General News - RPGs are too Predictable - RPGWatch Forums
|
Your donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » General News - RPGs are too Predictable

Default General News - RPGs are too Predictable

August 20th, 2019, 21:59
The Guardian has an editorial on RPGs becoming too predictable and that a breath of fresh wind is needed.

But every now and again, a game comes along which shows that innovation can happen without putting people off and revives a genre in the process. The Ubisoft model was once to open-world games what the Fallout model is to first-person RPGs. The blueprint: climb towers to unlock new areas, sprinkle a map with icons representing mini goals to reach, make progress at your leisure. It underpinned Ubisoft's Assassins Creed, Far Cry and Watch Dogs series, Warner Bros' Batman and Middle Earth franchises, and many others.

Then came The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, in 2017. It's got the towers, the open-world, and the plethora of smaller activities to distract you from the main noble quest. But it quietly revolutionised that stale old structure. Nothing in Breath of the Wild is gated. If you wanted (and you were extremely skilled) you could simply walk to the final boss and finish the game, though you would be far more likely to be lasered to death by guardian robots on the way up to the castle. The icon-filled map is almost entirely gone: only fast-travel points and the occasional quest-line show up. The rest is there for you to discover with your eyes and ears, rather than following objective markers like an orienteering enthusiast.
Thanks Eye

More information.
--
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. Douglas Adams
There are no facts, only interpretations. Nietzsche
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go. Oscar Wilde
Myrthos is offline

Myrthos

Myrthos's Avatar
Cave Canem
Administrator
RPGWatch Team

#1

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 9,287
Mentioned: 84 Post(s)

Default 

August 20th, 2019, 22:10
In my opinion, RPGs are too predictable because there is usually one one mode : Combat mode.
Level up, become a god, if possible, and slay everything. And especially the boss.

What I mean with that is that I'm soooooo tired of all this combat stuff …

"But … there must be more …"

On some days, I sometimes can't get myself into playing RPGs anymore … because I do know that there is combat coming … I do wonder whether this is because of my age ? I mean, competition isn't exciting anymore for me, and all this weapon sharpening anymore as well …

RPGs are predictable because they are merely / only combat games anymore … Thank you, Blizzard …
--
"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)
Alrik Fassbauer is offline

Alrik Fassbauer

Alrik Fassbauer's Avatar
TL;DR
Original Sin 1 & 2 Donor

#2

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Old Europe
Posts: 18,797
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)

Default 

August 20th, 2019, 22:44
Can you list the rpgs of old that didn't have tons of combat? Gold Box Games/Gothics/TES/Might and Magic/Ultima/Wizardry/NWN/NWN2 etc. Every single one of them is chock full of combat. Sure, there are other things too, but combat is the single most common thing in each of those.

I agree with the feeling though. I'm pretty tired of combat being a mainstay in games. I don't mind some combat, but I feel it needs to drop down to a lower level of frequency.

However, most games with little or no combat bore me to tears because they haven't come up with another good way to measure character success. I remember I loved the game Heart of Africa and even Seven Cities of Gold and Conquest of the New World because they rewarded things like discovering a new river, finding a mine, setting up your first camp. Sure there was combat, but it wasn't the end all/be all of the game.
--
c-computer, r-role, p-playing, g-game, nut-extreme fan
=crpgnut or just
'nut @crpgnut
crpgnut is offline

crpgnut

crpgnut's Avatar
Grumpy Role Player
Original Sin Donor

#3

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: St. Louis, Mo USA
Posts: 7,681
Mentioned: 36 Post(s)

Default 

August 20th, 2019, 23:01
I like narratives. I don't particularly want to be able to have a final confrontation in the first hour of a game. There's a reason why stories don't work that way; you haven't built up the stakes, put the character through loss and trials, shown why the bad guy is a bad guy (other than being told "this is the bad guy") Besides, it's not a new thing. You could go right to the final area from the outset in Fallout 2, IIRC.

And not having quest markers isn't revolutionary or new either. That works great for a game where the narrative takes a backseat to the exploration, but that's not every game, nor should it be. Zelda is all emergent storytelling and very little story.

This article comes off less as someone having something to say about games in general or the future of RPGs, and more just as somone who's enamoured with Breath of the Wild.
JFarrell71 is online now

JFarrell71

Watchdog

#4

Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 203
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)

Default 

August 20th, 2019, 23:53
"Blah blah blah some games do a couple of things the same way blah blah blah I'm booooooored blah blah blah do something different!!!!!!!" *throws teddy out of the pram*

Why? What's wrong?

"…Why does it always have to be combat in these combat games…"

Erm… ok, we'll add stealth options?

"blah blah blah I'm booooooored blah blah blah do something different!!!!!!!" *throws teddy out of the pram*

Erm… ok, we'll add diplomacy options?

"blah blah blah I'm booooooored blah blah blah do something different!!!!!!!" *throws teddy out of the pram*

Erm…?

"I liked Ubisoft games and Breath of the Wild!"

Oh, erm, those aren't really RPGs in the strict sense of the…

"Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh"

Oh, er, ok, erm… what would you like now?

"How would I know, it's not my job to say what I want, it's my job to slag off stuff for clicks and echo-chamber street cred, duh"

… riiiiiiiiiiight…

-----------------------------------------

Also, not news, it's clearly an 'opinion' piece with literally zero news. What a shame I had to click the article to find out it wasn't an article but just a quasi-rant of the type that gets written here, or any random games forum, every other month by this weeks drunk new poster…
lackblogger is offline

lackblogger

lackblogger's Avatar
retired poster
Original Sin 2 Donor

#5

Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 2,901
Mentioned: 26 Post(s)

Default 

August 21st, 2019, 01:06
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
Can you list the rpgs of old that didn't have tons of combat?
I wouldn't bother trying to rationalise statements like Alrik's, they completely miss the point of what people do during gameplay and they have little understanding of the meaning of non-combat content.

Let's take an extreme as a prime example: Path of Exile.

You know Path of Exile, but for those who don't, it's a modern day Diablo clone that's made by a company that even calls itself Grinding Gear Games. The entire purpose of the game and the only content of the game is hosing down ever respawning mobs of monsters. The actual game is 99.9% combat with 0.1% story and cut-scenes… but…

… how much time do people who play it spend in combat as a percentage of their in-game time?

Probably no different to any other RPG, probably around the 40-50% mark.

How is this possible????????

Because non-combat gameplay in Path of Exile is:

Standing over huge piles of loot choosing what you want to pick up.
Running back and forth to your stash and sorting your loot.
Trying out different loot like a girl in a clothes shop (and us boys, c'mon, admit it).
Spending hours staring at the skill tree, either adding new skill points or fantasising about new builds.
Trading with the in-game traders.
Trading with other human traders.
Making forum posts about everything.
Griefing other players. (it's a MOBA as well as a single player game).

And likely loads of other stuff I've long since forgotten about (It's about 5 years since I tried it for a few months…). It's actually possible to get to a point in Path of Exile where you have a zero % combat gameplay ratio and spend 100% of your time just trading.

But, no, apparently 'non-combat content' has to mean… what exactly? Asking the troll on the bridge politely if you can pass and the troll allowing you to pass if you get him 10 daffodils to give to his girlfriend? LOL, yeah, you see where the real 'problem' is…
lackblogger is offline

lackblogger

lackblogger's Avatar
retired poster
Original Sin 2 Donor

#6

Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 2,901
Mentioned: 26 Post(s)

Default 

August 21st, 2019, 02:11
@lackblogger, it's very obvious from the title that it's going to be an opinion piece. Plus the link word is "editorial!"

I'm not really following the editorial, though. His facts just seem… weird. Like in the first quoted paragraph above: "The Ubisoft model was once to open-world games what the Fallout model is to first-person RPGs." HUH? Fallout games are open world - or at least open world with little zones and whatnot. When Bethesda got the IP, it became very open world, just like Elder Scrolls.

He complains about how both Outer Worlds and Cyberpunk have fight/stealth/talk options for getting through a quest. But what does Zelda offer? Just fighting? But hey, it doesn't use quest markers - I guess??
--
The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common: instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views….
-- Doctor Who in "Face of Evil"
Zloth is online now

Zloth

Zloth's Avatar
I smell a… wumpus!?

#7

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 6,493
Mentioned: 22 Post(s)

Default 

August 21st, 2019, 02:51
I've played a few games that were not totally predictable - not sure they were rpg but they had logical but surprising twists. Vaguely I think the some of the nwn modules were really good but most of them seem like brute force peditability (like ds games)
you is offline

you

Lazy_dog
RPGWatch Donor
Original Sin 2 Donor

#8

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: usa - boston
Posts: 7,189
Mentioned: 51 Post(s)

Default 

August 21st, 2019, 03:05
I got the impression the article was written by someone who doesn't much know or care about RPGs. For one, the way he points to Zelda, an action-adventure game, as the way to go suggests that what he actually wants is for RPGs to be something else.

But there are other, similarly bizarre statements. Like how he talks of the whole combat/stealth/diplomacy trifecta as if it's a longstanding CRPG tradition. I'd say most high-profile CPRGs in recent years, or arguably ever, follow in D&D's footsteps of a kill-loot-kill gameplay loop. Stealth and diplomacy are, in fact, a break from the norm.

Same with Fallout being some sort of huge influence on first-person RPGs, to which my first retort would be: What first person RPGs? Certainly not the new Deus Ex games, which are nothing like Fallout 3 (itself little more than TES with guns). The combat/stealth/diplomacy dilemma could be traced back to the original Fallout, but again, CRPGs have largely kept trudging on in their D&D ways and not picked up on it until… now, actually.

My suspicion is that he has a much more generous definition of RPG than most followers of the genre, hence the apparent non-sequitur that is Zelda. If you scroll down the comments, you'll see someone say that RPGs are indeed stagnant, but hey, not everything can be TW3. Not for the first time, I'm mystified that someone would think TW3 as at all revolutionary.

Alas, I've already been frustrated by many who want Cyberpunk 2077 to be GTA. Zelda is not so bad in comparison.
Gwydden is offline

Gwydden

Traveler

#9

Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
+1:

Default 

August 21st, 2019, 04:12
Anyone else remember what Torment: Tides of Numenera was trying to achieve? Conversations as a primary game loop instead of combat. Now it was interesting for awhile but ultimately it was not substantial enough to hold many people's attention for long. It needed some x factor innovation to get people talking.

Some games have experimented with stuff like this. Alpha Protocol with its timed conversation options, Oblivion with its mini-game farce. The most interesting innovation in terms of conversations imo is cards you can employ to swing conversations in your favour; such as in Griftlands. You have to use them strategically and try and win them. That game promises to shake non-combat gameplay up as it will get players thinking about trade-offs and optimising what they want their character to be.

In terms of gameplay evolution conversation trees are still in the primordial ooze compared to combat systems.
loading…
Silver is offline

Silver

Silver's Avatar
Spaceman
RPGWatch Team

#10

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 7,013
Mentioned: 38 Post(s)

Default 

August 21st, 2019, 04:19
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
RPGs are predictable because they are merely / only combat games anymore … Thank you, Blizzard …
Agreed. A game needs a good mix of combat, exploration, interaction, planning, resource management, lore, and puzzles to be interesting any more. I rarely bother with pure combat games now because I know I'll grow bored. But too little combat can be equally dull.
rjshae is offline

rjshae

rjshae's Avatar
Periapt vs Paronomasia
RPGWatch Donor

#11

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Seattle
Posts: 4,726
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)

Default 

August 21st, 2019, 06:29
If you look at the wrong RPGs they are predictable alright…
There is a ton of incredible RPGs out there. In fact, so many I haven't even had time to play them all!
Darkheart is offline

Darkheart

Darkheart's Avatar
SasqWatch
Original Sin 2 Donor

#12

Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: BW, Germany
Posts: 1,549
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)

Default 

August 21st, 2019, 07:22
In my view innovation can be present in many different ways, even within a predictable shell. Walking to the end boss (and not having a chance) right away is not my idea of innovation, though.
NFLed is offline

NFLed

Sentinel

#13

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)

Default 

August 21st, 2019, 08:52
Originally Posted by Silver View Post
Anyone else remember what Torment: Tides of Numenera was trying to achieve? Conversations as a primary game loop instead of combat. Now it was interesting for awhile but ultimately it was not substantial enough to hold many people's attention for long. It needed some x factor innovation to get people talking.
It held my attention the entire way. If you're going to do this kind of thing, your writing needs to be very good and the stuff you're writing about (the setting, both physical and metaphysical) needs to be interesting. I thought it was sufficiently so to drive a 40ish hour experience with minimal combat. T:ToN also did something that relatively few games do, use text interaction to handle the physical interaction with the environment. For me, that feels very different than dialogue exchanges, even though the interface is the same, and overall I thought T:ToN had a strong exploration component that helped vary what you were doing.
JFarrell71 is online now

JFarrell71

Watchdog

#14

Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 203
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)

Default 

August 21st, 2019, 10:13
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
In my opinion, RPGs are too predictable because there is usually one one mode : Combat mode.
Level up, become a god, if possible, and slay everything. And especially the boss.
How about no.
In more than one RPG you don't have to slay everything, some boss included, and still win. Also, more than one RPG has a pacifist route where you don't kill anyone at all (apart from scripted events).

The article is plain bullshit. Zelda? Breakable weapons, cooking and Ubisoft towers (that are not an RPG element!). That's innovation? LOL
Plus the journalist discovered fastrun decades after everyone is doing it in every game possible.
What is predictable in Zelda, held hostage away from PC game, is that it can't have hairworks. How about an article on designs predictability imposed by inferior hardware?

RPGs, when done correctly, are not predictable. Someone mentioned TW3. I wonder how many people predicted their game's ending. Including this journalist amateur.
--
Toka Koka
joxer is offline

joxer

joxer's Avatar
The Smoker
RPGWatch Donor
Original Sin 1 & 2 Donor

#15

Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 21,117
Mentioned: 146 Post(s)

Default 

August 21st, 2019, 11:07
Originally Posted by JFarrell71 View Post
It held my attention the entire way. If you're going to do this kind of thing, your writing needs to be very good and the stuff you're writing about (the setting, both physical and metaphysical) needs to be interesting. I thought it was sufficiently so to drive a 40ish hour experience with minimal combat. T:ToN also did something that relatively few games do, use text interaction to handle the physical interaction with the environment. For me, that feels very different than dialogue exchanges, even though the interface is the same, and overall I thought T:ToN had a strong exploration component that helped vary what you were doing.
Yeah thats fair enough. I'm thinking more in terms of generating mainstream success as unlikely as that maybe for this type of game.
Silver is offline

Silver

Silver's Avatar
Spaceman
RPGWatch Team

#16

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 7,013
Mentioned: 38 Post(s)

Default 

August 21st, 2019, 13:04
The picture is not large enough. It affects way more than RPGs, the whole gaming activity is affected.

A backlog is similar to a car or a house. Players grow their backlog for similar reasons they get a big car or a big house etc

The big backlog crowd have a point of convergence with streamers here: both need very generic products they can go through without hinderance. Any specific requirement adds to the burden.

Aesthetics, story etc are given a primary importance as they all require very little effort to adapt. Players want the same backbone dressed differently. All prosucts telling the very same story so that the urge for conformity is satisfied.

As stated many times, Zelda openworldness is based on gameplay, it was designed by a guy whose reputation allowed to make such an offensive move.
The next Zelda will already be less that way, BotW was a one shot offense.
--
Backlog:0
ChienAboyeur is offline

ChienAboyeur

SasqWatch

#17

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 5,791
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)

Default 

August 21st, 2019, 13:13
Originally Posted by NFLed View Post
In my view innovation can be present in many different ways, even within a predictable shell. Walking to the end boss (and not having a chance) right away is not my idea of innovation, though.
First, gamers have a chance, it might be part of replayability to cut down on the preparation times.
Second, it was an example of ungated ZBofTW is. Once you have left the tutorial area, you are left on your own to explore an open world.

Consuming at a high rate comes with demands, vid product featuring a generic structure are friendly than those who do not.

The differences between vid products are mostly cosmetic. They are so generic they can be booted up on highest difficulty level with no issue.

Zelda equivalent, walking right to final boss either requires knowledge of the game, skills or both.
--
Backlog:0
ChienAboyeur is offline

ChienAboyeur

SasqWatch

#18

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 5,791
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)

Default 

August 21st, 2019, 13:23
Originally Posted by JFarrell71 View Post
I like narratives. I don't particularly want to be able to have a final confrontation in the first hour of a game. There's a reason why stories don't work that way; you haven't built up the stakes, put the character through loss and trials, shown why the bad guy is a bad guy (other than being told "this is the bad guy") Besides, it's not a new thing. You could go right to the final area from the outset in Fallout 2, IIRC.
Which type of story. Walking right to the boss writes the story of a character who walks directly to Ganondorf, knowing the stakes. The stakes do not change, they might have been made more obvious.

As to being told how bad the bad guy is, dropping a couple of title names could help. This bad guy is so told how bad he is that usually he is so bad it is pointless to let players determine if getting rid of him is worth anything.

The bad guy is bad, without any question. Period.


Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
@lackblogger, it's very obvious from the title that it's going to be an opinion piece. Plus the link word is "editorial!"

I'm not really following the editorial, though. His facts just seem… weird. Like in the first quoted paragraph above: "The Ubisoft model was once to open-world games what the Fallout model is to first-person RPGs." HUH? Fallout games are open world - or at least open world with little zones and whatnot. When Bethesda got the IP, it became very open world, just like Elder Scrolls.
The article writes it is to. It does not mean none of them are not open examples.
Both could be poor effort in respective genres.

He complains about how both Outer Worlds and Cyberpunk have fight/stealth/talk options for getting through a quest. But what does Zelda offer? Just fighting? But hey, it doesn't use quest markers - I guess??
An open structure letting gamers decide their own experience. Fight/stealth/talk structure is a generic one, a no brainer that is generically shared by generic products, enjoyed by the big backlog crowd and their worship of conformity.
--
Backlog:0
ChienAboyeur is offline

ChienAboyeur

SasqWatch

#19

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 5,791
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » General News - RPGs are too Predictable
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 04:01.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by DragonByte Security (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright by RPGWatch