose perks that do nothing for your build, and you can choose perks that are simply vastly underpowered compared to others at the same level. You can also spend your skill points in a wildly inefficient manner, or on underpowered skills (like gambling).
Is this your first RPG with intricate mechanics and lots of choice that's not made for the casual audience?

It sounds like you're blaming Fallout for the "faults" of an entire era.

Eh, that doesn't make it better. I never said that it's hard to build strong, or even overpowered characters in Fallout. As for weak choices - it's not my job to cut through the crap in a system, it's the designer's job to lay bare the meaty (=useful) bits of their character development system, so I can pick and choose among them. Lack of clarity here is bad design.
I don't agree that the designer should create your character for you - or make it apparent what's strong or weak. I think the designer's job is to create the kind of game he likes to play - and I think that's just what Tim Cain and his team did with Fallout.

They started out with GURPS as the core system - but IIRC they couldn't obtain the rights, or maybe they just went with their own iteration anyway.

GURPS is a system just like Fallout SPECIAL - where you can make a lot of bad choices and end up with a lot of crappy characters.

In terms of translating the core of the GURPS mechanics to a computer game - I think they did very well.

Like you already said, and as I said, in a lot of possible crappy Fallout builds, you don't really have to know the "ins and outs" of the system to recognize them as crappy; well, maybe you need to have played for an hour. All these potential crappy choices sit there, looking at me like turds. I can't help that feeling.
So what if there are turds when they're so easy to avoid? Is that really such a big problem?

Just avoid them and be happy some people enjoy playing quirky builds that aren't about power. I love that it's possible - even if I'm personally a powergamer focusing on big numbers. I know people who can get a real kick out of making crappy characters that focus on the weirdest things.

That's something you almost never see in modern RPGs that have been streamlined so that everyone can be good without investing themselves in any way.

I love investing myself - and I love the feeling of being rewarded because a system makes sense to me and I can see the fruits of my strategy.

And yes, a lot of RPGs have balance issues, or are even outright killed for me because of holes in the balance. In a lot of games I play/ have played I even restrict myself with (sometimes arbitrary) guidelines as to what not to do. But it's infinitely better if such measures don't have to be taken at all.
Yes, I think I understand what kind of gamer you are - and that's fine.

We all like different things.

I love the discovery process - and I love that I can fail when picking my advancements. It makes me think, analyse and optimise. Something that's very dear to my heart.

Also, in singleplayer games - I can't see the big problem with making a subpar character. If the game is enjoyable - and it would have to be for me to even bother playing - I love the process of creating a new strategy and starting over.

Then again, I must be blessed - because I almost always end up with a respectable power level. I don't remember the last time I played a character that wasn't efficient at killing things. Maybe some 15-20 years ago or something when I didn't know as much about games.

Of course, I've achieved a significant level of experience - and I didn't do that by whining about the poor choices I made and I would never stop playing a game that was otherwise enjoyable for that reason.

The fewer choices you have, the fewer things that can be screwed up (by you). One of my favorites as far as character building goes is Wizardry 8, FWIW. "But Lords are just weaker Valkyries!", yes, I can hear you loud and clear
Yes and when you have fewer choices - you have less of a game (games are about choices - whether short-term or long-term). I love choices - and I love having to spend time figuring out what's good and what's not. Just as long as there are several satisfying ways to build an efficient character - that's fine with me.

Unfortunately, I can't comment too much on Wizardry 8 - as I always felt the game was too combat heavy, using a system that was dreadfully slow paced.

That said, I'm pretty sure you can create a lot of crap characters in Wiz 8 - if comments from fans are to be believed.

Welp, I assume I'm mostly right about the point I made. "Perfect" balance would be the death of a lot of what drives MMO's. Of course it could then simply shift the focus more towards cooperative play, but that's just theoretical anyway.
Some people seem to really want "perfect" balance in MMOs - and I think they're crazy.

I've yet to play an MMO that didn't allow for focus on cooperative play - but then again, I actually know what I'm talking about here
Last edited by DArtagnan; March 28th, 2013 at 23:41.
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March 28th, 2013, 23:29
Originally Posted by J_C View Post
This thread reminds me what a popamole bunch the Watch is. You probably think that Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2 are the best RPGs of all time, amirite?
Nah, I don't think those games can quite match the RPG heaven known as Farmville.
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March 28th, 2013, 23:42
Originally Posted by J_C View Post
This thread reminds me what a popamole bunch the Watch is. You probably think that Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2 are the best RPGs of all time, amirite?
Youre wrong.

