|
Your continuous donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » ES4: Oblivion - CRPG of the Year @ GameSpy

Default ES4: Oblivion - CRPG of the Year @ GameSpy

January 6th, 2007, 22:44
Originally Posted by curious View Post
not to be insulting but you must have not gotten far in the game if you think the flame sword is the best sword in the game. not counting 2-handed weapons there are at least 6 six swords that are better than the flame sword. and i thought the 'item progression' was well done considering all of the unique gear (~50 items) you can't buy, unlike most rpgs. i will agree it is an overpowered sword in the begining and it makes no sense that it does 20 more damage than the much rarer ice sword (which doesn't even freeze enemies.) it would be nice if playing the game on a higher difficulty level restricted the more powerful items you could buy…but i doubt that is the case in gothic 3.

keep up the good discussion.
I was talking only about 1H weapons.

I wasn't aware of better swords, and I'm puzzled as I did quite a bit of research on JoWood/WoG forums about this issue, and everyone agreed it was the best sword in the game they found, even after completing it. I personally played for ~40 hours and covered 66% of the areas and came upon no sword that was better.

But, if you say there are better 1H swords, then I believe you and it's a relief. Now, they need only focus on making the combat system balanced and the game will be good enough for a full run-through.
DArtagnan is online now

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#61

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 14,827

Default 

January 7th, 2007, 01:06
There are better weapons, but they can only be forged after completing a master blacksmiths quest in Nordmar. They can't be found anywhere.
Maylander is offline

Maylander

SasqWatch

#62

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bergen
Posts: 5,571
Send a message via MSN to Maylander

Default 

January 7th, 2007, 13:11
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
From a technical point of view, Oblivion is very far from impressive. Compared to the complexity of games like NWN2 and G3 it's a rather simple piece of coding. Why? Everything has a single startpoint and only one outcome - every quest, every dialogue, bugdetection in such a code, where everything is linear, is a whole lot easier than bugdetection in complex code with multiple outcomes on virtually everything.

If you truly look under the hood of Oblivion, it's actually even less impressive than the game itself is. In fact, it looks more like GTA under there than any of its competitors to the RPG GOTY award. Of course, Oblivion looks stunning, and there is no doubt it took skill to make it look so beautiful, but the code itself is not advanced or impressive.
Well, since I assume none of us have access to the source codes of said games, I estimate we can't speak too intelligently about the facts.

I personally consider the marriage of the licensed engines the most succesful I've seen so far. The Havok engine for physics, the 3D engine (GameBryo?), the SpeedTree engine, etc. are more or less seamlessly woven together in a way that far surpasses what is happening in Gothic 3, from a visual standpoint.

The physics in Oblivion, especially including the "realistic" mod, are amazingly well done. I don't think any game apart from Half Life 2 can rival this implementation.

Gothic 3 doesn't even appear to have physics of any kind.

I also find the Radiant AI to be more interesting than the scripted alternative in G3, even if it doesn't generate quite the same feeling of realism. Lots of interesting things are possible by playing around with the AI, though it rarely gets noticed because there's no good reason to play with it really. If you can't recognize at least this aspect as something impressive "under the hood", then you're being a bit harsh.

The dungeons, though separately loaded, are several times more impressive to look at than anything underground found in Gothic. No dungeons in any other CRPG come close, and I don't think there's any dedicated FPS that exceed them in visuals either. This isn't just "artistic" skill at work, it's also the fact that the engine runs extremely smooth compared to what goes on, on screen.

The water is done better than any other game I've seen, except perhaps for Silent Hunter 3 which is all about water.

The combat of Oblivion is also far more visceral and exciting, and is probably one of the most succesful first person melee combat engines ever made. This is a pretty amazing achievement, really, and I think it gets overlooked because it's "actiony". I know some people think it's easy to code/design/balance a combat engine like this, but judging from all those attempts that went wrong (previous ES games among them), I think it's safe to say this takes quite a bit of work to get right.

The stealth aspect rivals Thief, which is the generally accepted leader, and nothing similar in G3 comes close to this part of the game. The bow mechanics and feel is FAR superior to Gothic. It's practically a mini-Thief game in the midst of all the other gameplay options.

