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View Poll Results - Do you like CRPG's that let you create one character or many?

I like to go solo, baby! 14 43.75%
I like to create as many characters as possible (4-8). 12 37.50%
I don't care. 4 12.50%
You are an idiot for creating a poll! 2 6.25%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

Default Huge parties or a one arm bandit?

October 19th, 2006, 14:51
Originally Posted by Monolith View Post
However, what I'd like to see in a RPG is the actual possibility to realistically choose between a party or a single character.
That *sounds* great (and would *be* great) but imagine the scope of the project - you'd need separate branching quests for *everything* to take into account party size and capabilities

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October 19th, 2006, 15:04
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
That *sounds* great (and would *be* great) but imagine the scope of the project - you'd need separate branching quests for *everything* to take into account party size and capabilities
Not necessarily. It all depends on how far you want to go. My attempt would allow the player to generate one character. The game would center on that character only. Throughout the game NPCs could be taken along (could depend on vignettes - a character of noble birth could take along a groom for instance, a mage an apprentice and so on). This NPC would be AI controlled and would have an own personality. So whenever a NPC is taken along the player will face consequences like the NPC rebelling against the character's actions or him wanting to have his part of plunder. It wouldn't be hard to implement *that* and could make soloing more interesting.

Now applying quests and a game world to that would be harder, but not harder than allowing diplomatic attempts for instance. One quest could be the assassination of some sort of leader. This could be done in a stealthy way by one character, through diplomacy (talking somebody into doing the dirty work), by combat if the character absolutely centers on combat abilities and neglects all other skills and attributes (thus being in terms of combat inhumanly strong) - or simply by taking a NPC along and therefore having a chance to take out him and his minions (what would be impossible for a single ordinary fighter).

That's a very simple example but the point should be clear.

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October 19th, 2006, 15:13
I voted "I don't care", as I love both in fact, because they're very different. Old RPGs like Baldur's Gate are excellent, with great character development and fun, tactical combat. On the other hand I also like 3D games like Gothic where it's easier to feel that you are "inside" the world playing the main character, and the combat is fast paced.
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October 19th, 2006, 15:22
I find that it's more challenging to balance skills among a party (4-6 chars) than running a solo planet-smasher. Although, if the game mechanics allow the party characters to gain/master every skill it sort of defeats the purpose. Think of the difference between MM6 and MM7—in 6, all 4 chars could have the same exact same skills and abilities if you played long enough, meaning no real difference between a fighter, a mage, or a thief. MM7 forced you to consider what skills you wanted and which ones you were willing to do without.

Makes for better replayability when you can build a different party and have a different experience.

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October 19th, 2006, 15:29
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
Makes for better replayability when you can build a different party and have a different experience.
Same goes for a single character. Makes for better replayability when you can build a different character and have a different experience.

When well done, the replayability is even stronger with just one character. With "well done" I mean not being able to effectively be a master of all skills. If trying to rais every skill the player should feel the drawbacks. When having a party it's different. Balancing a party means balancing the skills - in the end you have masters of all skills. Where is the replayability in that? In one playthrough you can choose the best solution to quests - playing a specialized character your choice will depend on his abilities.

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October 19th, 2006, 16:45
Originally Posted by Monolith View Post
When having a party it's different. Balancing a party means balancing the skills - in the end you have masters of all skills. Where is the replayability in that?
You need to spend some quality time with Wiz8. If you don't take a bard, you will never ever be able to experience the instruments in the game. Without a gadgeteer, no gadgets. Without someone with alchemy, no potion-mixing-for-profit. Without a ranger, no autosearch. No faerie ninja, no cane of corpus. With 6 characters, you simply cannot cover every available skill.

MM7 was similar. No thief, no grandmaster disarm. No evil monk, and you couldn't even get master disarm. No sorceror, no Lloyd's Beacon, and that was a pain in the rump. The whole light/dark decision gave you mutually exclusive experiences.

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October 19th, 2006, 18:32
I prefer the Baldur's Gate Approach… one (or more) created Characters at the Start of the Game and lots of joinable Characters with their own Agendas and Personalities to meet during the Game.

There should be at least 6 Characters in the Party - better 8 - because only then gain Battles strategical Depth and Variety. Turnbased Fights would be nice too… I miss the old Realms of Arcania Games… or the Goldbox-Games

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October 19th, 2006, 21:46
Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
Turnbased Fights would be nice too… I miss the old Realms of Arcania Games… or the Goldbox-Games
Weren't the Realms of Arcania games based on the Dark Eye RPG? I heard that they are making a new PC Game, but are ditching the Realms of Arcania name due to legal issues. It is simply called Drakensang.

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October 20th, 2006, 03:29
You guys are going to LOVE Grimoire!!

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October 20th, 2006, 04:56
Originally Posted by Gulshog View Post
Weren't the Realms of Arcania games based on the Dark Eye RPG? I heard that they are making a new PC Game, but are ditching the Realms of Arcania name due to legal issues. It is simply called Drakensang.
Drakensang will be "streamlined". As far as I know, it will be a Baldur's Gate-Clone with 3D-Graphics… (and only a Party of 4)… it still may become a good Game, but no Realms of Arcania .