Youll find codex/watch tastes really are not too different. We just tend to insult people less, you asshole
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March 29th, 2013, 01:16
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'm talking about appreciating SOME aspects of what is happening in the commercial space - and how SOME AAA games can actually match or even outclass some of our precious golden oldies.
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March 29th, 2013, 02:00
Wow, comparing games to physical abuse. Reality check…
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March 29th, 2013, 02:36
Originally Posted by J_C View Post
This thread reminds me what a popamole bunch the Watch is. You probably think that Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2 are the best RPGs of all time, amirite?
ME 3 probably beats any of those games on the list in regards to C&C, but the Codex will never admit it. Even so, let me prove it by copying an article on Mordin Solus:

Massive spoilers ahead!

(Also, I recently played through the Citadel DLC and it was one of the best, most memorable experiences I probably ever had in a video game.)

Mordin is first encountered on the salarian homeworld of Sur'Kesh, when Shepard is sent there to assist in the evacuation of the remaining fertile female krogan. There, he reveals he returned to STG as a special consultant after defeating the Collectors, whilst also working for Clan Urdnot as their inside source. If Maelon's research data was saved by Shepard, Mordin used the data to aid in the treatment of Eve, the only surviving female krogan from Maelon's experiments. As Shepard is preparing to evacuate Eve, the base is attacked by Cerberus forces seeking to kill or capture the female. Once Eve is secured, Wrex/Wreav, Eve, and Mordin join Shepard on the Normandy and discuss the plan for curing the genophage.

Depending on Shepard's actions, Mordin can sacrifice himself to cure the genophage that the salarians assisted in unleashing upon the krogan. He travels up in the elevator to the top of the Shroud Tower and releases the cure. He is killed in the subsequent explosion. If he sang for Shepard in the previous game, Mordin dies singing his favorite tune, "Scientist Salarian", finally at peace with his work on the genophage modification project. If Wrex and Eve are both alive, Eve insists their first child be named "Mordin" in honor of his sacrifice. In an alternate situation, if Shepard chooses not to warn Mordin about the Dalatrass Linron offer, Mordin discovers that the Shroud has been sabotaged. Shepard has the option of either letting Mordin fix the sabotage, or shooting Mordin, thus preventing him from reaching the Shroud controls and the cure from being released. Should Mordin be killed on Tuchanka in any situation, or if Mordin did not survive the suicide mission, his name will be engraved on the Memorial Wall on board the Normandy.

However, Mordin can be saved during the mission if Wreav is the clan leader and the lack of Maelon's data leads to Eve's death. In this case Mordin can be convinced the krogan will only repeat the Krogan Rebellions under Wreav's command and he will willingly disappear to maintain the illusion of his death. If Mordin is saved and the genophage cure is sabotaged as a result, the salarians offer their support along with krogan support under Urdnot Wreav, as the krogan are unaware of the sabotage. Mordin also lends his expertise for the Crucible project, sending Shepard a heads-up on his current activities.
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March 29th, 2013, 03:54
My eyes glazed at the word probabbly.
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March 29th, 2013, 05:51
In my opinion, balance is vastly overrated.
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March 29th, 2013, 06:07
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
The Codex have some informed gamers among them - but I can't take them seriously when taken together. Their "agenda" is laughably one-sided and reality is clearly not very important to them. They're also stuck in the ancient past with no appreciation for what developers have been doing whilst being subject to the AAA demands on artistic compromise and the grim facts of being big business first and vision delivery distantly second.
Their agenda? THEIR? You would think there' s consensus among Codexers, that there's actually exist a Hivemind?

Newsflash for you chap: There aint such thing as a consensus among us. Chances are your great games suck, because you are in the Codex.
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March 29th, 2013, 06:27
What a rebel
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March 29th, 2013, 08:53
Originally Posted by The Walkin' Dude View Post
ME 3 probably beats any of those games on the list in regards to C&C, but the Codex will never admit it. Even so, let me prove it by copying an article on Mordin Solus:

Massive spoilers ahead!

(Also, I recently played through the Citadel DLC and it was one of the best, most memorable experiences I probably ever had in a video game.)

Mordin is first encountered on the salarian homeworld of Sur'Kesh, when Shepard is sent there to assist in the evacuation of the remaining fertile female krogan. There, he reveals he returned to STG as a special consultant after defeating the Collectors, whilst also working for Clan Urdnot as their inside source. If Maelon's research data was saved by Shepard, Mordin used the data to aid in the treatment of Eve, the only surviving female krogan from Maelon's experiments. As Shepard is preparing to evacuate Eve, the base is attacked by Cerberus forces seeking to kill or capture the female. Once Eve is secured, Wrex/Wreav, Eve, and Mordin join Shepard on the Normandy and discuss the plan for curing the genophage.

