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Default Dark Souls - The Game Industry Needs More

July 4th, 2014, 11:40
Well time for another article for Dark Souls where Dragos Dobre gives his opinion on Got Game that the game industry needs more games like it.

Before Iím going to be diving in this subject, let me be clear: I donít want carbon copies of Dark Souls, by referencing this franchise in this article Iím trying to aim to a whole other subject, a more deeper one. So, no, I donít want Blue Souls and Grey Souls anytime soon from any obscure upcoming gaming studio.

The question is, why games need to be more like Dark Souls for the gaming industry to be affected in a good way? Well, I did my homework and Iíll try to convince you too that the Souls way is in fact the right way. So letís analyze every single detail that I love about this franchise, and what exactly I want to find in other IPs as well.
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July 4th, 2014, 12:56
the game industry needs more games like it
The game industry already has it - 99% of games are grinders.
What game industry needs are games without repetitive content, like Original Sin is.

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July 4th, 2014, 13:01
I'm hoping it will inspire developers in some ways, and not so much in others. For instance, I like the combat system, but I despise the way they handle respawns.

If you want to challenge me, fine, but don't make me work for the sake of work. There's a reason MMOs did away with most of the trash mobs in dungeons.

Personally, I could easily do without another incremental Souls, but I guess the fans don't need much evolution of that formula.
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July 4th, 2014, 13:27
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'm hoping it will inspire developers in some ways, and not so much in others. For instance, I like the combat system, but I despise the way they handle respawns.

If you want to challenge me, fine, but don't make me work for the sake of work. There's a reason MMOs did away with most of the trash mobs in dungeons.

Personally, I could easily do without another incremental Souls, but I guess the fans don't need much evolution of that formula.
Respwning is part and integral part of the game design and philosophy in Dark Souls games - not just a feature, as you are aware.

They did modify the respwn formula, however, in Dark Souls 2 with no respwns after clearing a region few times which I thinks works very well, especially since the world is larger in Dark Souls 2. But still is part of the whole game design.
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July 4th, 2014, 13:58
Originally Posted by SpoonFULL View Post
Respwning is part and integral part of the game design and philosophy in Dark Souls games - not just a feature, as you are aware.

They did modify the respwn formula, however, in Dark Souls 2 with no respwns after clearing a region few times which I thinks works very well, especially since the world is larger in Dark Souls 2. But still is part of the whole game design.
Why are you talking about integral features in Dark Souls when I'm talking about how I'm hoping it will inspire developers for OTHER games?

That said, I don't think a smart or talented developer will be closed to changing things around, and the changes in DS2 would seem to suggest we're dealing with a smart developer.

They're obviously willing to relent.

I understand that the formula is about forcing you to adapt and enforcing caution - but there are ways to do that which doesn't involve tiresome grinding. For instance, you could simply have the "key" or "tough" enemies respawn - but leave all the pointless filler trash in the can.

But whatever, to each his own.

As for respawning enemies, I'm pretty much with joxer on that - even if I have less of a problem with it overall. It very much depends on the kind of game we're talking about, and whether or not you can easily avoid fighting the same enemies over and over.

In Diablo, combat is fast-paced and the only way to progress anyway (and once you're past the first run-through, all areas will essentially yield the same rewards) - which means it's no big deal to have respawning enemies.
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July 4th, 2014, 15:49
As I've said before, I love the Souls games, but I'm also ideologically aligned with them. I definitely think aspects of their design should be taken seriously by the industry. In particular, more challenging content, different approaches to multiplayer, new ways to tell stories, and meticulous design. I don't need direct clones, but I think the big ideas are useful for all sorts of games.

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July 4th, 2014, 17:06
I too hated the respawning, it killed the game for me and I had to just give it up.
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July 4th, 2014, 17:18
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I understand that the formula is about forcing you to adapt and enforcing caution - but there are ways to do that which doesn't involve tiresome grinding. For instance, you could simply have the "key" or "tough" enemies respawn - but leave all the pointless filler trash in the can.
Sounds good but there two problems with this approach: trash mobs in Dark Souls are not really trash, they can kill you easily if you are not careful. Moreover, how can a poor soul like myself with slow reflexes survive this game without leveling up and upgrading equipment using, you guessed it, the souls from the respwns. In other words, if you are a good player, you don't need to go through respwns or trash mobs over and over again (i.e. grinding)!

So respwns in fact is a way of allowing for different styles of gameplay, and it also suits the lore.

I don't like respwns like anyone, but it seems to work well with Dark Souls, particularly Dark Souls 2 with limited respwns, and more breathing space and control over pace of action.

I finished Dark Souls 2 and started NG+ and thought that would be a walk in the park, but now I am finding it more difficult than the first play through (enemies more agressive, do more damage, need huge number of souls to level up, and more nasty and bloody 'offline' invaders).

So to preserve the remaining nerves in my fingers and my sanity, I uninstalled it and now 'pushing' myself to have another go at Skyrim - High Elf for now!
Last edited by SpoonFULL; July 4th, 2014 at 17:34.
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July 4th, 2014, 17:24
I wasn't going to enter the debate here, but, seriously? Souls games without any respawning would miss the point. The way the worlds are designed, the mobs are placed, health pick-ups are balanced and distributed, how combat works, where bonfires/archstones are places, etc. are all based around an aspect of respawning. I mean, do you just want a giant "I WIN" button? Without respawning, these games would be pitifully easy. The whole point is being good enough to make it through a particular section with finite health. Dark Souls 2 lets you despawn mobs after 10 kills, which sort of splits the difference. I think you can definitely argue either way on that decision. But no respawns at all would just make the game pointless.

When you're trapped in the Great Hollow in Dark Souls, far from anything of comfort, you have to steel yourself for a trip home. If it was despawned, it'd basically be a stroll through some pretty environments. Seriously, that's just not how these games are designed, top to bottom.

Edit: I mean, you have to really think of each trip out in a Souls game as a sort of expedition. Pretty much the entire series is built around that.

Second edit: And, oh yeah, totally in agreement with Spoonfull about mobs. There are no trash mobs. In fact, it doesn't really make sense to split each area up like that in your head. You basically have to defeat "areas," which include easier mobs, harder mobs, traps, etc. Dark Souls 2 definitely takes a different approach, but I find the 10 kill limit to be a decent compromise. If you kill a mob 10 times, chances are you've mastered dealing with that mob in its environment anyway, though it does devalue the whole "defeat an area" ideal.

In any case, saying respawns are bad "except for Diablo for some strange reason" doesn't seem to make any sense at all.

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July 4th, 2014, 17:56
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
What game industry needs are games without repetitive content, like Original Sin is.
Agreed. CRPGs are already on the way to be simple action games. RPG genre needs more diversity and creativity. More elaborated and creative worlds (not simplistic "arenas" for combat), deeper stories and lore, much more credibility (see Kingdom Come), deeper hero development, real survival elements, tactical combat, non-combat skills, usefull non-combat items (see RoA trilogy), party gameplay etc. Despite the quality of Dark Souls its NOT a game that should lead the way for the whole RPG genre. Because it would destroy it.

I would be more happy if the acticle would state something like - game industry needs more Divinity Original Sins, more Torments, more Drakensangs, more System Shocks. Even more Dragon Commanders. Or more Underworld Ascensions (Ultima Underworld successors).
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July 4th, 2014, 18:01
Originally Posted by Farflame View Post
Agreed. CRPGs are already on the way to be simple action games. RPG genre needs more diversity and creativity. More elaborated and creative worlds (not simplistic "arenas" for combat), deeper stories and lore, deeper hero dev, deeper survival elements or tactical combat, non-combat skills, usefull non-combat items (see RoA trilogy), party gameplay etc. Despite the quality of Dark Souls its NOT a game that should lead the way for the whole RPG genre. Because it would destroy it.

