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Default The Top 10 Greatest Innovations in CRPGs @ Armchair Empire

August 18th, 2011, 01:32
This is another list from Matt Barton, who provides his Top Ten Greatest Innovations in CRPGs on his blog at the Armchair Empire. It's an interesting list that includes things I would never thave thought of - and misses others. Here's a sample that is hard to argue:
4. The morality of Ultima IV. Year: 1985. Concept: Turn mindless hack'n slashers into paragons of virtue. I've talked to folks who are slightly freaked out by Richard Garriott (Lord British). Maybe he would've founded a cult if he hadn't a games company to keep him busy. His earlier games had been amazingly successful, but by 1985 he was no longer striving so much for technological superiority as spiritual enlightenment. In the words of Jack Black, he didn't just want to blow your mind—he wanted to blow your soul. Thus we get Quest of the Avatar, a game that made us all into Good People. It did so by punishing you for doing the stuff that got you ahead in other CRPGs, such as stealing. This karmic concept shows up in countless later games. Sure, there's no one around to see you steal those coins from the offering plate…But Lord British is watching you…
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August 18th, 2011, 01:32
misspelled (CRPGS) in the title
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August 18th, 2011, 11:41
"10: The mule in Dungeon Siege. Year: 2002"

I remember using a horse as a pack-animal in Daggerfall in… 1996?
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August 18th, 2011, 16:15
Real time with pause should probably be on such a list considering how many excellent games have used that system.
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August 18th, 2011, 17:41
I think Bioware has sufficiently ruined the word "innovation" for me. It's now on my cringe worthy list along with "streamlining" and "accessible".
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August 18th, 2011, 17:48
Originally Posted by Motoki View Post
I think Bioware has sufficiently ruined the word "innovation" for me. It's now on my cringe worthy list along with "streamlining" and "accessible".
I want to tell you that you are wrong about that. But I've found myself having the same reaction.
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August 18th, 2011, 18:04
Some of my favorite innovations that I do not remember who started with are;

1. Skills, attributes or perks give you access to new dialogue-options (Fallout, Baldur's Gate etc)
2. RTS-style combat/party-control that allow the player to pause the game (Baldur's Gate)
3. Game-Master mode (Vampire: Redemption/Neverwinter Nights)
4. Inventory-boxes. You know the box that is magically dragged along with you when you move to a new area. Yes, I actually like these.

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An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
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August 18th, 2011, 18:05
By the way, look at the user who posted "worst-idea ever" in the comments field.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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August 18th, 2011, 19:35
With his lists lately I've been thinking about the most innovative games in the sense of "new paradigms"

Biggest is U4 of course, but I can think of Wizardry as having a static map as bigger than the randomly generated one. I had not seen a game take up a full disk before - let alone both sides!

Wizardry 4 also brings the new to play the villain role - and not just the assassin, kill the king in the castle, game that Gygax and Arneson first played wit their Chainmail system.

Other Ultimas include Underworld and Ultima Online - though in the latter Meridian 59 and the AoL NWN can and have been cited as earlier examples. EQ killed UO of course, by bringing 3D to the field - something not though possible so quickly.

Bard's Tale brought color, animation, and especially, sound to the computer. It finally found a use for the bard that couldn't be had in a PnP game.

Might and Magic wasn't so much innovative, but a step up in graphics and a show off in what could be done. I think Morrowind did this famously as well.

Wasteland's post-apoc Mad Max setting was new in a way that Gamma World couldn't pull off on paper. Never really liked the game though until it was remade into Fallout.

I think of Space Rogue as the first space RPG and it would go on to influence Wing Commander (and later Freespace) and Starflight. By putting in real RPG elements into the game it goes beyond a simple Space Trader like Elite.

DnD

Originally Posted by Motoki View Post
I think Bioware has sufficiently ruined the word "innovation" for me. It's now on my cringe worthy list along with "streamlining" and "accessible".
Originally Posted by RampantCoyote View Post
I want to tell you that you are wrong about that. But I've found myself having the same reaction.
Bioware did good by successfully combining and updating elements from other games such as the spell system and its party dynamics in its Infinity Engine games. The pause and play was not its only new feature (which was widely criticised) but the ability to program the AI of your companions. It would lead directly to NWN.

Nothing new on NWN except that it was the first successful DM client. Toolsets had been around for a very long time including the Adventure Construction Set which should be mentioned here.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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August 18th, 2011, 19:52
I was speaking more about Bioware's recent tendency in the era of EA to use the word "innovation" to mean drastic changes, and not necessarily for the better either.
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August 19th, 2011, 00:10
#6. The real-time gameplay in Dungeons of Daggorath.

Always nice to see a rare reference to the first crpg I ever played..
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August 19th, 2011, 02:45
the next greatest innovation will be the transition from game to a movie

who fiddles around with those numbers anyway?

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