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Bethesda vs. BioWare

Discussion in 'Featured Polls & Comments' started by Taluntain, Dec 28, 2009.

?

Overall, which of the two game developers do you feel produces better RPGs?

Poll closed Jul 30, 2015.
  1. Bethesda (The Elder Scrolls series, Fallout 3...)

    4 vote(s)
    9.1%
  2. BioWare (Neverwinter Nights 1, Dragon Age...)

    23 vote(s)
    52.3%
  3. Both produce equally good RPGs

    10 vote(s)
    22.7%
  4. I've only played BioWare's games

    7 vote(s)
    15.9%
  5. I've only played Bethesda's games

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    This time we're focusing on the rivalry between BethSoft and BioWare.

    Just a quick reminder on BioWare vs. Black Isle. Of the Infinity Engine games, BioWare has made only the Baldur's Gate games. The Icewind Dale games and Planescape: Torment were made by Black Isle Studios, but BIS is NOT included in this poll.

    Also, BioWare did NOT make Neverwinter Nights 2 and its expansions; they were produced by Obsidian (staffed by many BIS refugees after BIS folded). Obsidian is also NOT the subject of this poll.

    Rather confusing, I know. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  2. Drugar

    Drugar And now... we wait! Veteran

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    Both have made fabulous games.

    Bethesda made Morrowind
    Bioware made BG and KoToR

    Enough said :)
     
  3. GuybrushWilco Gems: 1/31
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    I went with Bethesda. Both games have their strengths. Bioware games tend to have been stories and characterization, but Bethesda games have better worlds and more open gameplay.
     
  4. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Lol, I thought there was another lawsuit.

    I tend to agree with Guybrush.
     
  5. Morgoth

    Morgoth La lune ne garde aucune rancune Veteran

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    I would have voted BioWare if they had not made NWN :doh:
     
  6. Erod Gems: 14/31
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    Well, of all Bioware games only NWN was a bad one and with Bethesda every single one that I have tried was, so not much of a choice here :-).
     
  7. Aikanaro Gems: 31/31
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    Voted for Bioware due to past greatness. Neither of them make very good RPGs nowadays.
     
    Wayward Son likes this.
  8. Loreseeker

    Loreseeker A believer in knowledge

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    :lol: Me too.
    Voted both for Morrowind and KotOR, mostly.
     
  9. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Morrowind was a great game with a great setting whereas Oblivion was bland and boring (except for Shivering Isles). Both had faults and even if non linearity is great it is spoiled by some pretty stupid level scaling (even worse in Oblivion). By non linearity I mean the possibility of going almost anywhere, not getting more choices than in other games (I was incredibly frustrated because I couldn't double cross an NPC who gave me a quest whereas that's something Fallout allowed).

    I believe they could have benefited from a better main quest. Not to mention that you can do everything with a single character (Mage and Fighter guilds for instance but also the fact that no matter what character you picked you could master everything).

    What about Fallout 3? Bethesda had to make a sequel for the best CRPGs ever and what did they do? They made a great looking game that suffers from a serious lack of depth and left overs from the Oblivion engine. I actually have great hope for Fallout New Vegas since it's been reported it will use a sensible damage system instead of the nonsensical Oblivionesque Damage Resistance. Don't get me wrong, I like Fallout 3 a lot but it is far from perfect. Mods make it better but it could have been a great game if it wasn't based so much on Oblivion. Making a character that can be good at everything is certainly not what the original Fallout was about. And don't get me started with the Bobbleheads... One of the most annoying and stupid thing in the game.

    Now what about Bioware? Let's just say that no game made by Bethesda is remotely close to Baldur's Gate in my books.

    NWN suffered from a terrible OC but apart from that it was a really great game given the right modules (and thanks to the fan made modules and official expansions there was no shortage in that department).

    I've never liked KotOR that much although it was ok. I like Star Wars a lot but the D&D game system is not a good choice for this setting. The story was the best part of that game but some sidequests were a bit off (made me feel like playing some generic CRPG at times).

    Nobody has mentioned Jade Empire yet. It's definitely a thoroughly enjoyable game although it's short and rather linear.The story and the setting make up for this though.

