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-   -   Joystiq - 2012: The Year in RPGs (https://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18994)

Dhruin December 23rd, 2012 23:31

Joystiq - 2012: The Year in RPGs
Joystiq's weekly RPG column looks at the releases and events in 2012:

March: Mass Effect 3 came out and dominated discussion of all games for the next two months. My dislike of the ending itself is well-documented, so I'll just make two quick points: first, it's only because everything else worked so well, through all three games, that a five-minute ending could be such a shock; and second, how crazy awesome is it that a video game's story inspired such argument?

April: Lots of old-fashioned RPGs got funded on Kickstarter this year. But The Legend Of Grimrock actually got released in April. It's an homage to the tile-based, real-time, puzzle-filled, party-created RPGS of the late '80s and early '90s-important games like Dungeon Master, Eye Of The Beholder, Lands Of Lore, or Stonekeep. The puzzles and I don't get along, so I've always struggled with this subgenre. But I'm delighted that it exists, delighted that it's successful, and especially delighted that its developers have added a construction kit.
More information.

joxer December 23rd, 2012 23:31

If he added Dishonored and XCOM, where is KB:Warriors of the North?
I mean… I'm not objecting on adding XCOM, it is a great game with RPG elements, but can't believe KB was not mentioned.

rjshae December 24th, 2012 05:40

I wonder if we'll see any of the assets from these expired MMORPGs come out later in the form of single-player RPGs? Not sure that'll happen, but I wouldn't mind seeing another KOTOR-type RPG.

ChienAboyeur December 24th, 2012 09:50

A great quote


Perhaps Dishonored and XCOM aren't pure RPGs, but it's hard to imagine them being as good as they are without the RPG influences.
So wargames are as good as they are thanks to features that RPGs took from wargames in the first place. Because what features XCOM has that does not come from wargames in the first place?

The author who wrote that RPGers are no longer elite but spoiled child had one point right at least…

killias2 December 25th, 2012 17:53

"Because what features XCOM has that does not come from wargames in the first place?"

Doesn't XCom have experience levels? That was invented by D&D. I looked into this recently, and I couldn't find any wargames pre-D&D with experience levels. If there are precedents, I'd be curious.

ChienAboyeur December 25th, 2012 21:11

Chess has a promotion system.

Besides, taken from Wikipedia:


An immediate predecessor of Dungeons & Dragons was a set of medieval miniature rules written by Jeff Perren. These were expanded by Gary Gygax, whose additions included a fantasy supplement, before the game was published as Chainmail. When Dave Wesely entered the service in 1970, his friend and fellow Napoleonics wargamer Dave Arneson began a medieval variation of Wesely's Braunstein games, where players control individuals instead of armies.[64] Arneson used Chainmail to resolve combats.[2] As play progressed, Arneson added such innovations as character classes, experience points, level advancement, armor class, and others.[64] Having partnered previously with Gygax on Don't Give Up the Ship!, Arneson introduced Gygax to his Blackmoor game and the two then collaborated on developing "The Fantasy Game", the role-playing game (RPG) that became Dungeons & Dragons, with the final writing and preparation of the text being done by Gygax.[1][65][66]
All these elements were added to a wargame before being part of a RPG.

killias2 December 26th, 2012 03:17

I agree that Chess and a few other games have early progression elements, but nothing really comparable to experience levels. Funnily, I looked this up to argue against someone putting forth the argument I'm putting forth now. I was also planning on referencing Chess/Checkers/etc., but, when I saw experience levels were directly introduced by D&D, I decided not to.

"All these elements were added to a wargame before being part of a RPG. "
That's sort of a questionable example. I mean, it was basically the direct predecessor of D&D during the process in which it became D&D. It's not like these were common elements in wargames.

ChienAboyeur December 26th, 2012 09:40

The question of commonality is irrelevant. You could state the same thing about commonality in RPG at the same date.

That feature was introduced in a wargame. So the question hangs: how does the influence of RPG express in XCOM?

Besides, it is hoped that the author of the article did not refer to D&D to make his point because if it is the case, anytime he writes about a RPG, he has to credit how wargames have made RPGs so much better since some game mechanics that could serve in a RPG were developped first in wargaming.

Most important point is still that RPG goes through role playing and this was included from the very beginning.

It introduced from the start remarkable differences between what wargames and role playing games.

Same stuff as usual: So called RPGers want to put a monopoly on certain game features. As if they could not be required by some other games.

But increase of experience is natural to wargaming. Rookie units grow into veteran units. It is associated to campaigning.

Role playing makes it very hard to associate with more than one character. One consequence, compared to a wargame, is that the commander in chief's position, which is so natural to wargames, is no longer viable in a RPG. You've got to concentrate on one unit instead of taking command over (and exerting control of) a whole party/band/squad/army.

As role playing is about taking up a role, a RPGer must also accept to constraint his/her range of action to what the role is about, as defined by the universe.

All these has nothing to do with any element (or game mechanics) used to build the game.

A wargame with a system of progression is not a RPG because it has a so called RPG element in it.

And a RPG is not a wargame because it has no progression system in it.

Finally, as so many games that include a base building feature are now called RPGs, it is expected that base building will now be sold as a RPG element.

When base building is so natural to wargaming…

killias2 December 26th, 2012 16:08

I agree with you that XCom is not an RPG, but I still think experience levels are an RPG element. Chess had a progression element, and experience levels are a progression element. However, experience is a very specific kind of progression element, which has just happened to become completely dominant. I mean, monopoly has a progression element (money), but that doesn't mean I think it introduced experience levels. If you can find a pre-D&D wargame where rookies become veterans by way of combat, I'll withdraw my argument. I'm legitimately interested in this, as, like I said, I literally was looking into this a few weeks back to make your exact argument.

As for the "wargame" you're referencing, let me put it this way: This wargame that introduced experience levels and other RPG elements.. what was it called? You know, after it was standardized and written down? What was it called again?

Keep in mind, Chainmail did -not- have these elements. These experience levels were introduced on-the-fly in an attempt to make the experience more personal and dynamic. He then standardized these rules and released it as -something-, alongside the talent behind Chainmail (Gygax). What was it again?

Edit: To spin it yet another way: You're emphasizing that experience levels were introduced in wargames. However, the "wargame" you're referencing was basically the exact transition point between wargames and RPGs. It's when they took wargame mechanics (Chainmail) and introduced brand new RPG mechanics (experience levels, etc.). Then.. they released it. As the first RPG.

I mean, it was exactly the introduction of these mechanics that -made- D&D the first RPG rather than a straight wargame. Unless you're claiming that D&D is actually a wargame, and all pen and paper RPGs are wargames..? If not, how is D&D any more of an RPG and any less of a wargame than this "pre-D&D wargame" you're referencing?

ChienAboyeur December 29th, 2012 09:52

Transition point or not, it was a wargame. Period.

And to top it all, why call it a RPG element if it was introduced in a wargame?

It is a wargame element.

It is not about agreeing with or not.

When a plate has no food in it, getting people to agree there is food in it wont fill up the belly. It is another round of magical thinking.

XCOM is not a RPG, people agree with that or not.

And the question was about finding the influence of RPG onto it.

Another point: campaign existed in wargaming before the 1970s. Campaigning is what induces the requirement for units to turn from rookies into veterans.

killias2 December 30th, 2012 01:58

You know, you're right, but I've realized something. Sports introduced elements popularly considered RPG elements before wargames! You have progression systems (such as gaining yards or taking new bases), you have different roles for different "classes" of players, you have turn based -AND- real time elements.

In truth, we're all playing Sports games.

SportsWatch, 2013!

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