Depending on Shepard's actions, Mordin can sacrifice himself to cure the genophage that the salarians assisted in unleashing upon the krogan. He travels up in the elevator to the top of the Shroud Tower and releases the cure. He is killed in the subsequent explosion. If he sang for Shepard in the previous game, Mordin dies singing his favorite tune, "Scientist Salarian", finally at peace with his work on the genophage modification project. If Wrex and Eve are both alive, Eve insists their first child be named "Mordin" in honor of his sacrifice. In an alternate situation, if Shepard chooses not to warn Mordin about the Dalatrass Linron offer, Mordin discovers that the Shroud has been sabotaged. Shepard has the option of either letting Mordin fix the sabotage, or shooting Mordin, thus preventing him from reaching the Shroud controls and the cure from being released. Should Mordin be killed on Tuchanka in any situation, or if Mordin did not survive the suicide mission, his name will be engraved on the Memorial Wall on board the Normandy.

However, Mordin can be saved during the mission if Wreav is the clan leader and the lack of Maelon's data leads to Eve's death. In this case Mordin can be convinced the krogan will only repeat the Krogan Rebellions under Wreav's command and he will willingly disappear to maintain the illusion of his death. If Mordin is saved and the genophage cure is sabotaged as a result, the salarians offer their support along with krogan support under Urdnot Wreav, as the krogan are unaware of the sabotage. Mordin also lends his expertise for the Crucible project, sending Shepard a heads-up on his current activities.
Good C&C. I assume we can forgive for the mediocre story and god awful shooter popamole gameplay then?
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March 29th, 2013, 10:10
why does RPGwatch hate RPGs so much?

what has RPGs ever done to harm you?

please leave RPGs alone, they are very sad now thanks to you.
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March 29th, 2013, 10:33
Originally Posted by laclongquan View Post
Their agenda? THEIR? You would think there' s consensus among Codexers, that there's actually exist a Hivemind?

Newsflash for you chap: There aint such thing as a consensus among us. Chances are your great games suck, because you are in the Codex.
Did you notice the quotation marks?

They're there because to non-Codexers - you sure SEEM to have an agenda, which is about glorifying beloved classics beyond reason and blinding yourself to the good aspects of new games.

I can sympathise - and I remember feeling much the same way until I came to accept that I'm not entitled to developers catering to me. Then I started thinking about what it must be like to be an artist in a commercial world - and yes, there are SOME artists still there. When you get to that point, you start appreciating that sometimes compromise doesn't always result in something horrible.

Oh, many of us hate that compromise and it can be a strong feeling. But being blind and cheating yourself out of some great gaming is not what I consider the smartest response.

Do take care to note that I'm not talking about Bioware - as they lost their true artists and vision long ago.
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March 29th, 2013, 11:02
It would be interesting to assemble a similar list here. We could learn … something… from the comparison, I'm sure.
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March 29th, 2013, 11:55
It would be as arbitrary as any list of that kind. But if we're seeking something to create a spark for debate - then I'm sure it'd be very effective
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March 29th, 2013, 14:42
Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
Many modern games are far more enjoyable including the less loved titles here such as Fallout 3, NWN2, Mass Effect series, Oblivion, Gothic 3 etc. I'd rank any Spiderweb title above Arcanum or Icewind Dale (but not BG).
I know it's just one person, but wow, I thought you guys were a little more than this. I am disappoint watchers.

Seems like the codex really is the last bastion of good taste when it comes to RPGs. (for the most part)
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March 29th, 2013, 14:49
Originally Posted by bussinrounds View Post
I know it's just one person, but wow, I thought you guys were a little more than this. I am disappoint watchers.

Seems like the codex really is the last bastion of good taste when it comes to RPGs. (for the most part)
So, you know it's just one person - but you're still disappointed in the Watch as a whole?

That makes about as much sense as your general "agenda"
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March 29th, 2013, 14:52
Originally Posted by Haba View Post
"Sure, my husband may beat me on daily basis. And yes, there was that miscarriage I had last month. And no, raping me on my birthday was certainly a bit overboard.

But see, he has the most gentle look on his face when he is asleep!"
So, you equate artistic compromise to satisfy the demands of those financing your game to raping and beating another human being that you probably love?

I'm still waiting for someone from the Codex to demonstrate a reasonably rational point of view about the gaming industry.

The agenda seems quite alive and well so far
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