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October 20th, 2006, 05:10
Ah, with Realms of Arkania being my favorite trilogy of all time (probably only shadowed by the soon-to-be Gothic trilogy), I beg to differ. I have high hopes for Drakensang. What made those games really great was mostly the setting and unique, "realistically" dark medieval atmosphere in my opinion. Well, for me anyway. And the developers have repeatedly stated that they want to capture exactly that feature of the RoA universe.
Last edited by Arhu; October 20th, 2006 at 05:13.
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October 20th, 2006, 12:11
Originally Posted by Gulshog View Post
Weren't the Realms of Arcania games based on the Dark Eye RPG? I heard that they are making a new PC Game, but are ditching the Realms of Arcania name due to legal issues. It is simply called Drakensang.
The Realms of Arcania (or Arkania?) franchise was used in the US, I believe because they figured that 'The Dark Eye' was virtually unknown overseas back then.
So the North American publisher went for a catchy name and I think that some elements of gameplay were changed as well to "Dungeons&Dragon-ize" the games in order to make them more appealing for North American RPGers.
The original German games, however, were all named after The Dark Eye or Das Schwarze Auge (DSA). The original full titles over here were (translated to English): The Dark Eye - Blade of Destiny, The Dark Eye - Star Trail, and The Dark Eye - Shadows over Riva. So as you can see, Drakensang: The Dark Eye is not really a ditching of the name if you look at the original German titles.
And I doubt that it's legal reasons only (or at all) that they got rid of "RoA" because they (German licence holder Fanpro) have finally managed to establish a small 'The Dark Eye' fanbase in the US over the past few years (http://www.thedarkeyerpg.com/) so it only makes sense to use the real franchise name now instead of a made up fantasy name like RoA. They want to make The Dark Eye more popular in the US so I'm sure that they are more than happy to not use the old RoA name.
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October 20th, 2006, 14:09
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
You guys are going to LOVE Grimoire!!
I guess I will… Maybe it will be bundled with Duke Nuke'em forever

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October 22nd, 2006, 18:24
I think both approaches can work in the appropriate setting. I prefer being able to use all the skills and paths in a party, so I like at least four characters.

Like Sir Markus, I like the way the party (4)was handled in the earlier Might & Magic titles, and also Icewind Dale & TOEE, where you could roll or create (4-6)and then develop all your party members.

But of course, for that to be fun in terms of role-playing, the NPC has to be controllable—unlike, for instance, the "henchmen" in NWN1, who basically just did their own thing (when not getting lost). A lot of games are not very good at this.

A good, well-developed single character is better than a vague,generic & uncontrollable party.
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October 22nd, 2006, 18:51
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
What made those games really great was mostly the setting and unique, "realistically" dark medieval atmosphere in my opinion.
That's why I love Harnmaster…wish they would have made a PC game version of the pen and paper game. I heard about one a loooong time ago, I guess it died a long, slow death.

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October 24th, 2006, 01:33
Corwin,

I notice that the site has been down for a while re Grimoire. Have you heard anything on whether or not that is still under development. I know that he had some scripting problems, but the last I had read on his site what that the whole project was in "linbo". That would not seem to bode well.

As far as single vs party play, for me there is no comparison - its party all of the way. I have always been quite focused on three elements in RPGs 1) story and dialogue 2) ability to cause real change to the world (meaning that the game should have multiple endings and branches depending upon what I do and 3) has to have great combat.

Now, I'll admit that there is a bit of different people's tastes involved in what constitutes "great combat," but I just find single person RPG combat far to knee-jerk and one dimensional when it comes to combat. While it can be good, it just never seems to me to rise to the level of multi-party combat.
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October 24th, 2006, 05:42
I know nothing current about Grimoire or the site. Somewhere, I have Cleve's cell phone number, so if I can find it sometime, I'll give him a call.

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October 25th, 2006, 23:23
I don't have a preference, for me the enjoyment is about whether the game is well made and fits my other preferences. I have enjoyed solo games and party-based games.
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October 26th, 2006, 11:49
I need parties so much that I was unable to get into NWN until that module came out with 3 companions. Was it Arterra? Something like that. It had Percy as a NPC. Until that module, I couldn't stand NWN. Nowadays I can play as long as I have 2 companions. But just 1 other party member sucks. Playing a solo character is duller than dull.

I still have good memories of controlling tons of little guys in the Myth series. I never deployed them as units. I always split them up and set each one into action individually. Baldur's Gate? Yummy. Even Icewind Dale was OK — the NPCs were all created by me, which meant no party banter, but the strategy of battles was nice.
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October 26th, 2006, 16:16
Originally Posted by aboyd View Post
Even Icewind Dale was OK — the NPCs were all created by me, which meant no party banter, but the strategy of battles was nice.
Ah, fond memories of the hours rerolling the ultimate paladin! Who needs party banter when you have six perfectly- engineered-for-your-playing-style companions?
To me the pre-rolled NPC's always seemed nerfed in the Bio games—I guess to escape the odium of munchkinism—but still—where is the fun in taking on an NPC whose major contribution is to interject mostly idiotic comments just as you approach a battle?
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