    That leads me to Dragon Age. I had low expectations about this game and I wasn't disappointed quite the contrary in fact. It's certainly one of the most entertaining games I've played in years. It has some flaws (mainly events that trigger cutscenes so you are forced to interact in a certain way) and the most shameful in game DLC advertisement I've ever run into but the story definitely has an epic quality about it.

    It comes down to opposing Bethesda's non linear games to Bioware's story driven games. I prefer Bioware because I'd rather play a game that has a story and makes me feel like my character is part of it even if at times it feels more linear than playing a single player MMO with insanely stupid level scaling (I'm a bit harsh but you probably get my point).
     
  10. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    To be honest, as years pass, I kinda see myself as less and less enchanted with BioWare. I don't appreciate the choices made for Dragon Age and I find the use of sexual themes there deplorable, together with the totally unacceptable trailer (there is no need to describe it). This rids me of fanboyism and allows me a sober look upon the past games and while great, they have had their flaws and weren't ideal (where I'm sure BioWare itself would agree with me) - in short, there are areas in which some other developers shine more brightly. Particularly, if only I could have a game with the playability of Might & Magic, the wideness and scope of Morrowind, the prettiness (more than just graphical) of Baldur's Gate 2, the adventurism of Baldur's Gate 1 and a certain heroic aspect of Icewind Dale 1 that didn't appear in any other D&D game of that or later period, I would be really happy. And yeah, Jade Empire was very well done. I take it as a B-class game in analogy to a B class film and in that category, it excels (I'd say it's A-class within B-class, so to say - the same could be said about IWD1). KotOR 1 was lovely too. I can't speak of Oblivion because I'm affected by a couple of prejudices that prevent me from trying it, including the dumbed down weapon system (I dislike the drive towards dumbing down the system).

    Probably shouldn't not comment on Mass Effect. It has a great lot of interesting solutions and is a great work from a wholistic perspective, while obviously the total and blatant recycling of side-quest areas must be pointed out. Characters were well made, the universe was convincing, the Space Navy atmosphere was very well rendered (made me wonder if they didn't have retired sailors on the team), the items weren't bad. I can't seem to agree with the decision to force the main hero to cooperate with Cerberus in ME2. Cerberus was the organisation fought against throughout ME1 for their experiments on human beings, which involved a lot of atrocities. This seems to be in line with the darkness and forced evil theme prevalent in modern BioWare and Obsidian games from NWN2 onward. This fad crosses certain lines, as, for example, forcing the PC to trade human souls with daemons in Mask of the Betrayer and offering no other way to finish the main quest was totally unacceptable and no good DM should ever do that in a table-top campaign. Designers are DMs in a sense because they create the world. Not only was the player forced to act against his alignment, this wasn't even recognised in the game. It was simply a puzzle quest to open a darn door which you needed to open in order to go somewhere or collect some pieces or whatever else was necessary to drag on (in reality, it was basically a trigger for a suprise boss fight). On this notion I refused to finish Mask. I hope the devs will come to their senses and offer a viable way of finishing the game from a Lawful or Good perspective. Unfortunately, looking at Dragon Age does not inspire in me any measure of conviction that BioWare might be free of that afflliction, and initial news about ME2 reinforce this fear. In other words, enough with the teenage-ish fad with darkness, go back to making credible adventures, whether big-time heroic or relatively casual, but without forcing a juvenile fascination with darkness down everyone's throat. This is not to say Beth is totally free of the same.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  11. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    I don't get the trailer thing, is it the Sacred Ashes trailer? The Violence trailer? I don't mean to pry but I really don't get what could have offended you that much.

    I agree that the emphasis on "mature" stuff was rather silly as a marketing ploy but after playing the game I can say Dragon Age isn't worse than the Witcher (even less so since the cards in the Witcher are more graphic than anything in Dragon Age). That being said I can definitely understand that all the hype about blood and lust can turn off people from a game (or a movie).

    IMO as far as sexual themes are concerned Dragon Age isn't that graphic though (during love scenes the bras look like they come from One Million Years B.C. it doesn't show more flesh than your average Hollywood movie).

    The way the game deals with homosexuality and bisexuality is rather mature (I mean it in a good way this time). It addresses characters and their sexuality without resorting to clichés, they all have reasons that justify their sexual orientation. Some are rather prude.

    Fallout 2 allowed gay marriage, sex with anything with a pulse and the possibility of becoming a pornstar... Arcanum did set a mark too as it included bestiality as well. To be fair Dragon Age doesn't introduce anything new in that respect.

    One shouldn't blame the game for giving a character as many options as a real individual would have regarding his or her sexuality. The point is you certainly don't have to play a bisexual in Dragon Age, a pornstar in Fallout 2 or a womanizer in the Witcher...

    My favourite game is still the original Fallout because it didn't force you to rely on violence as the sole means to achieve your objectives... One thing that got completely lost in Fallout 3 as most of the time you play a vigilante/psychopath/serial killer/cannibal whose main occupation is to blow heads off with a gun (unless the targets are set as essential because just like in Oblivion you don't want to break a quest).

    The emphasis on violence as the only way or the "right" way to solve problems is more unpalatable to me than having characters with a sexual identity. But that's just my opinion and I can understand that some people may be offended by references to sexuality in games.
     
  12. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    The complete inability and apparent lack of desire from Bethesda to write even a single line of decent dialogue make them a non-option by itself. Not to mention all the other faults associated with their games. Morrowind was fun for a time but the taste soured the more I played the game, still I'd say the game itself was worth the money since I played it for quite a few hours, I haven't even considered touching it since though, and don't even get me started on Oblivion. I haven't played Fallout 3 myself but I've seen my roommate play it, and while that obviously is not enough to make any great conclusions the gamy did not seem overly inspiring though I assume I'd like it more than Morrowind and certainly more than Oblivion.

    Bioware games since BG II have been "nice" but no masterpieces really. They have offered entertainment and interestingly enough I found Mass Effect to offer a better playing expirience than KoTOR. Both had their faults though. They're still better than Bethesda by a mile.

    That said, if the poll had included Black Isle they'd beat the crap out of these two wannabes. ;)

    EDIT: Tal why did you not include a "both make equally crappy role playing games" option in the poll? :p
     
  13. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Fallout III was an insult to the Fallout series. Seriously, it was, and not of the "you stink" variety, either. More like the "yo momma's so fat" variety.

    Since Baldur's Gate, BioWare's been struggling to revive that kind of excitement and feel. They haven't failed outright, but they haven't really succeeded yet. That being said, I haven't played Dragon Age: Origins yet.

    Bethesda makes open worlds and, to be frank, not that good ones. Probably the best in the industry, but the industry as a whole is pretty poor at that. Compare Bioware's plots, dialogues, and character developments to novels and you get some halfway decent stuff. In fact, they've turned out some halfway decent stuff in terms of novels. Compare Bethesda's world-sims to some of the true world-sims out there, or even the crafted worlds of some novels, and you can see plainly they're crap.

    BioWare wins simply for delivering a competitive product in their field.
     
  14. Tassadar Gems: 22/31
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    Bioware, because I didn't enjoy any of Bethesda's games. Maybe it's that 1st person view thing.
     
  15. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    I totally agree, Black Isle made some pretty good games.

    @NOG: Fallout 3 isn't so bad if you don't expect too much. I'm a big Fallout fan and I didn't expect a new Fallout game that would compare to Fallout 1. To be frank I found that Fallout 2 was flawed and don't get me started on Tactics. The good news is that thanks to Fallout 3 we'll get more Fallout games. I have high expectations for Fallout New Vegas.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  16. Triactus

    Triactus United we stand, divided we fall Veteran

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    I voted Bethesda, but Bioware wasn't far behind. I think the two BG were great, no doubt. KOTOR was also very interesting. While there was a lot of cool aspects to DAO, I thought that it was basically a fantasy KOTOR. On the other hand, I always found Bethesda to be groundbreaking. I was very impressed by Oblivion, personnally.
     
  17. 8people

    8people 8 is just another way of looking at infinite ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    [​IMG] I voted for both equally, as I enjoy different aspects of the games generally :)
     
  18. DaveornKing Gems: 1/31
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    Before I write anything, hello guys and girls, I just registered!