Magic is very pretty and combined with an excellent lighting engine, and some effects like Paralyze/Nightvision/Camouflage are very, very well done. Gothic 3 can't even light a torch without pausing for several seconds.

Don't get me started on the audio aspect, as that's currently bugged in G3 and apart from an amazing soundtrack, G3 is particularly weak in this area.

I admit the quests are pretty linear, and though there ARE several outcomes (just take the DB questline with rewards depending on how well you did), they're not exactly in the same league as Gothic 3 which has a more complex quest structure. Unfortunately, it lacks any kind of compelling cinematic aspect, which Oblivion does. Of course, it depends on your idea of compelling cinema, and I don't think it's that good, but the Dark Brother questline was pretty amazing for the most part.

Yes, the heavy scripts of Gothic 3 must have taken some complex logic coding, but that's not enough to triumph over Oblivion. I mean they made one of the most advanced AIs of any game to date, even if it's not that big a part of the gameplay.

All this doesn't make Oblivion *fun*, but denying its amazing technical accomplishments is just… well… denial.
DArtagnan is online now

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#63

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 14,827

Default 

January 7th, 2007, 13:16
Whew, I'm glad you wrote your last line!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

Editor@RPGWatch
Corwin is offline

Corwin

Corwin's Avatar
On The Razorblade of Life
RPGWatch Team

#64

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10,557
Send a message via Skype™ to Corwin

Default 

January 7th, 2007, 15:38
I'm talking coding here, and as a developer, I can honestly tell you that programming something completely linear, and something that constantly has various triggers both as starting and ending points, will give two very different codes - one being fairly short and easy to detect bugs in, and the other being several times longer with a whole lot more places where you can find bugs (which gives one of the games a more polished feel than the other).

As for combat - neither game are very "advanced" if we're talking developing, the mechanics in Might and Magic 6 ten years ago wasn't as physically correct, but it has a frightening number of similarities.

And Radiant AI? Seems to me like a simple loop with a random input that tells the NPC where to go and what to do, with a code for instance from 1 to 10, where 3 means "get food", 5 means "stop and talk to someone" etc. The easy thing about this kind of mechanic is that they can apply it to all NPCs and just change a few variables, but in Gothic 3 you have to script every damn one of them personally. That makes one extremely long code, and very difficult to maintain. I am not overly impressed by either AI to be honest, but I believe the way G3 does it involves more work and a higher risk that things can go wrong.

I have to stress this again though - I am not talking about visuals here. There is no denying that Oblivion is very impressive in that regard, and everything looks outstanding.

One of the difficulties in Gothic 3 is the no-loading. I personally feel they should've gone for a G2 solution; this would've greatly reduced the number of bugs and issues G3 has, as developing a no-load game is extremely hard. You never get to reset anything except when re-loading. Imagine the number of objects floating in the memory when running G3; no loads, so many NPCs running around all doing something scripted, so many questtriggers to keep track of all over the place - it's no wonder you get memory leak in a game like that. Truth be told, Oblivion had memory leak as well, altho not as big as G3s, probably resulting of some NPC objects that didn't terminate correctly, but that's another story.

Oh, and by the way, Gothic 3 has physics. You can't toss things around there, but other than that it's very similar to Oblivions (neither game will let you roll an apple down a hill, but in both games you can see corpses tumbling down, stopping in objects, etc).

And no, I don't have access to the source code, but I do work as a developer with C++/Java/C#, and when playing games I always try to figure out how they're built. It's not like they have some huge secret under there that no other developers have access to.

Oblivions coding is, from what I can see while playing the game, easier to develop and easier to maintain than Gothic 3s code. Believe it or not, but there is nothing revolutionary about that code, everything has been done before. The real difficulty in G3 is the queststructure and especially the no-loading. Why did they go for such a difficult solution? I don't know, must've felt it was the next big step after what they did in G2, but I feel they should've stuck to that way of doing it.

