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Bioware is lost for the RPG community

Discussion in 'Playground' started by Merlanni, Dec 19, 2010.

?

Is Bioware lost for the RPG community

  1. Yes, be happy with shooting/action games (ports)

    30 vote(s)
    62.5%
  2. Might be, they balance the border nicely

    12 vote(s)
    25.0%
  3. No, they still make good RPG's we expect to much

    6 vote(s)
    12.5%
  1. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Just sayin'

    Not trying to pick a fight with anyone. (Oh, no! Where's my subject/ verb?) :angel:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Show,_don't_tell
     
    Caradhras likes this.
  2. The Magpie

    The Magpie Balance, in all things Veteran

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    [​IMG] Good post, Chandos. That was (pretty much) what I was trying to say about "show & tell", but it's not something I want to get bogged down in again (owing to off-topicness). Besides, I was principally using it in reference to manuals and tutorials as instruction tools, and how you can essentially make a more immersive game by using tutorials rather than relying on a weighty manual. It's one area that -- I believe -- modern games do have a concrete advantage over their forebears.

    The complication with videogames is, of course, that they have a 3rd mechanic, "play", which they have to balance as well. I suppose that RPGs have the trickiest time of it, too, as the story and characters are so much more important to the experience than in most other genres. A good generalised rule of thumb would be Play >> Show >> Tell, but with the caveat that you do need all three to tell a story. When I think of the games that bore me the most, it's the ones that make me feel like a passenger, with minimal gameplay sections wedged between oodles of cutscene, rather than vice-versa.

    What stands out about most BioWare games is how right they (usually) get the balance. Story helps motivate the action and drives the gameplay but doesn't intrude to the extent of being a chore. Of course, it's a fundamental RPG game mechanic that conversation choices have implications, so you could argue that an -- albeit very basic -- "play" element gets inserted here, too.

    @NOG: Also a fair point. I'd still maintain that the term "RPG Community" has to imply the entirety of that community, but most communities can be sub-divided. Ultimately, of course, the only thing that decides if BioWare will ever be lost to the "Traditional" RPG player is whether people still spend their hard-earned $, £ etc. on the more traditional product. With EA hovering over their shoulder nowadays, that's probably more of a concern than perhaps it used to be.

    To be fair to DA2, however, the fact that it's being built to use both RTS & action style controls means it could serve as a crossover converter, turning ARPGers into traditionalists. Although that is predicated on both systems actually working in-game without driving the gameplay balance off a cliff... which is what's always happened when other games have tried that particular breed of genre-splicing before. So you're probably right to be sceptical (I think most people are, myself included), but with that big gamble comes a potential big reward. Oddly, the traditionalists might just need DA2 to succeed, in spite of their own reservations...
     
  3. NOG (No Other Gods)

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

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    Unfortunately, traditional RPGs have always been something of a niche genre, even when they were the only RPGs. There's a reason that Phantasy Star (the Sega second string to Final Fantasy) died off when it lost the battle for Best RPG, while there are at least 3 major shooting games, and probably 5 major sports games, thriving at any one time.
     
  4. Rawgrim Gems: 21/31
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    By the looks of things (watched the "making of DA2" vids on the bioware site recently), Dragon Age 2 looks to be mostly the same as the first one. Gameplaywise at least. Some stuff have been removed (mostly stuff that should be removed), and alot of good stuff has been added. There is even rivalry between companions added to the mix now. I am sure that will add alot of roleplaying options. Also your characters voice and responses changes during the game, depending on how you play. If you play evil, you start to toss out more evil responses in dialogues and you also sound like a a-hole as well. The fights in DA2 looks more hack and slashy though. But then again so was DAO. Trotting through the deep roads and the fade was pretty much a series of meaningless hack and slash anyway.

    On a side note: I am 100 percent sure DA2 won`t come close to BG2 of course, but I am pretty sure it will be very close to DAO at least.
     
  5. Munchkin Blender Gems: 22/31
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    After playing DAII I am starting to agree with you.

    For the ME series; it is clear the game is more of a shooter/action type game with RPG elements. I have no issue with how Bioware modified ME2 compared to ME1.

