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Default Why the Fallout 3 = Oblivion comparision is both unfair and blind

September 1st, 2008, 16:21
My comment on MotB and NWN2 was based on the reviews, not my personal opinion. If I would bet money, I would probably bet that NWN was commercially more sucessful than NWN2.

MotB was an almost divine experience for me personally.
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September 1st, 2008, 16:28
Didn't Todd Howard say it was a simple way to describe the game to the press?

This game to me looks like a more open Bioshock with more RPG elements thrown in. The enclave eye broadcasting just gives me the same feeling as the Andrew Ryan and tape-deck speeches of various characters from that game.
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September 1st, 2008, 17:21
That Tenpenny Tower game-play looks pretty much straight up Evil path to me also.

The karma system leads to good & evil concepts, what you'll be getting from the final product is unclear in that respect imho.
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September 1st, 2008, 22:18
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
I liked all three, but I have to recognize that they were a failure when it comes to reviews. The game mechanics were not as polished as, for example, the original NWN and KOTOR, and reviews tend to go on mechanics more than story.
"Not as polished as" != "dumbed down." "Dumbed down" is a design choice — simplifying gameplay in order to make it more "accessible," whatever that may mean. KOTOR 2, NWN 2, and MotB were increasingly complex in terms of gameplay, and all were more complex than their predecessors — with some entirely new mechanics and lots and lots of added features (spells, skills, feats, classes etc.).

To me, MotB was an awesome game, but let's face it… both MotB and Planescape Torment are the kind of games that are way too advanced for the average consumer. While NWN really was a mainstream game, I doubt MotB nearly as many copies as Hordes of the Underdark. Ironically, MotB was actually scaled down to fit Obsidian's tight schedule. They were almost prepared to cut Kaelyn the Dove from the game due to lack of time to complete the game. Obsidian is an island of reality in an ocean of diarrea, and they produce games for a nische, but they are a small developer compared to behemoths like Bethesda and Mass Effect…
So, you're still insisting that NWN 2 — a big-budget game that's been in continuous production since it came out, that has already had one major expansion and has two more coming out — is "not a successful cRPG?"

If so, then I think this discussion is over from my part, because you're clearly stretching the definitions beyond all recognition to support your point, whatever it may be.

I do not remember the good/evil aspect of the game. I actually liked it because it had some really strong philosophy beyond good/evil. I liked the question "what can change the nature of a man".
Celestials and demons have nothing to do with "good" and "evil?" Carceri being pulled into Hell because of the sins of its inhabitants has nothing to do with "good" and "evil?" TNO's ultimate fate has nothing to do with "good" and "evil?"

There was a fallen angel in it, ferchrissake! Things don't *get* any more Manichean than fallen angels!
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September 1st, 2008, 22:35
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Celestials and demons have nothing to do with "good" and "evil?" Carceri being pulled into Hell because of the sins of its inhabitants has nothing to do with "good" and "evil?" TNO's ultimate fate has nothing to do with "good" and "evil?" There was a fallen angel in it, ferchrissake! Things don't *get* any more Manichean than fallen angels!
I am not sure. Maybe I didn't care about that aspect of the game so I didn't remember it. There's a lot of stuff going on in that game.

I have already been exposed to a lot of fiction that breaks the old mold regarding those creatures/dimensions. I do not automaticly assume that something with fethery wings is a nice creature.
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September 2nd, 2008, 09:15
Small spoiler warning: If you haven't played PS:T, and want to do it, don't read what folks are writing at the moment.

To be honest, there's not a lot of "good" in PS:T, it's more grey-ish. The only angel you meet happens to be fallen, and is far from good, despite doing some good deeds here and there. There are some pretty good paladin-ish folks in Sigil, but that's about it.

However, TNO himself is clearly capable of being Lawful Good, and you are given many chances to make the planes a better place. In fact, PS:T is one of few games where you can be any alignement at all, and the whole thing still makes perfect sense.
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September 2nd, 2008, 10:02
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Yeah, that was kinda the image I had as well. While there are clear examples of people from different alignments, those people are presented as individuals rather than members of competing forces. Some of them are represented as dogmatic, others as questioning, some of them are struggling with how their fate made them to be (aka their nature). There's no clear cut distinction between them, instead they simply come out natural once you know their past.
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September 2nd, 2008, 10:45
I think the thing you're struggling with, JemyM, is that you feel that understanding the motivations of an evil person automatically means that you cannot regard that person as evil: "tout comprendre c'est tout pardonner," as some Frenchie put it. ("To understand everything is to pardon everything," for those philistines that don't understand the language of diplomacy and culture.)

I don't see it that way. People do evil things. The fact that their motivations are understandable doesn't make them any less evil. And I especially liked PS:T because it had such a nuanced view of good and evil: shades of gray instead of stark black and white.

But having shades of gray doesn't mean that black isn't at one end of the continuum, and white at the other — even if everybody really falls somewhere in the middle. That's where the interesting stuff is — fallen angels, or redeemed demons, or a regret-filled smartass floating skull torn from a pillar in Hell where it was suffering for its sins. But without the black and the white at the ends, none of it has any meaning.
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September 2nd, 2008, 11:29
You have to look at the word "comparison" and understand what it means. Once you do that, you will realise that almost any comparison is more or less completely fair and rarely implicitly blind. Only things that are utterly and completely dissimilar are unsuitable for comparison, except to establish that they are, indeed, dissimilar.

You don't have to equate something with something else, to compare the two.

Essentially, the comparison is warranted and fair. Calling the two games identical is arguably unfair and blind. I wouldn't call them identical, but they certainly share a lot of features and gameplay mechanics.
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September 2nd, 2008, 13:53
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
I think the thing you're struggling with, JemyM, is that you feel that understanding the motivations of an evil person automatically means that you cannot regard that person as evil: "tout comprendre c'est tout pardonner," as some Frenchie put it. ("To understand everything is to pardon everything," for those philistines that don't understand the language of diplomacy and culture.)
I do not call what I do not like "evil". That does not mean I respect/accept/forgive what I do not like.
I also have a Nietzsche-style suspicion against them who declare themselves "the good guys".

Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
I don't see it that way. People do evil things. The fact that their motivations are understandable doesn't make them any less evil. And I especially liked PS:T because it had such a nuanced view of good and evil: shades of gray instead of stark black and white.
But having shades of gray doesn't mean that black isn't at one end of the continuum, and white at the other — even if everybody really falls somewhere in the middle. That's where the interesting stuff is — fallen angels, or redeemed demons, or a regret-filled smartass floating skull torn from a pillar in Hell where it was suffering for its sins. But without the black and the white at the ends, none of it has any meaning.
I just see people acting according to their nature, the way they brought up to be. If you want to change that you simply have to try to understand their perspective.
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September 2nd, 2008, 14:04
I don't agree with the concepts of evil or good.

People don't do evil things, nor are they evil because they do what appears evil to some.

What I like to call good and evil is "beneficial" and "harmful" - both being very much subject to point of view.

I'm a great advocate of understanding harmful behaviour, because without understanding we can never do anything to reduce such behaviour in the future. Also, since I don't condemn people because I generally find their actions (quite often) understandable, I don't see justice in simply punishing them. I only see the practical necessity of prevention, but I don't confuse that with justice.

Since there's no evil or good in my view, there's no point in condemning or "disliking" people because of harmful actions - but there's no way to get around the emotional response when something horrible occurs. You can't help but respond negatively to such things.
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September 2nd, 2008, 14:14
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
I do not call what I do not like "evil". That does not mean I respect/accept/forgive what I do not like.
In that case, we're arguing about semantics. I agree that good and evil are, to a great extent, relative. But that doesn't mean they're meaningless.

We can reach a functional understanding of what we mean by the concepts the same way we can reach a functional understanding of what we mean by concepts like "bird" or "fish." That is, by pointing at things, classifying them as one, the other, or neither, and then trying to identify commonalities between the things we grouped together. So if we've got things with beaks, wings, and feathers in one basket, and things with gills, fins, and slimy skin in the other, we can provisionally declare that a bird is a living creature with a beak, wings, and feathers, whereas a fish is a living creature with gills, fins, and slimy skin. We can then refine and adjust our definitions as we learn more about birds and fish… or good and evil.

Eventually we'll hit something that we don't agree about. That we can also deal with, simply by classifying it under "things we don't agree about."

So: Hitler, evil. Gandhi, good. Kicking a kitten, evil. Adopting a stray kitten, good. Rape, evil. Consensual sex, good. Taking something that isn't yours, evil. Giving something you have to someone who needs it, good. And so on and so forth. Get my drift?

I also have a Nietzsche-style suspicion against them who declare themselves "the good guys".
As do I.

I just see people acting according to their nature, the way they brought up to be. If you want to change that you simply have to try to understand their perspective.
A very commendable approach.
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September 2nd, 2008, 14:43
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
So: Hitler, evil. Gandhi, good. Kicking a kitten, evil. Adopting a stray kitten, good. Rape, evil. Consensual sex, good. Taking something that isn't yours, evil. Giving something you have to someone who needs it, good. And so on and so forth. Get my drift?
Yes, I know what you are going at, and let's take those examples (even if I think as well that we are arguing semantics).

