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Default RPG Codex - The Lists to Dwarf Them All

March 29th, 2013, 14:13
Originally Posted by bussinrounds View Post
I know it's just one person, but wow, I thought you guys were a little more than this. I am disappoint watchers.

Seems like the codex really is the last bastion of good taste when it comes to RPGs. (for the most part)
Note that I said 'enjoyable', not better RPGs. I intentionally picked the more flawed ones to suggest that the modern gameplay mechanics should be weighted against RPG hallmarks like choice and consequence and factions. Many modern RPGs are sadly dumbed down but the world building and gameplay mechanics outweigh the loss of coveted richness from yesteryear (in some cases). Simply put, I'd rather play Gothic 3, the worst of that series than Fallout 1, despite some of its failings.

"For Innos!"
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March 29th, 2013, 14:16
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
So, you know it's just one person - but you're still disappointed in the Watch as a whole?

That makes about as much sense as your general "agenda"
It's not the first time I've seen crap like ME, F3 praised around here. And Oblivion ? Really ??
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March 29th, 2013, 14:37
Originally Posted by bussinrounds View Post
It's not the first time I've seen crap like ME, F3 praised around here. And Oblivion ? Really ??
What you mean is that you have a hard time appreciating how those games can appeal to different kinds of gamers, right?

Fallout 3 is a game that needs mods for the mechanics to really work for me, but with the right mods applied - it's a fantastic game. That's primarily because I adore exploration and it's definitely among the best for that specific aspect of gameplay. Certainly FAR beyond the original Fallout. As a combined experience - I'd say it's a great game when modded.

The first Mass Effect was a very strong sci-fi experience for me, but the gameplay was too shallow and I didn't care for the mechanics. Overall, however, the atmosphere and story were both powerful enough to make me enjoy it a whole lot. I didn't like Mass Effect 2 - and found Mass Effect 3 to be a bad joke. But I can appreciate how people more into Bioware storytelling and who don't mind endless filler combat enjoy them more than I did.

Oblivion was a very ambitious game - and I have to admire Bethesda for pulling it off in a technical sense. Unfortunately, the actual content (apart from a few quests and the Dark Brotherhood questline) was not very strong. The writing in particular was generally really bad.

On the Watch - we TEND to accept how opinions differ based on personal preference and experience.

Personally, I think an opinion is about as good as the level of information and reasoning behind it. Meaning, there are many opinions that I think are weak and based on a lack of experience - but I can accept that they differ from mine.

That's something I can highly recommend if you want to understand the nature of subjectivity and how trying to make it into objectivity is a lost cause.
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March 29th, 2013, 15:18
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
My possibly flawed memory of fallout 1 combat was that it was all just about firing your gun on full auto and watching your enemies instantly die. Later in the game there were enemies who could fire their gun on full auto and instantly kill you too. I guess it's not unrealistic, but I never found it very deep or satisfying.

Fallout 2 was very different though. They seemed to solve that problem by giving everything a ton of hp. This allowed you to use more strategy and abilities in combat because it wasn't just about instant kills. But it could also be rather tedious. You'd do a called shot, they'd attack you a bunch of times, repeat for 20+ rounds until one side was dead.

But it was never the combat system that made Fallout good, in any interattion from Fallout 1 to Fallout NV. It was the options and the way the world reacted to you.
You sound like you kind of suck at Fallout. Just saying.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
All games with sufficiently intricate mechanics will have powerful and weak builds. I consider that a strength of the design.

(snip)
Bravo, we have someone who gets it.

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Take out BG2, and you get a top 5 that's even weaker than it already is.
Sorry Fallout doesn't have any kawaii "winged elves" and milfs.

Originally Posted by J_C View Post
This thread reminds me what a popamole bunch the Watch is. You probably think that Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2 are the best RPGs of all time, amirite?
Nah, Jade Empire is the best RPG of all time, because it has moral choice and eh doesnt afraid of anything.

Originally Posted by The Walkin' Dude View Post
ME 3 probably beats any of those games on the list in regards to C&C, but the Codex will never admit it. Even so, let me prove it by copying an article on Mordin Solus:
Mordin and Wrex C&C was admittedly well done. Too bad it was literally the ONLY thing in the entire game like that, and every single other choice made throughout the series was ignored or made pointless immediately.

Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
It would be interesting to assemble a similar list here. We could learn … something… from the comparison, I'm sure.
Best writing: Fallout 3

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Fallout 3 is a game that needs mods for the mechanics to really work for me, but with the right mods applied - it's a fantastic game.
Broken gameplay mechanics and poor graphics can be improved with mods. Too bad everything else can't.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Oblivion was a very ambitious game - and I have to admire Bethesda for pulling it off in a technical sense. Unfortunately, the actual content (apart from a few quests and the Dark Brotherhood questline) was not very strong. The writing in particular was generally really bad.
What's ambitious about a game that's exactly like Morrowind but worse and more limited in every possible way (except graphics)?
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March 29th, 2013, 15:47
Broken gameplay mechanics and poor graphics can be improved with mods. Too bad everything else can't.
I don't think it had poor graphics. More like average to good graphics.