    I have played and finished the BG series, as well as Icewind Dale, the Fallout series (including the 3rd), Morrowind and Oblivion. One thing is certain: all of them are good rpgs, each one for a different reason.

    If you are not too bored, here's my explanation:

    The Baldur's Gate series is, simply, THE PERFECT (CLASSIC) RPG GAME. By classic, I mean that it is based on the pen & paper D&D game style. I think no one can forget the epic moments this game has offered (gorion's death, sarevok as the ultimate evil tank-boss, and then irenicus, hunting and slaughtering the bhaalspawn etc.). BUT, if a person who doesn't like RPGs that much, and prefers shooting something to pass the time, BG is the worst game he/she could play. I have friends who tried it and couldn't play more than 10 minutes. So, it's for RPG fans only.

    The same, of course, goes for Icewind Dale, and the 1st & 2nd Fallout games.

    Bethesda's games, however, are different. They can be played by everyone, since they are simpler and more action-oriented (excluding Morrowind).
    Oblivion, for example, is not difficult to learn. It is an easy game all-around, creatures leveling up with the player, artifacts that just come to you by themselves, and at the end, your character is invincible! You know what? It may be better like that!

    A game's purpose is to entertain. Not to educate, or help you in your real life, it is just meant to offer relaxation after a long day (or playing till you burn during a vacation). So, what's the point of an RPG being challenging, having difficult controls and enemies that are so strong that you must cheat or write in a forum for advice to beat them? It is then the same as an adventure game, straining your brain muscles and tiring you instead of relaxing you.

    In BG, ToB, the player has killed everything that moves, has slain whole cities, dragons, super-wizards, and still may lose from a trap and an umber-hulk if he's not careful - i'm talking about the protagonist's death, who cannot be resurrected, as opposed to the rest of the team ;( In oblivion, you may still die, but the monster will be powerful indeed, and the trap deadly. About the same goes for Fallout 3. Who cares if heads explode when shot by a BB gun? At least you have fun!

    I have actually spent 15 minutes writing?

    Ok, so the bottom line is, Bethesda makes better GAMES, not RPGs. What Bethesda makes is not RPGs but ActionRPGs, first person ones too. It's different, and it's a matter of liking. I, for example, prefer Oblivion to any other game, and I have spent no less than 300 hours playing it (don't laugh, it's true and tragic). I just digg the game! Hasn't it happened to you?

    So each person has his own preferences and criteria, and may like a more action-ly game more than a classic RPG, or the opposite, or like them both equally! Therefore, no one can say this is better than the other, only I liked this more than the other.

    And I like Bethesda's games more (although I still WORSHIP BG)

    P.S: The Witcher is an AWESOME game, one of the best I have ever played, and next-generation RPGs should be more like it (have sex, more choices, and generally be more realistic - don't tell me you wouldn't want to *relax* a bit after slaughtering hideous monsters all day long? ;)
     
  19. Merlanni

    Merlanni ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Bioware. Why? You play Oblivion/Morrowind only once. Your secon character will be a copy of the first only different in looks and gender.

    BG2 I strated 6 times, got far, but finished only once. I suck at high levels. NWN1 twice from start to the two corrupted dragons. Expansions each at least 3 times.

    KotoR and PST tip the balance even further.

    @NOG Dragon age is Kotor in fantasy setting.
     
  20. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Daveorn, welcome to the forums, and you make some good points. Bioware and Bethesda make two very different kinds of games. Bioware makes true RPGs in every sense, while Bethesda makes Action-RPGs in a pretty classic sense. Bioware is great with their plots and characters, and good with their systems and gameplay, while Bethesda is great at everything action-y. I say "action-y" and not Action-RPGs because Bethesda seems to have abandoned the RPG side of their Action-RPGs. I realise it's the current trend, but nothing says an Action-RPG can't have a plot and character development, too.

    The question, however, is which company makes better RPGs, and the answer is BioWare, because the best parts of all of Bethesda's games are not RPG parts. It's like grading Starcraft or Halo on an RPG scale. They're both great games, classics of their genres, but they aren't RPGs.
     
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