    The DA is a old school fantasy world. DAO showed how good Bioware is at creating classic sytle RPGs. However, DAII clearly showed us where Bioware is going. They don't care about old school RPG; they want to bring in gamers of other genre.

    After DAII I feel that Bioware does not care for the customers that have support there business for so long. Instead they are going after customers who play COD and other action/shooter games.

    I hate to say it, but maybe Obsidian will take there place.

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 1 minutes and 48 seconds later... ----------

    You were correct in your state that you posted well before DAII release. :cool:

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 2 minutes and 27 seconds later... ----------

    I think not. DAO and DAII play different enough that they are not even close.
     
  6. Rawgrim Gems: 21/31
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    I stand corrected, Munchkin. Serves me right for beliving in what the devs said on the Bioware forum before release. Its not like DA:O at all. DA2 is arguably the weakest game Bioware has ever made. It reeks of being rushed.
     
  7. Cap'n CJ

    Cap'n CJ Arrr! Veteran

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    When I first saw this poll, I voted 'Might be', but after seeing Dragon Age 2.. I dunno, i'm a little concerned.
     
  8. 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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    Bethesda sits on the throne. 11-11-11 we will know if it stays there.
     
  9. Munchkin Blender Gems: 22/31
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    I like how prior to release Bioware stated something about Spartans for DAII, I don’t remember the exact statement. What they meant by that is that you will be swarmed by enemies, like the Spartans, and hopefully you will survive each of the swarms of enemies.
     
  10. Sengir Gems: 1/31
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    I believe the quote you're looking for is, 'think like a general, fight like a spartan' or some such.
     
  11. Gothmog

    Gothmog Man, a curious beast indeed! ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Oh, FML!
    After ~15 minutes of typing a lengthy response, i accidentally hit refresh button and lose it -.-

    Basically, i was quoting NOG.
    And then going on to explain why it's so much harder to create traditional RPG's than action linear crossbreeds. DAO took 6 years to make, DA2 only 2. Granted, graphical engine takes some of that time, but the difference is obvious. Once, you could just toss down a few tiles and a box of text to create the fork of a different choice. Now, they have to voice act it, create elaborate 3D world, and probably plenty of other stuff i don't know about.
    Do you expect EA to give them time to make another DAO, when they can pump out halfbreed spawns every year or two?
    I think, given EA's borg history of milking once great developers 'till death, that the answer is obvious.

    The next point was... Ease vs. worth. It pertains to both books vs. movies industry as well as inside each media. Basically the premise is that plebs like ease and simplicity. Given the choice between an universally acclaimed film, and a hollywood popcorn flick, more will go for the easy choice. I'm sure you've all had this feeling before, probably in the same example given.
    This shows clearly in popularity of the film over books. While either's inherent worth can be argued, it's generally thought that reading a book requires more work and effort than watching through a film.
    If you draw this to RPG, the result is obvious. Action is straighforward fun, doesn't require any significant (or consequential) decision making and is just generally a walk in the park. Classical RPG's on the other hands, strive toward player's choice having an impact. They don't actually succeed all that well, most consequences are still very similar or minor. But at least it gives the illusion of choice. Which is somewhat redundant, if all you're looking for is a bit of fun in the spare hour or two you have.
    So ARPG's have a much wider audience (much like popcorn flicks) and are thus, from a financial perspective, a much better choice. Unless we see some separate funding for classical RPG's (think art films, etc.), which i admit, is downright fantasy, they're doomed to fitful, low profile existence on the edge, or downright extinction. Unfortunately for us.


    And finally, the term RPG has been outright usurped IMO. Contemporary RPG's seem to think that watching some numbers grow as you chop through yet another sentient creature is the definition of Role Playing Game. Name doesn't imply that. In fact, name seems to point toward the exact absence we're seeing in modern RPGs. That of choice. As you choose a role to play, it ought to have room to be played out in. ARPG's don't give that space. Typically, you assume the role of a predetermined and defined character in the world. So, you're kinda playing out a role. Funnily enough, you're doing the same in every shooter single player as well, with little to separate the two.
    If the term "role" is understood as "function in a group/combat", as in melee/ranged/etc. It makes no more sense to be called RPG either. In this sense, nigh every shooter is a role playing game as well. Simply draw out a rocket launcher instead of the pistol, and there you go.

    I probably forgot something, but what the heck.
     
  12. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    It's hard to overstate how important that is. RPG stands for "Role Playing Game," for crying out loud. Whether the game will be based on a famous RPG system like D&D or not, whether it will have numbers or not, doesn't matter a bit for whether it is an RPG and how good one it is. Games of all genres seem to think that they can claim to have "RPG elements" if you

    As I see it, a role-playing game is one where you, as the player, play your character's role in the world as you see fit. You have freedom to do what you please - and while the freedom in a computer game is naturally constrained, the more options you have for dealing with the plot, the better. Like the otherwise insufferable protagonist of FFX, you should be able to say "This is MY story" - because through your choices and actions, you have made it unique.

    Now, granted, I preferred the "traditional" style of DA:O or, for that matter, the first ME. However, just because the newer ones are different in some areas doesn't necessarily mean there is less roleplaying involved. There are tabletop RPG systems where little of that is actually present. Alternatively, just because you have levels, a smorgasbord of items, abilities, party play and the like doesn't make a game an RPG. Look at Diablo, Titan Quest or the like - there is a lot of numbers, special abilities etc, but you have zero control over the plot and your role is reduced to mashing buttons. They are great games, atmospheric, fun - but to me, they just aren't role-playing games. They are action games with plot.

    Now, I think Mass Effect 2 offered slightly less roleplaying options than 1, and from what I've seen the same can be said of DA 2 compared to DA:O, but that doesn't necessarily mean Bioware don't know how to make a roleplaying game anymore. On the other hand, executive meddling can ruin a game without impacting whether it is an RPG or not - if Bioware's next games alienate the fanbase without picking up enough new fans, they will certainly not be successful. Sometimes, a cRPG tanks not because it is a bad RPG, but because it is simply a bad game.
     
  13. 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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    And Dragon Age 2 is such a bad game.
     
  14. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    I liked it well enough, although there were a few glaring bugs. I should patch it up and try again.
     
  15. Rawgrim Gems: 21/31
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    Bioware is turning #dumbed down, and mainstream" not much RP left in their games. Ipredict multiplayer options all the way in their upcoming games, and the single player bits will suffer from it. Playing single player isn`t "kewl" now adays, we will need to be on ritalin to enjoy their full games. Just a prediction.
     
  16. Erod Gems: 14/31
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    What is wrong with multi player? About all the early Bioware games had multi player included, like Shattered Steel and Baldur's Gate series. The point is, that including multi player is necessarily not making the single player experience any worse.
     
  17. Rawgrim Gems: 21/31
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    They are making an action mode, rp mode, and story mode for Mass Effect 3 as well. Add multiplayer to the bit, and you see that loads of time and resources are being used just to add those things into the game. All this could have been spent on the single player bit.
     
  18. Beren

    Beren Lovesick and Lonely Wanderer 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!)

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    Inquisition will be a chance for at least some degree of redemption for them.
     
  19. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) 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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    I'll check out the reviews after release, as I'm not sure I'll even be picking this up. I certainly won't preorder this time around.

    I actually enjoyed DA2 for one solid run through (compared to 5 or 6 in Origins), but I'm just not really sure who Bioware is anymore. They certainly aren't the niche RPG developer I used to love, and it's those niche games that I enjoy the most. Unless the new game has a strong appeal in that market segment, it's pretty much not going to register for me.
     
  20. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    I tend to think they're lost because of the following:

    — The decision to slap the fans in the face with ME3 endings: people say real endings were changed because they'd been leaked, others even go as far as suing BioWare for untruthful advertising, still others complain about a bad job and disappointment. I don't know what's really the case, but I don't like what I see. I certainly don't like BioWare defending the endings.

    — Simplification of mechanics.

    — Focus on microtransactions to the point of being reflected in single player.

    — EA.

    We need indie. But indie's gotta mean more than more breasts and more demons/devils.
     
    Rawgrim likes this.
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