My problem was with mechanics. The writing wasn't great - but I was there for the exploration.

What's ambitious about a game that's exactly like Morrowind but worse and more limited in every possible way (except graphics)?
You mean limited by adding a combat system that's actually entertaining? Vastly expanding upon stealth and archery? Adding a strong physics system? Adding mounts? Adding animations that don't look like jokes? Adding voice acting? Experimenting with dynamic AI? Adding distant land technology? Vastly improving the cell-loading technology?

If you can't see how Oblivion expanded upon several things - then you're just blind.

Doesn't mean it's better than Morrowind. I think Morrowind was the better game overall - and it too was very ambitious. But Oblivion was technically ambitious - exactly like I said.

Skyrim, however, is when TES truly comes into its own.



Again, you Codexers SEEM to not want to deal with reality at all. You want to close your eyes to what's good about these games - and focus on what's bad about them.

I understand your motives - and I can sympathise with getting emotional and taking the nature of business as a personal insult - but I can't say I think you're being very smart about it.

To be taken seriously - you have to take into account the whole picture and be willing to acknowledge that some things you don't like have good things about them.

Otherwise, you're just a child speaking from an emotional position - rather than a rational position.

That's not very impressive, really.
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March 29th, 2013, 15:53
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Is this your first RPG with intricate mechanics and lots of choice that's not made for the casual audience?

It sounds like you're blaming Fallout for the "faults" of an entire era.
Nop, only for its own shortcomings. Which can't really be blamed on the "era" it appeared in, as technological limitations aren't the crux here. I've also played pretty much every RPG from the early 90's to the early 2000's (except horribad ones FWIW).

Unfortunately, I can't comment too much on Wizardry 8 - as I always felt the game was too combat heavy, using a system that was dreadfully slow paced.

That said, I'm pretty sure you can create a lot of crap characters in Wiz 8 - if comments from fans are to be believed.
Not on Normal difficulty. On Expert, a lot of builds are invalidated, but these balancing issues are exactly why I only play on Normal nowadays. On that setting, you have some pretty awesome options compared to most CRPGs; like pumping Strength and Dexterity on mages, and they're still pretty useful by combining spellcasting with staff and sling attacks, which works just fine. Or you can build fast, spellcasting Samurai that actually work. Everyone who likes character building should give it a shot.

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March 29th, 2013, 15:54
Originally Posted by sea View Post
What's ambitious about a game that's exactly like Morrowind but worse and more limited in every possible way (except graphics)?
My experience with Morrowind was as follows:
Start the game as a thief archer. Quit - combat is unplayable.
Start a new game as a wizard. Combat is still terrible.
Avoid all combat.
Frustration with load screens - rage quit.


Oblivion was playable. And since it was the only open world first person RPG out, it was the only thing worth my time.
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March 29th, 2013, 16:00
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
Nop, only for its own shortcomings. Which can't really be blamed on the "era" it appeared in, as technological limitations aren't the crux here. I've also played pretty much every RPG from the early 90's to the early 2000's (except horribad ones FWIW).
I'm not talking about technological limitations - and again, you're the one calling them faults. I'm talking about pretty much every RPG from that era having what you refer to as a weakness. I've played pretty much all of them from that time as well.

Again, you're talking about the Fallout system as if it was unique in how you could create overpowered and underpowered characters. That's a very strange thing to claim for a guy who says he's played pretty much all games from the 90s and early 2000s.

Did you by chance play any AD&D based game? How about a game like Arcanum?

Not on Normal difficulty. On Expert, a lot of builds are invalidated, but these balancing issues are exactly why I only play on Normal nowadays. On that setting, you have some pretty awesome options compared to most CRPGs; like pumping Strength and Dexterity on mages, and they're still pretty useful by combining spellcasting with staff and sling attacks, which works just fine. Or you can build fast, spellcasting Samurai that actually work. Everyone who likes character building should give it a shot.
I don't like character building enough to suffer through endless filler combat. Also, I find the character development system in the Wizardry games rather spreadsheety and in "gamey" terms boring. I like getting toys - and there's a distinct lack of tangible toys when you progress your characters in Wizardry. It's all about stats getting slightly higher. Zzzzz.

That said, I only ever completed Wizardry 6. That was great for its time - and I loved the amount of classes it had. But games and mechanics have evolved significantly since then.
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March 29th, 2013, 16:22
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'm not talking about technological limitations - and again, you're the one calling them faults. I'm talking about pretty much every RPG from that era having what you refer to as a weakness. I've played pretty much all of them from that time as well.

