RPGWatch Forums - View Single Post - Druidstone - Impressions Video
View Single Post


June 12th, 2019, 17:38
Back on topic, I replied to someone who said:

Originally Posted by Saxon1974 View Post
Was really hoping it was an exploration rpg. Liked the grimrock games but this is a pass for me
By suggesting that Druidstone is an exploration game. Of course you explore stuff. If you watch just the first scenario on YouTube then the characters have to go into a cave which is not visible without going into the cave. They have to explore the level to complete the level. They have to explore loot options as well, it's not just a matter of standing there until the enemy is dead.

Saxon implied here that 'exploration RPG' is actually a thing. That the term 'exploration RPG' comes with a specific meaning that is so ubiquitous that everyone should immediately understand what is they are talking about.

Well, I'm sorry, but the term 'exploration RPG' is not a ubiquitous term and the first I'd even heard of it used in this kind of all-encompassing defining way was literally a few weeks ago. Sure, people use the term exploration a lot, it's a common word that covers a lot of ground, but to use it as a noun to describe a specific sub-set of a genre, as in "an Exploration RPG"? Nope, never before.

By the very definition of RPG and the concept of Adventuring then one is automatically exploring. It's a given. It's a given for practically every game that ventures further than something like Tetris or Candy Crush, the idea that you will be exploring some kind of environment.

Of course I want someone to clarify what they're on about. DUH.

Saxon, of course, didn't want to clarify.

Kordanor initially brought up Legends Of Grimrock:

Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
Well…I'd argue that Grimrock wasn't an exploration game either.
Besides of secret passages, there wasn't anything interesting to "explore". A new level with a different skin and maybe new enemies, that was pretty much it. No story, no events. Besides of the twitchy combat that was, what made Grimrock so disappointing to me.
Which sounds ok to me. If you look at the Steam tags for LoG then it does not tag itself as "Exploration" whereas Wizardry does. I didn't read this as "LoG has zero exploration", I read it that "it's very lacking in exploration", which is what Kordanor has had to repeat multiple times while someone misunderstands him.

And this is on topic because Druidstone is made by LoG devs and the obvious route for any kind of "what were you expecting in the way of exploration" type responses. He's basically saying "it's the kind of level of exploration I'd expect from LoG devs".

Now steps in JDR13:

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
What a strange argument. Exploration was definitely a significant aspect in LoG.
There was nothing strange about Kordanor's post, whatsoever. He found the exploration lacking and described in detail why. JDR didn't reply with why he felt the exploration was 'significant' he just stated it without justification.

And it is clear at this early point that the discussion is the quality and significance of LoG's exploration, not that it has zero exploration. Because we're still replying to that guy who said "It's not an exploration RPG", even though all RPGs are inherently exploration games, implying that it's the significance of the exploration that matters.

Druidstone only has small bits of exploration, ergo it's not an "exploration RPG", to which begs the obvious question "how much exploration is an exploration RPG"? LoG doesn't have enough according to Kordanor and Steam, but suddenly JDR wants to state LoG has "significant" exploration…

Well, duh, can we find out why?

And that's exactly what Kordanor asks JDR:

Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
what would you consider an exploration aspect of LoG1?
Would you also say that Wolfenstein 3D has this type of exploration?

If it's about optional treasurerooms then…yeah, got it. But besides of that…but would be interesting to hear your take on it.
All perfectly logical stuff so far.

And what's the reply?

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I'm starting to wonder if you're being intentionally obtuse here. You're asking what I'd consider an exploration aspect in a game that's based around exploring a giant dungeon.
Another non-answer. Kordanor has already expressed why he though LoG lacked exploration aspects, he wanted to hear JDR's take on what makes the exploration "significant". What do we take from JDR's response? "An exploration RPG is one where you explore a dungeon", oh, you mean like DOOM and Wolfenstein?

What about Druidstone where you explore a forest?

There's nothing obtuse here other than the flippancy and arrogance of JDR.

Kordanor replies perfectly logically to the question of whether he's being obtuse:

Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
Nope, I am not. Was an honest question.
So now we're fully derailed into an exchange of posts that have nothing to do with Druidstone because JDR doesn't feel like explaining what he's talking about. How many posts will it take for the LoG discussion to complete so that we can decide whether Saxon's claim that "Druidstone isn't an exploration RPG" is accurate or not?

Not any time soon it seems:

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Than I'll just assume you have a very different take on exploration than the rest of us.
Does he? What take are you taking? Three times in a row now just writing non-replies.

Bless his patient heart, Kordanor tires again:

Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
Maybe. But can you describe what you see as the exploration part? And how it differs from the exploration part in Wolfenstein3D. I'd almost exclude Doom here as doom has more diversity in "uniquely" designed rooms and such, which grimrock 1 hasn't.
He is saying: "Can you just say what it is you're talking about please so this conversation can go somewhere"?

Fourth time's the charm: ?

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
That's like asking why water is wet and then trying to argue that it's really not. What part of exploring the dungeon didn't seem like exploration to you?
Good God. How much money does this guy give you people????????

Kordanor patiently tries asking again, with a very detailed and interesting post. Finally JDR writes a whole paragraph!!!!!!!!

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
You're in a large 3D maze with a first-person view, and you can only see in a straight line in front of you. You can't see around corners or through walls, and you have no idea what's in the areas you can't see until you actually reach them and discover for yourself what's there. The only way to get thought the maze it to traverse the various corridors and rooms until you've uncovered the things you need to advance.

That *is* exploring. I wouldn't say LoG has the best kind of exploration, but that's beside the point. You're objectively exploring by any definition of the word.

It's literally that simple. If you finished the game then you did quite a bit of exploring. No amount of semantics is going to change that.
Where he says that exploration = walking round a dungeon, only in more words. And yes, what is described is indeed exploring. When you explore a dungeon you are indeed exploring. Just like when you explore a forest you are most certainly exploring it!

But wait, what are the further definitions given to us? 3d maze, first person view… wait, what, so Baldur's Gate 2 isn't exploration? Or is he just describing why LoG has exploration? Wait, yes, that's it, he's just describing what exploration is… that thing you do in pretty much every game ever, you know, "you have no idea what's in the areas you can't see until you actually reach them and discover for yourself what's there" etc etc etc. No shit Sherlock.

But Kordanor didn't say LoG didn't have exploration, he asked what makes it "significant". JDR does not express why anything he says make LoG's exploration any more or less 'significant' than any other examples of exploration in any other game ever made.

What the heck's going on here…

Kordanor is equally dubious:

Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
And this exactly is why I compared it to Wolfenstein 3D which is pretty much exploring on the same level. It fits perfectly to your description.

You could even go so far and say that almost every game as this minimum of exploration.
Perfectly logical response.

Now what's JDR going to say?????

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Whatever. You were originally claiming it didn't have exploration. Whether or not it's similar in some ways to another game is irrelevant.

How much does this guy pay you people???????

I really do admire Kordanor's patience, he quickly get's it back on track:

Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
I did say that Grimrock wasnt an Exploration game, and you claimed that "Exploration was definitely a significant aspect in LoG.
Because Kordanor's still replying to Saxon's concept of "an exploration RPG" and the discussion is still the exact same one it was on the last page: "what is 'significant' about LoG's exploration?"

Oh my, I wonder if JDR's going get it yet?

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
It *is* a significant aspect in LoG. I just described why in an objective fashion, and your only reply, which you keep repeating like a parrot, is that somehow it isn't because Wolfenstein 3D also has exploration.

I don't get why someone would stand by such an obviously nonsensical argument, but good for you for not backing down. Some people enjoy looking obtuse I guess.
Nope, back to square one. Apparently it *is* a significantly exploration based game because it *is*. "I just described why in an objective fashion", no he just described a dictionary definition of exploration that could be applied to pretty much every game ever. There was nothing in that set of 'objective' reasonings to suggest Druidstone was not an exploration RPG, except the first person perspective dungeon maze, of course. But then Baldur's Gate..

So, yeah, clear as mud, as is obvious to anyone who can read.

This is where I reply to Saxon. I'm not even in this debate yet, I'm just replying to Saxon.

You [profile name You] then agrees that LoG is not really an exploration game and so doesn't think Druidstone is either, and chooses to cite a couple of classic-style Dungeon Crawlers as examples of good exploration games. Which brings us back to the notion that First Person Perspective Dungeon Crawler = an Exploration RPG???????

Pessimeister then chips in adamant that LoG is an exploration game - as if completely oblivious to the fact that no-one said it wasn't. Or maybe he did mean Exploration RPG as a noun used by Saxon? In which case, what was his reasoning? "You have to explore in it", yes, like every game ever. Doesn't mention Druidstone at all, just seems to want to tell everyone that in Dungeon Crawlers you explore stuff. Doesn't say why you don't explore stuff In Druidstone. Again, the implication seems to be Dungeon Crawler = Exploration Game, to which one wonder why people don't just say "Dungeon Crawler" instead of "Exploration RPG".

Screeg then sums up the non-descriptions supplied this far by both JDR and Pessimeister:

Originally Posted by screeg View Post
I guess if we all agree that the verb "explore" means to reveal things you hadn't known about or seen before, then these are all "exploration" games.

But all you've done then is create a tautology that says nothing. By that definition, Pac Man is an exploration game. After all, you don't magically know the layout of all the levels before you start playing, right?
Alas, he mentioned Pacman though so now, of course, Pacman is on the discussion board along with LoG, Wolfenstein and DOOM.

Oh well, let's hear about Pacman then:

Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
That's not a great analogy unfortunately, as it is well known that Pacman has an end (the killscreen) and the maze to that point does not change. You can also see the entirety of the playfield immediately. A kid playing it for the first time might well be exploring the gameplay, yes - figuring out how it works, what the monster behaviours are and how to score well. But that's moving beyond the bounds of the specific type of exploration we're talking about in dungeon crawling.

You can try to reduce what I'm saying with semantics if you want to but I think most people will see the common sense in it.
Apparently we're the one's being semantic. All I can see is a repetition of the fact that Dungeon Crawler = Exploration RPG. Because… of first person perspective. Apparently Pacman is an exploration game but not the kind of exploration "we're" talking about. Ok…

So this is where I decide to:

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
come into threads and instigate this exact type of commotion
Bwahahaha, yeah, right, whatever. Wow, you must pay these people HUGE amounts of money…

When I reply to Pessimeister with:

Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
None of you ever actually talk about what you're talking about though, so this sentence is gibberish.

Can you elaborate on what you mean by exploration? You know, in some kind of actual detail rather than hyperbole?
I mean, we all know what exploration is, it's a common word. I guess I could have written "Explration Game" or "Exploration RPG", but I guess I was hoping that the term "exploration" had some kind of special meaning beyond, well, exploration to what seems like three people now. Three claim to know what it means but can;t seem to expalin it in any easy way to three people who haven't a clue what they're talking about beyond "it has exploration"… to which "so do most games, duh"… to which "so what's specific about the exploration you're talking about"… to which why don't they just reply "Dungeon Crawler = Exploration RPG"… because if they are not then there must be a better way to describe it that just saying what a Dungeon Crawler is.

JDR then replies to me with garbage and wastes a few more posts, including one post that's just an ad-hominem attack and nothing more. You'll make careful not that I haven't conversed at all with JDR before this point, I replied to Saxon and Pessimeister, but JDR would like to reply to me with non-replies. How much does this JDR guy pay you people???????

Kordanor then gets back to talking about Wolfenstein and asking again for clarification about what aspects of exploration make a shooter Dungeon Crawler different from an RPG Dungeon Crawler that has weak exploration elements.

Screeg then pops back in to express his impatience with JDR.

Pessimeister then replies to me with a very long post which I was delighted to see, but all it seemed to contain was an ad hominem insult and a clarification that, for him, Exploration Game = Dungeon Crawler. There was no mention of Druidstone or any other example of an RPG that wasn't a Dungeon Crawler.

JDR then pops back in to type some more crap, the most outrageous being yet another ad hominem attack and:

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
To try and claim there's no exploration in LoG is mind-bogglingly daft.
As if he didn't have this exact conversation with Kordanor at the very start of the discussion. He still seems to be unable to comprehend the concept of "significance", the only relevant factor in the entire discussion. You know, how no-one's ever said that LoG has no exploration, as distinct from Kordanor saying "it's not an Exploration Game" in the context of the discussion.

The ever patient Kordanor then clarifies for the umpteenth time that he's talking about "significance". And then talks about Dungeon Crawlers.

Silver then describes exploration in terms of Pillars of Eternity - not a Dungeon Crawler, which seems to get a thumbs up from Pessimeister, which is incredibly confusing.

JDR then writes some more crap by implying he simply didn't understand what Kordanor was saying and then disingenuously suggesting the reason Kordanor doesn't think LoG is an Exploration Game is because he didn't enjoy it's exploration. He then talks about how much he enjoyed LoG and that therefore the "significance" of the exploration is subjective to how much you enjoy it.

And how much you enjoy the exploration seemed to be a key component in Pessimeisters rather long but insubstantial post:

Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
If a dungeon level fails to be interesting to explore for me, it is often due to a lack of these qualities. One recent example of this was "Fall of the Dungeon Guardians" which I couldn't complete due to the gradually tiresome MMO-like grinding nature of its combat. I couldn't enjoy the environments anymore (after 11-12 levels) and moving within them was a chore due to feeling that the combat style was such an odd marriage for a dungeon crawler and something to be endured rather than enjoyed. In short, I lost my desire to explore. In contrast to this, I completed my first run-through of Legend of Grimrock 2 in 65 hours and didn't want it to end; such was my enjoyment of the dungeons in that game.
Which is always going to make describing something extremely difficult.

And, of course, it doesn't help when someone writes:

Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
Please note that I'm not the one trying to create a vague genre here. I'm also not trying to extrapolate or generalise the concept of exploration to a whole slew of other game genres outside of the specific topic of LoG and dungeon crawling RPGs, not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that. In essence, I was merely describing why I thought that Legend of Grimrock was deserving of the phrase "exploration game" within the tradition of classical dungeon crawlers and how it featured prominently as a key component within its gameplay.
When the whole point of the conversation was to try and establish what is meant when someone says X is an exploration game whereas Y is not.

And when the whole point of the thread is to discuss Druidstone and the discussion had become "why isn't Druidstone an Exploration Game".

We all know that LoG has exploration in it. We all know it's a Dungeon Crawler and so adheres to some very basic Dungeon Crawler conventions, but beyond the things that are unique to Dungeon Crawlers:

Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
within a tightly enclosed 3D space in first person perspective is central to the traditional dungeon crawler.
The question is "does it do much beyond that", to which the paragraphs you wrote that actually contain stuff about this question are:

Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
the sense of immersion and enthrallment I had from exploring and the thrill of discovery of those early dungeon levels was immense… a word which pops up regularly in my description of playing that game is "wandering". For me this links quite well with the act of exploring dungeon levels in Legend of Grimrock and the anticipation of seeking; whether that be treasure, lore, a riddle, a hidden switch, a challenging combat or simply a new stairwell to a new place.

Learning all of the possible pathways, monsters, secret doors, puzzles and the direction of a potential exit by simply wandering around (in a disogranised or organised way) within a tightly enclosed 3D space in first person perspective is central to the traditional dungeon crawler. It can be claustrophobic, supremely dark (when you don't have a light source) captivating, lonely, eerie, keenly atmospheric and pleasantly frustrating when these features are implemented well. These are some of the many reasons I return to dungeon crawlers. Isolated often ancient spaces with many hidden unknown elements that slowly reveal themselves the more you layers you unearth, the more you engage and the deeper you traverse. It's a simple primal kind of RPG pleasure to build characters to survive this experience as well.
And you started this list by referencing Dungeon Master and so it's difficult to discern which parts of this list relate to LoG and which to DM.

But let's assume that LoG doesn't have quite as much "Exploration Game" as DM, would it therefore be fair to say that you do think Druidstone is an Exploration Game, because it takes inspiration from Dungeon Master and LoG, with the "treasure, lore, a riddle, a hidden switch, a challenging combat or simply a new stairwell to a new place." which Druidstone has all of, or the "Learning all of the possible pathways, monsters, secret doors, puzzles and the direction of a potential exit by simply wandering around (in a disogranised or organised way)" which Druidstone also has, or would you say Druidstone is not an Exploration Game because it's not "within a tightly enclosed 3D space in first person perspective"?
Last edited by lackblogger; June 12th, 2019 at 17:50.
lackblogger is offline


lackblogger's Avatar


Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 3,507
Mentioned: 61 Post(s)