Of course, what is actually under the hood of either one of these games is difficult to predict, but based on what is actually seen in-game I have a rough idea of what is needed in terms of prgramming.
Last edited by Maylander; January 7th, 2007 at 17:13.
Maylander is offline

Maylander

SasqWatch

#65

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bergen
Posts: 5,571
Send a message via MSN to Maylander

Default 

January 7th, 2007, 18:34
Well, I'm not a developer, but I've done my share of coding, though nothing near what's required for a game of these magnitudes.

Even so, I was talking about being technically impressive, which most definitely includes the visual aspects of the game.

I don't feel like going back and forth claiming that Oblivion was a demanding game to code, because as you say, it's not something we can ever prove. I'm just under a VERY different impression regarding what it requires to code the aspects I mentioned. The way you talk about what goes on in Oblivion doesn't exactly support your claim to understand what goes into coding this kind of software.

Like claiming Gothic 3 uses a "no-load" engine (what a term) because that's a big misconception. It loads data constantly, which you might call streaming and as such it might seem like it doesn't load data, but it does indeed, and constantly so.

It's definitely not an easy thing to optimise, because you have a lot of things to consider, like harddisk speed and memory of the many hardware combinations out there, and only a select few games have done this well enough to justify the technology. Offhand I think World of Warcraft is the only game that has a close-to-completely-seamless world.

Radiant AI is A LOT more sophisticated than you seem to think, and though you can indeed adjust parameters for every NPC, there's just the matter of coding the AI itself before you can do that. You don't simply code "get food" and magically have NPCs go and get food, because how the hell would they know how to do that. You have to ENABLE them to get their food through a series of decisions and actions, and if you think that's easy I think you're assured a job anywhere in the industry.

But, whatever, I think I've stated my case well enough for now. It would seem pointless for the two of us to go back and forth with claims which we can't prove. If you think Gothic 3 is more impressive, technically, good for you. Let's agree to disagree.
DArtagnan is online now

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#66

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 14,827

Default 

January 7th, 2007, 18:41
@maylander- there are other swords besides the the pure magic ore weapon recipes which there are only 3 and at least one of those maybe 2 is a two-hander. don't forget that the flame sword only does 100 damage and there are many swords out there that will do more or equal damage after you sharpen and bless them which each add 10 to the damage stat. and since magic weapons like the flame sword can't be sharpend, blessed or poisoned you can improved blades that become better.
curious is offline

curious

curious's Avatar
liberty or license

#67

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: California
Posts: 1,386

Default 

January 7th, 2007, 20:38
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Radiant AI is A LOT more sophisticated than you seem to think, and though you can indeed adjust parameters for every NPC, there's just the matter of coding the AI itself before you can do that. You don't simply code "get food" and magically have NPCs go and get food, because how the hell would they know how to do that. You have to ENABLE them to get their food through a series of decisions and actions, and if you think that's easy I think you're assured a job anywhere in the industry.
Er, did I miss something? Every NPC in Oblivion I checked just used a simple scripted "go here at this hour, and there at that hour" after which they'd just lounge around and stare at walls until something interrupted them (such as another NPC coming close, resulting in them talking about mudcrabs, or you talking to them). I didn't even see a hint of that the NPCs were using any of the overhyped AI functions (such as feeding, knowing they need to sleep, etc) that Bethesda claimed were in the game.

Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum
Sometimes I get this urge to conquer large parts of Europe
KazikluBey is offline

KazikluBey

KazikluBey's Avatar
Sentinel

#68

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Sweden
Posts: 525

Default 

January 7th, 2007, 21:58
Originally Posted by KazikluBey View Post
Er, did I miss something? Every NPC in Oblivion I checked just used a simple scripted "go here at this hour, and there at that hour" after which they'd just lounge around and stare at walls until something interrupted them (such as another NPC coming close, resulting in them talking about mudcrabs, or you talking to them). I didn't even see a hint of that the NPCs were using any of the overhyped AI functions (such as feeding, knowing they need to sleep, etc) that Bethesda claimed were in the game.
Yes you did miss it. They do eat, sleep, train, read books, etc. RAI is certainly not miraculous but it's arguably more sophisticated that what was found in previous ES games and in most RPGs.
Cormac is offline