Hitler and Gandhi have became cultural icons so strong that they could as well be seen as the secular alternatives to Satan and Jesus. They truthfully display behavior that in our culture is unwanted/wanted. Hitler is by our culture so much an icon for evil that "godwin's law" can be held as true and even many Christians claim Gandhi belongs in heaven even if he was a Hindu.

However, if you wish to prevent another Hitler, it's not enough to call Hitler evil. You must also learn how Hitler came to be. The abuse he received as a child. The society he grew up with. By his perspective, he was the good guy. I do not believe he ever thought "I am the evil guy".

Gandhi passed through several stages. At first he tried to adapt 100% to the british culture. Then he rejected british culture 100%. Then he realized the evil of exclusivism and the good of inclusivism. But does that mean Gandhi at stage 2 was evil? Many also see Gandhi as the good guy but few understand the depth of his teachings.

I believe the perspectives good and bad is useful when teaching a child proper behavior in your own society, but I am tired of adults who claim that religion X and ideology Y is "evil", especially when they claim that their own narrow ideology they cling on to is supposed to be "good".
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September 2nd, 2008, 14:44
Originally Posted by woges View Post
Didn't Todd Howard say it was a simple way to describe the game to the press?
Developers -> marketing -> press -> public.

It's a chain, really, it's not as if the public doesn't read what the press writes.

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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September 2nd, 2008, 16:05
Oh goody, another what is good/evil thread. Good luck trying to figure that one out. DArt has my vote with the whole "benificial/harmful" defininition, but I thought this was supposed to be about the unfair comparision of Fallout 3 and Oblivion.

In many ways I think JemyM is right with how it has been unfairly compared, but I think the producers/developers themselves would be going for Oblivion with Guns because like it or not Oblivion did sell a whole mess of copies.

I've decided to wait for it to be released before I scream bloody murder. This whole debate has gone on too long imo and I'm tired of being outraged I will probably buy it even if it is Oblivion with guns, just because it's Fallout. Hell, I bought BOS. This can't be any worse than that and I did like Oblivion for about two weeks before I realized that the whole world was empty and I was just doing the same actions over and over again. I closed about three gates before I got fed up with the rinse and repeat action.

So is it unfair to compare Oblivion with Fallout? No, I don't think so because of Beth's history and because they did sell a lot of Oblivion games. I would imagine they are trying to repeat that kind of business, wouldn't you try to repeat that?

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September 2nd, 2008, 20:40
Not having read the whole thread because it seems so angry…

To say its not like Oblivion..well I don't trust Bethesda after they said they knew and understood the weaknesses of Morrowind and fixed them in Oblivion. The fact is, they made Oblivion a lot worse OotB, aprticularly with the consolish feel and the poorly implemented scaling. Certainly they improved on the dialogue but not much and Radiant AI was dud they weren't willing to admit or remove (you can get blinded when you fall in love with your own code).

So, in short I don't trust them or their press releases.

Besides, Oblivion with Guns isn't such a bad a idea for a game IMO. Lord knows, we need more modern RPGs out there.

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September 3rd, 2008, 03:38
I don't think it is unreasonable to expect a large part of the game to boil down to 'Oblivion with guns'. They are not marketing to us, we are not buying a sizeable portion of the copies, we hardcore RPG fans who have actually played FO 1 & 2 make up such an insignificant number of BethSoft customers that we might as well not exist - except that we are noisy and over-represented in the press.

Look at it this way - when I went to pre-order, I was asked if I wanted the PS3 or X360 version.

The core of console gamers want action games with choices that show up immediately, games that have loads of achievements to show off to friends, and the ability to win quickly enough and trade them in.

Bethesda is clearly selling to that audience *hard*, while hoping to pacify the rest of us with some stuff that console kiddies can avoid and still play.

And remember, very little we're hearing is all that much different tahn what was said for Oblivion, whose morality system ended up as 'Yes / Not right now'.

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September 3rd, 2008, 04:12
I have a much more simple answer as to why the comparison is unfair.

The #$*@^$ game isn't even out yet!!!
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September 3rd, 2008, 05:51
So it's unfair for me to look at all the preview material Bethsoft is putting out and think to myself "Gee, that really reminds me of Oblivion with a post-apoc makeover"?

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September 3rd, 2008, 06:57
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
So it's unfair for me to look at all the preview material Bethsoft is putting out and think to myself "Gee, that really reminds me of Oblivion with a post-apoc makeover"?
I didn't say anything about being "reminded"…..
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