Again, you're talking about the Fallout system as if it was unique in how you could create overpowered and underpowered characters. That's a very strange thing to claim for a guy who says he's played pretty much all games from the 90s and early 2000s.

Did you by chance play any AD&D based game? How about a game like Arcanum?
Yes and yes.

Most AD&D games don't fit your argument at all btw, since diversity in builds was so limited - in most cases, the only player-defined aspect were the stats, and in the vast majority of older DnD games, those could just be ramped up to the racial maximum. Making overpowered characters is more a hallmark of younger games, like BG2 (and even that game did not have any really crappy classes IIRC).

But still, it's true that I was talking about Fallout specifically, rather than matched against other games. Seems legit to me.

I don't like character building enough to suffer through endless filler combat.
Eh, are we talking about Fallout or Wizardry here?

Also, I find the character development system in the Wizardry games rather spreadsheety and in "gamey" terms boring. I like getting toys - and there's a distinct lack of tangible toys when you progress your characters in Wizardry. It's all about stats getting slightly higher.
It's true in that a lvl 1 Fighter played exactly like a lvl 30 Fighter. Which is a weakness it shares with many, many RPGs - which should therefore not be called out as a weakness, if I got your point.

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March 29th, 2013, 16:48
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
Most AD&D games don't fit your argument at all btw, since diversity in builds was so limited - in most cases, the only player-defined aspect were the stats, and in the vast majority of older DnD games, those could just be ramped up to the racial maximum. Making overpowered characters is more a hallmark of younger games, like BG2 (and even that game did not have any really crappy classes IIRC).
BG2 is from 2000 - 3 years later than Fallout.

No, in 2nd Edition AD&D you could severely underpower yourself by focusing on the wrong weapon or picking the wrong spells - and even the wrong class, with especially thieves and bards being jokes. It's very easy for a person unfamiliar with the system to completely mess up their character.

Choice of weapons in particular was a huge issue if you didn't understand the system well enough or wanted a specific kind of sword or whatever for flavor. Balance is a complete joke in this way.

Just because the old Gold Box games allowed you to cheat yourself to maximum attributes and hit points doesn't change that if you rolled a character legitimately, you'd SEVERELY gimp yourself by not doing it wisely. Stats are everything in 1st Edition AD&D. Yes, it's a simplistic system - but it's still awful in terms of balancing the importance of specific attributes, weapons or spells. Try playing a non-human fighter with 18 in strength versus a human with 18-100 in strength and call it reasonably balanced. How about a female character with 18-50 as a maximum? What a joke.

Balance issues were even more prevalent in 3rd Edition D&D - and Neverwinter Nights is a good example being very relevant to the era we're talking about. The difference between a good character and a bad character can be GIGANTIC in Neverwinter Nights.

That's because the amount of choices is huge - and the complexity of the system is very signficant. Guess what - that's why I love it. I especially love it because there's such a huge variety of both extremely powerful and extremely weak builds - and there's a LOT of diversity even within similar builds.

I'm sure you hate that - because the D&D system doesn't make all the good choices glow or sort the powerful combinations from the weak combinations, right?

Then we have Arcanum - again very relevant - which makes Fallout seem like one of the most balanced games in existence. It's still great fun, though.

But still, it's true that I was talking about Fallout specifically, rather than matched against other games. Seems legit to me.
Yes, you're talking about a game as if it was unique in a specific way where it's clearly not unique. If you want to call that legit - that's on you.

It's true in that a lvl 1 Fighter played exactly like a lvl 30 Fighter. Which is a weakness it shares with many, many RPGs - which should therefore not be called out as a weakness, if I got your point.
Why would a shared weakness not be a weakness? I'm not singling it out like you're singling out Fallout. I'm just mentioning a huge weakness in a game that shares such a weakness with many other games.

Fallout shares overpowered and underpowered builds with pretty much all RPGs of the 90s and early 2000s. You're calling it a flaw almost unique to Fallout.

Obviously, you didn't get my point at all.
Last edited by DArtagnan; March 29th, 2013 at 17:03.
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March 29th, 2013, 16:58
Anyway, I think I've spent just about the time I wish to regarding this Fallout balance debate.

I think it's fair to say that we have very different ideas about what constitutes a satisfying character development system - and that's quite alright with me.

It's always interesting to encounter unique points of view - and yours is certainly new to me. Fallout has many flaws - but being particularly imbalanced in an era where balance was almost non-existent in RPGs is not something I've heard people complain about before.