Cormac

Sentinel

#69

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 405

Default 

January 7th, 2007, 22:47
ANYTHING would have been more sophisticated that what was in previous ES games!! Their NPC's were always the worst of any; even M&M had better!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

Editor@RPGWatch
Corwin is offline

Corwin

Corwin's Avatar
On The Razorblade of Life
RPGWatch Team

#70

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10,557
Send a message via Skype™ to Corwin

Default 

January 7th, 2007, 22:52
You have to program the code for getting food in any game where NPCs get food. That part is fairly obvious. And yes, the RAI, as Cormar said, is more sophisticated than what you get in most games, but it's not miraculous, and it's not groundbreaking in any way.

True curious, I forgot about sharpening. The base damage of the flame sword is fairly high, but it can't be enhanced in any way - other swords can. Especially those self-forged can get very high damage since they have a higher damage when made than those in stores.

Fair enough DArtagnan, let's agree to disagree.

Edit: Yes Corwin, I actually found the ten year old MM npcs better than those in Morrowind. At least not worse, hehe. Compared to MW, Oblivions AI certainly is a huge step in the right direction.
Last edited by Maylander; January 7th, 2007 at 23:07.
Maylander is offline

Maylander

SasqWatch

#71

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bergen
Posts: 5,571
Send a message via MSN to Maylander

Default 

January 8th, 2007, 01:45
Originally Posted by Cormac View Post
Yes you did miss it. They do eat, sleep, train, read books, etc. RAI is certainly not miraculous but it's arguably more sophisticated that what was found in previous ES games and in most RPGs.
I know they eat, sleep and all that, but my point was that it's all scripted. In the Bethesda hype they said that NPCs would go eat of their own volition, and that they would buy food if they were lawful and steal it if they weren't. They don't do this. Take a look at this: http://cs.elderscrolls.com/constwiki…:Tut3_img4.gif

All NPCs in Oblivion have schedules like that. Those packages just contain info on where to do what.

Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum
Sometimes I get this urge to conquer large parts of Europe
KazikluBey is offline

KazikluBey

KazikluBey's Avatar
Sentinel

#72

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Sweden
Posts: 525

Default 

January 8th, 2007, 09:13
There you have the variables I'm talking about. They all possess the same little AI and you change a few variables for each one and there you go. The reason it's not "scripted" as Gothic 3s AI is, is because their daily walk patterns and so on is not as set as it is in G3. They still do all the same things - in fact, they do less things(they don't work the forge etc) - but they are "more random" than in G3, and might actually do some different from day to day. You'll never notice this, but I believe it's there.
Last edited by Maylander; January 8th, 2007 at 09:27.
Maylander is offline

Maylander

SasqWatch

#73

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bergen
Posts: 5,571
Send a message via MSN to Maylander

Default 

January 8th, 2007, 10:10
They had bigger plans for RAI than that. People standing around to watch when fights broke out, shopping for things they need, setting dogs on fire. Then at some point in the project they stopped talking about all that and brought on a guy to write schedules. I wish they'd tell us what went wrong. Hey Corwin: interview.

Statues wouldn't be better if they could move. Model airplanes would not be better if they were the same size as airplanes.
abbaon is offline

abbaon

abbaon's Avatar
Daft as a daisy

#74

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 321

Default 

January 8th, 2007, 10:41
Well, if they took out the Radiant AI, that's certainly news to me.

When I play, I encounter NPCs doing many different things, and even in the quests where you have to follow them around, they do different stuff like sitting down to read, going to fetch something from a chest, going to different locations (not the same ones all the time), etc. I encounter NPCs on the road that sometimes go to hunt, or engage in conversations with guards, and you can follow them around their daily lives and you'll find they do different stuff.

If they're scripted to do the same things all day long like in G3, then apart from that not happening in my games, Bethesda has flat out lied about their AI.

But I guess you know what you're talking about, or you wouldn't claim such things.

Then I guess this part of Oblivion isn't as impressive as it seems to me. But I still think it ranks head and shoulders above G3 in the technical department.
DArtagnan is online now

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#75

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 14,827
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » ES4: Oblivion - CRPG of the Year @ GameSpy
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 17:07.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch