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November 21st, 2012, 17:30
Kingdoms of Amalur is a hardcore RPG too.

But honestly, I can understand people disagreeing with me about what's "hardcore" because my own definition pretty much includes most games in the RPG genre. Any game with lots of RPG elements to me = a hardcore RPG.

Skyrim has tons of elements that 10 years ago would have been reserved for the more nerdier among us. Same with Amalur. Hell, 15 years ago when I was in school only certain nerds played games like that. They were too hardcore for most people then and they still are, though it seems people have come around and being an RPG nerd is cool these days.

And I just go by feel. Those 2 games feel like hardcore RPGs to me, with their tons of dialog, tons of quests, tons of loot, tons of inventory management, etc.

I really can't recall an RPG I've played that I didn't think was hardcore. So take that for what it's worth.
Last edited by Fluent; November 21st, 2012 at 17:43.
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November 21st, 2012, 17:37
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
I'm 27, and Skyrim is a hardcore RPG.
Skyrim is probably a hardcore something but calling a game with no role in it a RPG is why the article got its conclusion wrong.

The future for RPGs can not be brighter as in the future, most games will be likely to be called RPGs.

Hundreds of RPGs to come.
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November 21st, 2012, 17:58
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
Kingdoms of Amalur is a hardcore RPG too.

But honestly, I can understand people disagreeing with me about what's "hardcore" because my own definition pretty much includes most games in the RPG genre. Any game with lots of RPG elements to me = a hardcore RPG.

Skyrim has tons of elements that 10 years ago would have been reserved for the more nerdier among us. Same with Amalur. Hell, 15 years ago when I was in school only certain nerds played games like that. They were too hardcore for most people then and they still are, though it seems people have come around and being an RPG nerd is cool these days.

I really can't recall an RPG I've played that I didn't think was hardcore. So take that for what it's worth.
So basically, your definiton of what constitutes a hardcore RPG renders the very term hardcore redundant. What is then the difference between a hardcore and a regular RPG? I assume that would make a regular RPG a game with fewer RPG elements, as opposed to "lots of RPG elements"? Or perhaps rather an average amount of RPG elements? Or is it rather that there is no such thing as a regular/non-hardcore/accesible (whatever) RPG. The genre itself is hardcore? Sorry man, but I really don't get your thinking.
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November 21st, 2012, 18:33
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
Kingdoms of Amalur is a hardcore RPG too.
As I said, there's no objective definition of the word as it relates to computer games.

However, I most definitely consider it a mainstream RPG with a big emphasis on accessibility and focus on casual players.

But honestly, I can understand people disagreeing with me about what's "hardcore" because my own definition pretty much includes most games in the RPG genre. Any game with lots of RPG elements to me = a hardcore RPG.
That's a very….. unique definition

Skyrim has tons of elements that 10 years ago would have been reserved for the more nerdier among us. Same with Amalur. Hell, 15 years ago when I was in school only certain nerds played games like that. They were too hardcore for most people then and they still are, though it seems people have come around and being an RPG nerd is cool these days.
Games like Skyrim didn't exist 10 years ago. The difference between Skyrim and the average hardcore RPG (as I see them) 15 years ago is about production values and handholding. The difference is positively gargantuan.

And I just go by feel. Those 2 games feel like hardcore RPGs to me, with their tons of dialog, tons of quests, tons of loot, tons of inventory management, etc.
So, you consider hardcore a matter of content and features? Interesting.

I really can't recall an RPG I've played that I didn't think was hardcore. So take that for what it's worth.
All opinions are worthy. I think I understand where you're coming from, though I must say I don't think it's a particularly useful definition. But, to each his own.
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November 21st, 2012, 19:07
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
New Vegas hardcore? No, I don't think so. Even on max difficulty level - it's a pushover -
No, it isnīt.
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
and everything is pointed out to you in logs and on the map,
.
No, it isnīt.
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
You can't miss anything and you'd have to be blind not to complete the quests.
Not true either.

The game is open ended, features fairly subdued level scaling, is not afraid to throw difficult enemies at you almost right from the beginning and some of these are quite hard to "cheese" (cazadores) and, unlike in F3, you can encounter some fairly challenging scenarios right till the end. Hardcore mode does not make it substantially more difficult but it does raise the demand for micromanagement, both in terms of inventory and companions.
A lot of quests come with multiple solutions and these are not usually pointed in the journal, the game is heavily reactive and thus you most certainly can miss a lot of stuff, some quests or quest solutions only open for certain character builds or characters with certain reputation(s).
I donīt know (and donīt really care) whether this constitutes it as "hardcore", but itīs definitely the most complex (and demanding, if played on very hard + hardcore) recent AAA open world cRPG out there.


As a side note, on the "AA" front there are at least three recent titles which werenīt afraid of not being particularly lenient toward players - Risen, Dragon Knight Saga and especially Dark Souls. And Iīd probably put Drakensang 2 among these as well - on the highest difficulty the game was at times quite challenging and its rule system demanded some attention.

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November 21st, 2012, 19:15
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
No, it isnīt.
Yes it is (it was to me).

No, it isnīt.
You mean I was dreaming up what was in my journal and on my map?

The game is open ended, features fairly subdued level scaling, is not afraid to throw difficult enemies at you almost right from the beginning and some of these are quite hard to "cheese" (cazadores) and, unlike in F3, you can encounter some fairly challenging scenarios right till the end. Hardcore mode does not make it substantially more difficult but it does raise the demand for micromanagement, both in terms of inventory and companions.
"Hardcore" in NV is about tedious realism or immersion - depending on your point of view. It has nothing to do with hardcore as we're talking about it. Also. the very nature of it being an OPTIONAL feature with that very name - tells us all we need to know about FO:NV being hardcore. In the old days, you didn't get an optional hardcore feature. You just got the game.

NV had level scaling just like FO3 - and if you followed the story - you were guided and handheld throughout. Yes, you could step out of the way and face a challenge - but not anything resembling what I would consider a hardcore experience.

Well, maybe it's less casual than FO3 - but I put them in the same ballpark.

A lot of quests come with multiple solutions and these are not usually pointed in the journal, the game is heavily reactive and thus you most certainly can miss a lot of stuff, some quests or quest solutions only open for certain character builds or characters with certain reputation(s).
I'm not talking about missing content - but being stuck. You don't get stuck in NV - unless you're blind. That's my claim.

That said, I concede that a lot of casual/mainstream players ARE blind.

I donīt know (and donīt really care) whether this constitutes it as "hardcore", but itīs definitely the most complex (and demanding, if played on very hard + hardcore) recent AAA open world cRPG out there.
The Witcher 2 was a lot more demanding to me, but to each his own. Neither are what I would consider hardcore.

As a side note, on the "AA" front there are at least three recent titles which werenīt afraid of not being particularly lenient toward players - Risen, Dragon Knight Saga and especially Dark Souls. And Iīd probably put Drakensang 2 among these as well - on the highest difficulty the game was at times quite challenging and its rule system demanded some attention.
Interesting, but as you said yourself - none of them are AAA. But I agree that once you step down the A-ladder - you get closer to the hardcore of old. But you don't really get there.
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November 21st, 2012, 19:19
Originally Posted by CrazyIrish View Post
Just found the install disk the other day and started a game. As soon as the character generation music started I got a stupidly huge smile on my face.
I can imagine that.

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November 22nd, 2012, 14:08
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Interesting, but as you said yourself - none of them are AAA. But I agree that once you step down the A-ladder - you get closer to the hardcore of old. But you don't really get there.
Dark Souls, without taking advantage of internet (well, besides the visual/control tweaks), pretty much got there for me, at least as far as action RPGs go. Iīve found it a rather (positively) exhaustive experience, just like the old times .

As for F:NV, you linked hardcore-ness with required level of investment, so I think stuff like "hardcore" mode (increases demands on inventory related decision making in particular), multiple quest solutions (often not marked in the journal, see here, for example) and the general high level of reactivity (I mean, you sorta need to pay some attention to who youīre doing a quest for, how youīre doing it and even what armor youīre wearing ) do have some bearing in this, even though investing in this stuff is not exactly "required", more like, I dunno, encouraged.
Also, I agree with the "optional!" remark (and it could be extended to difficulty settings as well), but you implied that F:NV isnīt "hardcore" even on very hard + hardcore, which I donīt think is as clear cut, especially when what Iīve written in the previous paragraph is taken into account.
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Last edited by DeepO; November 22nd, 2012 at 14:18.
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November 22nd, 2012, 14:15
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
Dark Souls, without taking advantage of internet (well, besides the visual/control tweaks), pretty much got there for me, at least as far as action RPGs go. Iīve found it a rather exhaustive experience, just like the old times .