I would be more happy if the acticle would state something like - game industry needs more Divinity Original Sins, more Torments, more Drakensangs, more System Shocks. Even more Dragon Commanders. Or more Underworld Ascensions (Ultima Underworld successors).
This isn't a post about RPGs. He's saying that the Souls games have a lot of lessons for gaming in general, not that it represents the future of RPGs. I think more classic PC style RPGs could learn lessons as well, but, obviously, they shouldn't all become action RPGs.

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July 4th, 2014, 18:17
Originally Posted by Farflame View Post
Agreed. CRPGs are already on the way to be simple action games. RPG genre needs more diversity and creativity. More elaborated and creative worlds (not simplistic "arenas" for combat), deeper stories and lore, much more credibility (see Kingdom Come), deeper hero development, real survival elements, tactical combat, non-combat skills, usefull non-combat items (see RoA trilogy), party gameplay etc.
Couldn't agree more. Well said.
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July 4th, 2014, 18:32
Again, read the damn article. The lessons he feels the industry could learn: be more challenging; provide more content; when selling DLCs, make them more like expansion packs; play more with interesting multiplayer capabilities; and respect gamers.

This is not an article that says, "EVERY RPG FROM NOW ON NEEDS TO BE DARK SOULS." In fact, other than using an action RPG as an example, it's not really an article about RPGs.

In any case, I find it interesting that Ultima Underworld/Underworld Ascension is a listed counter-example, as the Souls games are arguably in the same subgenre. The King's Field games, predecessors to the Souls games, were likely inspired by Ultima Underworld.

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July 4th, 2014, 19:13
Oh my, here we go again.

I, too, hope, that future RPGs take a good lesson from Dark Souls. Both in how to do things and how not to. But not WHAT to do, that is, not to copy it's rather unique formula, or specific features, or try to be action RPGs (not that Souls will be responsible for that, it's been already happening for a while…).

I hope other devs take away the lesson that passion, visionary design, meticulous and focused development produces gems more often than not. I hope they take away the lesson that sometimes it pays to be creative and innovative with things, and also that if they find a good formula, polish it, not water it down for masses to get more money. Souls did all the above, and made some mistakes in the meantime.

Naturally, for anyone not daft, it is evident that these lessons can and should be learned from other games, too, like D:OS, Torment, or whatever else. Nobody said all games must be like Dark Souls, and what you should take away from it is genre-independent.

I think all of us would benefit if devs learned more from an innovative and creative process associated with a successful and well-loved small-studio game, and also from RPGs becoming more varied.
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July 6th, 2014, 13:10
Originally Posted by SpoonFULL View Post
Sounds good but there two problems with this approach: trash mobs in Dark Souls are not really trash, they can kill you easily if you are not careful. Moreover, how can a poor soul like myself with slow reflexes survive this game without leveling up and upgrading equipment using, you guessed it, the souls from the respwns. In other words, if you are a good player, you don't need to go through respwns or trash mobs over and over again (i.e. grinding)!

So respwns in fact is a way of allowing for different styles of gameplay, and it also suits the lore.

I don't like respwns like anyone, but it seems to work well with Dark Souls, particularly Dark Souls 2 with limited respwns, and more breathing space and control over pace of action.

I finished Dark Souls 2 and started NG+ and thought that would be a walk in the park, but now I am finding it more difficult than the first play through (enemies more agressive, do more damage, need huge number of souls to level up, and more nasty and bloody 'offline' invaders).

So to preserve the remaining nerves in my fingers and my sanity, I uninstalled it and now 'pushing' myself to have another go at Skyrim - High Elf for now!
I get what you're saying, but I don't think respawns represent good design. Then again, I don't really think Dark Souls is particularly good. As in, it's not for me - but it's great for people who enjoy that limited formula.

I think there are much, much better ways to provide progression - and XP should be about more than grinding enemies.

Then again, I'm not a big fan of constant combat in any RPG - except perhaps pure action RPGs with nothing but loot and character progression.

Which is why I'm saying I, personally, hope developers take other things from Dark Souls.

I don't really care about the next Souls game itself - and if you guys love the respawns, I hope you get more of that. That's cool by me, as I'm not going to play it anyway - unless they change a whole bunch of stuff.
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