I wish you a good day and thank you for the exchange.
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March 29th, 2013, 17:02
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
No, in 2nd Edition AD&D you could severely underpower yourself by focusing on the wrong weapon or picking the wrong spells - and even the wrong class, with especially thieves and bards being jokes. It's very easy for a person unfamiliar with the system to completely mess up their character.

Choice of weapons in particular was a huge issue if you didn't understand the system well enough or wanted a specific kind of sword or whatever for flavor. Balance is a complete joke in this way.
I can't agree on all points. While blunt weapons were sometimes required in AD&D, that did not invalidate all choice, since you could carry it as a sidearm. It's one thing you needed to know about AD&D/ the game, I agree. But I wouldn't call it a balance issue, at least not in the older games, where you could then simply buy blunt weapons for everyone at any point in the game; and in later games, getting that one point to put into blunt weapons wasn't hard to do for fighters at all.

Spells, AFAIR, you could simply scribe them all into your spellbook, though there was a rather lenient limitation based on your intelligence IIRC. But you were very unlikely to hit those limits early in the game, where you got those irreplacable classics like Fireball, Web and Haste.

Balance issues were even more prevalent in 3rd Edition D&D - and Neverwinter Nights is a good example being very relevant to the era we're talking about. The difference between a good character and a bad character can be GIGANTIC in Neverwinter Nights.
I agree on 3rd edition onward.

I'm sure you hate that - because the D&D system doesn't make all the good choices glow or sort the powerful combinations from the weak combinations, right?
I hate it when classes are completely invalidated by the game, because in that case they were simply a waste of time to implement, and a possible waste of my time should I choose one before getting all the pertinent information from the game.

Fallout shares overpowered and underpowered builds with pretty much all RPGs of the 90s and early 2000s. You're calling it a flaw almost unique to Fallout.
I never called it such - I simply called it a flaw in the beginning, and later admitted that other games have this weakness too (though A LOT of games don't have it nearly as bad as Fallout). And from MY perspective, that doesn't make it any less of a flaw.

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March 29th, 2013, 17:07
As I said in my second post - that's it for me and we're going in circles.

I must have missed when you said that Fallout isn't unique in this way, and I apologize for that. That was my main point of contention. I wouldn't personally know how to accurately rate the imbalance factor of all those games - but I certainly don't remember thinking Fallout was particularly imbalanced. That said, it's been a while since I really got into the system. I've always been fond of RPGs - and it's my favorite genre. So, I'd like to think I have a pretty good idea of how the games played - especially back when I was at my peak in terms of passion for gaming. As far as I can recall - imbalance was something I took for granted, and since I never found it to be so vital - it never bothered me much.

I look at character building as a strategy game. Just like I'd hate to start Civilization and have the game tell me what would be an efficient way to beat the opponents - I don't enjoy playing an RPG with a character system that works that way. It would be an instant turn-off. Without the chance of failure - I don't enjoy success.

Anyway, again, thanks for the exchange.
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March 29th, 2013, 18:31
For myself, when it comes to balance vs. imbalance in CRPGs, I also like it when it's possible to design a character who is strong or weak depending on the choicse you make. However I prefer when that's the result of combinations of abilities that you plan out, rather then ability A being strictly worse then ability B. Because when an ability is strictly worse, it actually takes away options, because nobody uses the bad ability. AD&D was especially bad for this, because when you got a bunch of experienced players together, you only saw a couple of different character types.

I honestly don't remember Fallout 1 being horribly balanced in that regard though, other then one perk which added to all of your stats that everyone took. Mostly though, no matter what character you played, it was easy to mow everyone down once you found an automatic weapon.
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March 29th, 2013, 22:35
Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
Icewind Dale is hack and slash and very transparent hub and spoke. It is nothing like the BG series really. I can't fathom why it is ranked so high.
How exactly is Icewind Dale "hack and slash"? It uses the same combat mechanics as BG and PS:T. The amount of combat doesn't make it hack and slash. As for why it's so popular, that could have something to do with fantastic artwork and an incredible soundtrack.


Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
I'd rank any Spiderweb title above Arcanum or Icewind Dale (but not BG).
Speaking of not being able to fathom something…
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March 29th, 2013, 22:47
Well…. in Icewind Dale you can create an entire party. That on it's own is a big plus in my book; but, companion quests, story arcs, dialogue suffers, of course.
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March 29th, 2013, 22:55
Icewind Dale is definitely more hack and slash than a traditional RPG.
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March 29th, 2013, 22:59
"Hack and slash" is usually a reference to the style of combat not the quantity of it. At least in my experience.
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March 29th, 2013, 23:30
AFAIK, hack and slash is about the focus being on combat.

That said, we're talking semantics.

I liked IWD - regardless of genre.
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March 29th, 2013, 23:33
haha, there's a wiki entry for it:

Hack and Slash
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