As for F:NV, you linked hardcore-ness with required level of investment, so I think stuff like "hardcore" mode (increases demands on inventory related decision making in particular), multiple quest solutions (often not marked in the journal, see here, for example) and the general high level of reactivity (I mean, you sorta need to pay some attention to who youīre doing a quest for, how youīre doing it and even what armor youīre wearing ) do have some bearing in this.
Also, I agree with the "optional!" remark (and it could be extended to difficulty settings as well), but you implied that F:NV isnīt "hardcore" even on very hard + hardcore, which I donīt think is as clear cut, especially when what Iīve written in the previous paragraph is taken into account.
Zzzzz .
Let me make it simple:

Level of investment required = what you actually NEED to invest to SUCCEED.

While Fallout NV has a lot of features and a LOT of stuff to do and see, and learn - you're NOT required to invest in them to actually succeed. You can ignore almost everything and just follow the main quest.

Yes, you can make combat harder - and you can make hunger/thirst matter, as an option - but even with those features activated - I still don't think you need to invest all that much.

Again, maybe more than FO3 - but I still consider it a mainstream RPG.

I can't remember the last AAA RPG I played where I actually had to invest myself to overcome challenges or complete the content. The Witcher 2 was pretty close - but that was mostly about combat. Same goes for Dragon Age on high difficulty.

In that same way, I consider games like Guild Wars 2 or WoW mainstream games - because while there are some hard challenges, you can experience the vast majority of content without investing anything at all, really. But they have lots of complexity (well, GW2 doesn't) - but you can ignore it without detriment.

Where games like Ultima Online, EverQuest, EvE and Darkfall pretty much demands a high level of investment - if you want to get anywhere or do any of the interesting stuff. If you ignore the complexity - you die. That's hardcore.

Yeah, we agree that Dark Souls is hardcore - but it's not a "traditional RPG" - and is almost entirely about action combat.
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November 22nd, 2012, 14:50
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Level of investment required = what you actually NEED to invest to SUCCEED.
No need to clarify this I think, I just donīt see this as a binary (mainstream vs. hardcore, or whatever) matter. I really shouldīve edited the ", even though investing in this stuff is not exactly "required", more like, I dunno, encouraged" part in earlier .

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Yeah, we agree that Dark Souls is hardcore - but it's not a "traditional RPG" - and is almost entirely about action combat.
Not necessarily. I think I quite sucked at Dark Soulsī action part of the combat, which is why Iīve finished the game with a character at around level 80, so for me it was more about action/RPG combat.
Also, the game is a lot about exploration (benefits of which, besides story progression, may substantially influence the combat aspect).

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November 22nd, 2012, 14:51
SKyrim is so hardcore that for idiots who couldn't find a cube now there is an arrow pointing on it , also you can role play as a Roguetankmage .

I think everything is a matter of budget , if you have 200m to spend in development they will go in aspects that sell like action , voice overs , flashy animations , graphics and not in the parts that define RPGs like choices and consequences & character progression , this is why TES 4 and KoA ended up an ocean wide and a spoon deep .
Witcher 2 was a really hardcore AAA cRPG that got everything as good as it was budget wise possible.

For the future the great success of Skyrim will "open the eyes" to other developers over making sandbox free roam games , i hope that Cyberpunk has an equal success driving the market into more "RPGish" ways so in the future we can get a better mix of both.
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November 22nd, 2012, 14:56
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
No need to clarify this I think, I just donīt see this as a binary (mainstream vs. hardcore, or whatever) matter.
Well there are two concepts for ease of communication. I doubt there's a single game in the world that's ENTIRELY 100% one or the other. Well, maybe a few

But I can come up with more terms and degrees - but it would just confuse the issue. So, the binary conclusion is simply that I felt I was playing a mainstream game with NV more than I was playing a hardcore game. That's really all it is.

Not necessarily. I think I quite sucked at Dark Soulsī action part of the combat, which is why Iīve finished the game with a character at around level 80, so for me it was more about action/RPG combat.
Also, the game is a lot about exploration (benefits of which, besides story progression, may substantially influence the combat aspect).
I haven't played it much - but I did play Demon's Soul a lot, and I guess they're very similar.

I mentioned combat - because I was talking about the demanding part. Demon's Soul was almost entirely (action) combat-oriented in terms of challenge. I guess Dark Souls isn't, then?
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November 22nd, 2012, 15:07
So a game where you don't make your own character, has action combat and is linear in chapters is much deeper and hardcore? Interesting.

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November 22nd, 2012, 15:12
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
So a game where you don't make your own character, has action combat and is linear in chapters is much deeper and hardcore? Interesting.
Try reading?

Depth isn't a factor, unless it's "obligatory" to understand.

I'm using simple concepts here. In Dark Souls - you need to invest yourself to succeed - quite a bit, I'd say. You can't take a casual approach. That's why it's hardcore.

Hardcore is a universal concept, and it's not RPG specific. Ninja Gaiden, for instance, is a very hardcore action game - for similar reasons.

It's pretty straightforward.
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November 22nd, 2012, 15:18
I'm not sure depth like that makes a better game. I have spent countless hours playing Skyrim and just maybe 10 playing Dark souls. Skyrim to me is a better game because it held my interest, had a lot more going on then having to learn a way to use the control scheme to win.

To each their own, but I would rather invest time exploring then fighting the same creature over and over until I find the right combination to win.

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November 22nd, 2012, 15:18
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I mentioned combat - because I was talking about the demanding part. Demon's Soul was almost entirely (action) combat-oriented in terms of challenge. I guess Dark Souls isn't, then?
Combat is THE demanding part of Dark Souls and since Iīm console-less I canīt really compare it to Demonīs Souls, but the point was that it isnīt necessarily about action combat. The RPG elements (stats, weapon types, crafting) and exploration tie a lot into how you can overcome the combat challenges.
Dark Souls is more open ended compared to Demonīs Souls, if my (limited) info about the latter is right.

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November 22nd, 2012, 18:38
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
Combat is THE demanding part of Dark Souls and since Iīm console-less I canīt really compare it to Demonīs Souls, but the point was that it isnīt necessarily about action combat. The RPG elements (stats, weapon types, crafting) and exploration tie a lot into how you can overcome the combat challenges.
Dark Souls is more open ended compared to Demonīs Souls, if my (limited) info about the latter is right.
I would also add that Dark Souls never holds your hand with respect to where you should go next. I haven't played Demon's Souls myself, but it is my impression also that Dark Souls is more open. Ocassionally the game may hint at where you need to go (like there is one guy who mentions that some clerics who previously where present have left for the Catacombs), but often you have to run around figuring it out on your own, and it's easy to miss locations, simply because the game doesn't care how much you struggle to find your way. Another example would be picking up certain rings before venturing into certain places. So in that respect, I would also say that Dark Souls is considerably more demanding than most games.
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November 22nd, 2012, 19:13
Originally Posted by Steinawarjar View Post
(like there is one guy who mentions that some clerics who previously where present have left for the Catacombs)
Catacombs are great example of Dark Soulsī "hardcore-ness", I think.
The area is accessible pretty much right from the start, but the enemies and layout make it feel like a "ok, Iīll return here much later" area, yet the boon available about half way through (bonfire stuff) is a rather game changing element, certainly nice to have earlier than what the initial entry point to the area seems like.
Of course once one knows whatīs up in terms of encounter design and especially level design, it can be "cleaned" in few minutes.

Which leads me to THE topic of the day:
Hardcore games in the age of Internet .

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November 22nd, 2012, 19:27
Oh man, look what I started

My idea of an RPG being hardcore is probably redundant, since I do feel most RPGs I played have been hardcore RPGs, but my point simply is this. Skyrim and Amalur are not RPG-lite experiences like some people seem to like to say about them. They are "heavy" RPGs.

I spent 200 hours with each game and plan on spending much more than that, but during that time I was completely immersed in the game, the lore, the world, and realized that what I was playing was not some "casual" or "simple" game. They both certainly did not feel like they were made for casual gamers. Yes, they are both accessible games, both are somewhat easy to pick up and play, but each have their hidden layers of depth that pervade the entire game that makes me feel that yes, they are hardcore RPGs. They are both very complex games at their core that just happen to be easy to play.

That's my definition and it's probably not that useful, but that's just what I feel about those games.
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November 22nd, 2012, 20:46
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
Combat is THE demanding part of Dark Souls and since Iīm console-less I canīt really compare it to Demonīs Souls, but the point was that it isnīt necessarily about action combat. The RPG elements (stats, weapon types, crafting) and exploration tie a lot into how you can overcome the combat challenges.
Dark Souls is more open ended compared to Demonīs Souls, if my (limited) info about the latter is right.
Yeah, Dark Souls seemed a lot more open right from the get-go. As for action, well, I think action was definitely the primary ingredient in terms of challenge. As in, timing your moves and predicting those of the enemy. But it was also about careful observation of patterns and just straight-up caution. I wouldn't say the RPG elements felt terribly important in comparison - though your gear setup was extremely vital.

But I only got about halfway through Demon's Souls before I got distracted. It really is the kind of game that requires total attention - and I can't play it without having a significant amount of free time available. I'm planning to play Dark Souls eventually - but I just haven't felt the need. I think I got somewhat tired of the barebones lore and somewhat dull character development system.
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