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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Skyrim - Why the RPG Hate at Rampant Games

Default Skyrim - Why the RPG Hate at Rampant Games

October 17th, 2011, 14:57
Jay Barnson from Rampant Games has written an editorial where all the rpg-hate seems to be coming from. Read it on his blog. He's been inspired by this article over at IGN, apparently, anti-Skyrim rpg piece. I'm putting it under Skyrim since this is where Jay Barnson got his inspiration from. An excerpt from Jay's blog:
Which brings me to the question of the title of the article. Why is it so popular these days for journalists to bash on a subgenre that’s been an endangered species for over a decade? Why the fear and loathing of RPGs? Why the RPG hate? I don’t know if many of the folks in question have actually played an honest-to-goodness hardcore stats-heavy RPG before. Or maybe all the stats in Mass Effect taxed their patience. Or maybe they are tilting at mental windmills based on secondhand descriptions and brief encounters with older games that were unplayable without RTFMing** (a skill that seems to have been lost in the mists of time now).
More information.
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October 17th, 2011, 14:57
Ultimately, I think it might come down to a phobia (or really, an intimidation factor) that is probably inherited from the earliest days of pen-and-paper role-playing games:

RPGs seem like they require too much work in order to have fun.
That's his conclusion but from my *person experience* RPG are considered "not cool" by mainstream because it's played by "fat"/"ugly" kids/people (think of the comic book guy from Simpson). So the "cool" kids don't want to associated with RPGs. Also the word "rope playing" makes it even more "un cool"!
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October 17th, 2011, 15:14
The mentality of the average gamer has changed over the years.

On my time (i am 42 now) i thought a game shouldnt be about graphics but about gameplay and actualy engage my brain with dificult stuff to do. I could gather 2-3 friends and play a hard-core RPG for hours just to try and get 1 item or to make something work wich was realy hard.

Now, my son and his friends gather round the console and just want to shoot things fast, with absolute ease, with pure eye-candy graphics, with absolutely no regard if the game is realy chalenging or not. They want discardable action and move on to the next one.

I think the major "guilty" in all of this is the easiness that games come by on the consoles. Play online with friends to destroy stuff, get bored, move to another friends' game, then another, etc. Stuff that takes longer than 5 minutes to set-up or takes more than 10 minutes to actualy get something very visible from is just not worth it.

I tried to get my son to play baldur's gate for example, his reaction was something like "if i want to read, my school manuals are enough".

Lazy generation imho. In general, not saying its everyone ofc.
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October 17th, 2011, 15:26
I agree with his sentiment of 'Where the hell are these hardcore RPG games this guy is ranting about because I want to play them!'
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October 17th, 2011, 15:32
RPGs are less cool, more nerdy. Gaming is mainstream now and with that comes marketing based on the "cool factor." So-called gaming journalism markets itself just like the games are marketed.
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October 17th, 2011, 15:56
Originally Posted by aries100
anti-skyrim rpg piece
Isn't it "anti-rpg Skyrim piece"? Gaming journalists aren't going to say anything bad about skyrim until bethesda starts promoting its next game by pointing out how it improves over skyrim's flaws.
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October 17th, 2011, 16:30
Originally Posted by KapitanUnterhosen View Post
Isn't it "anti-rpg Skyrim piece"? Gaming journalists aren't going to say anything bad about skyrim until bethesda starts promoting its next game by pointing out how it improves over skyrim's flaws.
That's because each new TES title rewrites the meaning of the word perfection

'nut
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October 17th, 2011, 18:15
Originally Posted by KapitanUnterhosen View Post
Isn't it "anti-rpg Skyrim piece"? Gaming journalists aren't going to say anything bad about skyrim until Bethesda starts promoting its next game by pointing out how it improves over skyrim's flaws.
Well many of the major review sites did manage to point out some of the games more serious flaws but I can see why someone might assume they didn't "say anything bad" about it if they were just looking at the scores and not reading the article. Gamespy and others did point out things like the following:

The game's interface is a bit clunky, or at least it might seem that way to PC veterans. It's a series of nested menus that are simple enough to navigate but feel like they were designed with the Xbox 360 controller in mind, with no provision for the greater control possibilities of keyboard and mouse. Why do I have to bring up the entire interface to read my quest journal? Why can't I just assign that to the "J" key? Why can't I access my inventory using the "I" key? Why can't I get a full screen overland map and instead must mouse around to see where I am as if I'm viewing it through a keyhole? And what's up with the enormous 36-point text font? It's not awful, but it is annoying and easily something that could have been improved prior to release.

If there's a real deal-breaker within Oblivion, however, it's the bugs. Lots of 'em. The worst have been problems running the game at all using Nvidia's FX series of video cards, and random, unrepeatable crashes to the desktop. I've seen creatures sometimes float in mid-air and "pop" around rather than turning to attack. There were moments when NPCs got stuck on the landscape, NPC voices would completely change between lines, and quest flags didn't getting tripped. Programming text would sometimes pop up during conversations with NPCs saying things like "Subject Change." The game's animations cause characters to move, fight, and die like a poorly wired Animatronic exhibit at Disneyland. It does little for one's sense of immersion to have beautifully expressive faces when they're attached to bodies that jerk and start in ways no humanoid body ever would and occasionally fall through a wall and twitch while hung up on the world's geometry
Almost nailed all the big issues there - and then they slip up and say "beautifully expressive faces." Well I'll concede that they arecertainly "expressive" but I think it was more of a Wallace and Grommet kind of expressiveness than anything I'd call beautiful.

Anyways many of them pointed that stuff out as well as the sameness of the large portions of the overland world, the Mr Potato-Head appearance to NPCs, the silly conversation mini-game, and more. The thing is that those reviews, unlike Gamespy's 4/5, were largely much higher. Many of the ones which point out all or nearly all of the common complaints about the game gave it a perfect score or just shy of that. So I guess its understandable to assume they didn't say anything bad about Bethesda's last Elder Scrolls games - but the truth is that they did. They just didn't give much if any weight to their own criticism.
Last edited by jhwisner; October 17th, 2011 at 18:28.
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October 17th, 2011, 18:25
Originally Posted by KnightPT View Post
The mentality of the average gamer has changed over the years.
Not only has the mentality changed. But *girls* play videogames now too. And they play roleplaying games. And not only do they play videogames, but they work at videogame stores. And not only are they girls… but many times, good looking ones.

I feel screwed because back in my day you couldn't find a girl within a thousand square miles of a computer or videogame. If you wanted to have a remote chance at a date, videogaming was a closely guarded secret amongst a tight knit group of inner-circle gee.. I mean friends.

If I'm right but there is no wife around to acknowledge it, am I still right?
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October 17th, 2011, 19:09
On the "no need to master" thing, I know quite a few of what I consider casual gamers (no, not your grandma playing Wii Bowling; the guys who consider Halo a classic old video game, despite being in their late 20s/early 30s) who buy a game, blast through it in a day or two, then never play it again. They'll look at you like you're insane if you suggest they ever replay it. As for old games, how could anyone play those!

Games are disposable to the mainstream audience. Keeping them all exactly the same aids this. As long as all games are aimed at this super-audience we're doomed to be forever endumbened. Sorry, I mean "streamlined and improved".
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October 17th, 2011, 19:18
To me the worst part of Oblivion was the scaling and lack of meaningful progression. Graphical glitches don't disturb me in the slightest, and a bad UI I can learn to live with. But I HATED the fact that when I finally got a hold of some daedric armor…I soon after found another set…and all of a sudden every single lowlife bandit had their very own daedric or glass armor. At that point I just started running through the main quest (invisibility meant the Oblivion gates took about 2 minutes each…).

If I've done every single sidequest and found every single artifact in the end I want to feel akin to a God. The enemies aren't supposed to level with me.
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October 17th, 2011, 19:27
Originally Posted by tomasp3n View Post
To me the worst part of Oblivion was the scaling and lack of meaningful progression. Graphical glitches don't disturb me in the slightest, and a bad UI I can learn to live with. But I HATED the fact that when I finally got a hold of some daedric armor…I soon after found another set…and all of a sudden every single lowlife bandit had their very own daedric or glass armor. At that point I just started running through the main quest (invisibility meant the Oblivion gates took about 2 minutes each…).

If I've done every single sidequest and found every single artifact in the end I want to feel akin to a God. The enemies aren't supposed to level with me.
Really well-stated. I agree with you entirely.

If I'm right but there is no wife around to acknowledge it, am I still right?
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October 17th, 2011, 19:30
Originally Posted by tomasp3n View Post
To me the worst part of Oblivion was the scaling and lack of meaningful progression. Graphical glitches don't disturb me in the slightest, and a bad UI I can learn to live with. But I HATED the fact that when I finally got a hold of some daedric armor…I soon after found another set…and all of a sudden every single lowlife bandit had their very own daedric or glass armor. At that point I just started running through the main quest (invisibility meant the Oblivion gates took about 2 minutes each…).

If I've done every single sidequest and found every single artifact in the end I want to feel akin to a God. The enemies aren't supposed to level with me.
It was the loot leveling that was the main issue for me. The enemies did have max levels, they scaled within a range. Despite the common talk about level 50 rats that was not the case at all, rats could only level from 1-5 or whatever. The enemy scaling was not a big deal IMO, just the equipment scaling.

All that said Francesco's mod fixes the scaling pretty well. I'm not really a mod kind of guy, I don't use any for Morrowind for example, but I play Oblivion with Francesco's scaling mod (as well as Darn's UI).
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October 17th, 2011, 19:54
Originally Posted by tomasp3n View Post
To me the worst part of Oblivion was the scaling and lack of meaningful progression. Graphical glitches don't disturb me in the slightest, and a bad UI I can learn to live with. But I HATED the fact that when I finally got a hold of some daedric armor…I soon after found another set…and all of a sudden every single lowlife bandit had their very own daedric or glass armor. At that point I just started running through the main quest (invisibility meant the Oblivion gates took about 2 minutes each…).

If I've done every single sidequest and found every single artifact in the end I want to feel akin to a God. The enemies aren't supposed to level with me.
Feeling akin to a God halfway through Morrowind was what made me lose interest to the point where I've never finished it (around 80 hours into the game).

Oblivion I finished and I did every quest I could find and the end clock was at 310 hours.

I actually liked the level scaling in Oblivion. Sure, there was plenty of room for improvements but overall it was more enjoyable (for me) than the fixed difficulty levels of the Gothic games (the first 15 hours and EVERYTHING can insta-kill you and the last 15 hours you're untouchable).

To each their own

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
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October 17th, 2011, 20:05
RPG' is the king of all genres.
I really don't care what journalists say and I really don't care what's current mainstream, hell remember the ages of Tetris being mainstream?
But tell me this… How many games we can already nominate as GOTY? Two, right? TW2 and DX:HR. Skyrim is the third one, hopefully. All three are - RPGs (don't bother with trying to persuade me DX:HR ain't RPG). And that means what? We hate RPG genre because it's the best genre? Yea right…
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October 17th, 2011, 20:06
With recent and future cRPGs getting panned from both fans and non-fans I wonder if we will get many more, hardcore or not?

What would solve this whole thing is if they changed "difficulty" to a "play style" setting. You could have

Easy Goes It - - for the non-cRPG people. It would hide all the fiddly bits and just let you play.

I Can Take It - - for the people who like RPGs You'd have some control over the fiddly parts.

Bring it On! - - for the hardcore cRPG folks. You have to hex edit your character to change weapons and only use keyboard controls and such.
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October 17th, 2011, 21:24
Originally Posted by billseurer View Post
bring it on! - - for the hardcore crpg folks. you have to hex edit your character to change weapons and only use keyboard controls and such.
bring it on!!! :d
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October 17th, 2011, 21:29
To sum it up, rather cynically :

"You played an RPG with nothing but stats & numbers ? WHINERS !
Get yourself a REAL wepon and start playing Warfare Shooters !!!"

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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October 17th, 2011, 22:06
Guys…

These sites are all about click-throughs and eyeballs on the ads. Period. It's a semi-troll article. Who cares what this guy thinks about the genre? Frankly, I don't believe he necessarily feels this way. But even if he does, who cares?
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October 17th, 2011, 22:23
Originally Posted by Ovenall View Post
Guys…

These sites are all about click-throughs and eyeballs on the ads. Period. It's a semi-troll article. Who cares what this guy thinks about the genre? Frankly, I don't believe he necessarily feels this way. But even if he does, who cares?
are you saying that its "cool" to play RPGs?
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