Woah, got too many questions about Mass Effect 2

#251 Posted by Fudge91 (198 posts) -
@Jimbo said:

" @Hashbrowns said:

"The rulesets and basic game mechanics are NOT THEMSELVES Role Playing.  Role Playing is about choice, flexibility, and an ability to influence events in a meaningful way; it has nothing to do with Dexterity, Strength, Defense, or any other numerical statistic-based mechanic."

Well said and I absolutely agree.  I really do not understand the argument that says Mass Effect is no longer an RPG.  You are straight up Role Playing throughout the whole game.  RPG stands for "Role Playing Game", not "Loot & Stat Game".
 
Saying "It's not an RPG, it's a Shooter!" also makes no sense.  The terms are not mutually exclusive and they're referring to different aspects of the game.  It's like describing a car and saying "It's not a fast car, it's a blue car!" - no, the car is fast and blue.  ME2 is an RPG and a Shooter.  If that doesn't fit with our need to neatly pigeonhole games into one exact category, then we need to come up with more/better categories. "
Aren't RPG's more about making your own charachter with a playstyle and an attitude that fits you. Cause choices and consequences  arent really the main point anymore, plenty of games have that now (Heavy Rain, GTA IV, Bioshock..)
#252 Posted by Jimbo (9708 posts) -
@Fudge91: Personally, I'd consider Heavy Rain to be about the purest form of video game RPG there is - it's all RPing all the time afaik.  GTA 4 and Bioshock do give you some opportunity to roleplay, but it's about 2 choices in ~20 hours.  If you played a more active role in the narrative of those games, I'd consider them to be RPGs too.
#253 Posted by Fontan (318 posts) -
@ZimboDK said:
" @snide:  Damn Dave. If I ever go to the US, let me buy you a beer, 'cause I completely agree with everything in that post. "
Then make that two beers.
#254 Posted by TheHBK (5404 posts) -

RPGs all follow different conventions for combat but what really brings them into one common genre is the way the player interacts with the story and how saying certain things or taking certain actions can change the story.  Thats what its really about and Mass Effect 1 and 2 do an amazing job of that.  You may not like the combat but the role, as in story role, part is great. 

#255 Posted by snide (2394 posts) -
@example1013: Oh man you mentioned Shadowbane. Whiskey Media Trivia. Our lead engineer Andy McCurdy worked on that game!
#256 Posted by kingzetta (4307 posts) -
@snide:
 Well the reason that people had such a reaction to what you said on TNT, is because you came off as a game snob.
It's not that you're a game snob, it's just you like what you like and that's that.
#257 Posted by Example1013 (4747 posts) -
@snide: Hah, That's awesome! Tell him he helped make one of the greatest MMOs of all time!
#258 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4237 posts) -
@sarahsdad:  I've been trying to work in GM analogies for a while, with an emphasis on possibilities for design in games to come, but yeah, you lay down different emphases and it appeals to different players. If someone in a pen and paper game said that what they were playing wasn't an RPG because it was missing this or that people would just tell them to find a different game. Pen and paper is inclusive, it has to be because it's a niche hobby.  Now that CRPGs and the like are popular, everyone's into defining themselves through factions.  
 
I like just about any good entry, doesn't matter if it's something I'm supposed to like or not. I'm more about if they achieve the goals they set out to do or not. A lot of games fail that while still being what others define as perfect examples of RPGs. Some game bog down in intricate mechanics, some games are so much about story that you don't actually have enough choices for it to even be considered a game by most people's estimation. 
 
In the pen and paper world, you blame those excesses on the GM, but in computer gaming the GM is just sending you handouts, and it's up to the designers to actually adapt to player choice. I feel another essay brewing...
#259 Posted by Tennmuerti (7719 posts) -
@snide: 
I love you oh so very much.
100% agree
#260 Edited by Tennmuerti (7719 posts) -
@Jimbo said:

" The Witcher / The Witcher 2 doesn't fit what Dave is talking about at all.  If it goes anywhere it goes in the Mass Effect category.  If somebody is gonna sit there and tell me that The Witcher had 'complicated, challenging and flexible' combat then I am calling shenanigans on this whole discussion. "

It does if you install the insane difficulty mod. (it rebalances the combat and adds exta difficulties above the standard ones)
Then you need to approach each type of enemy differently with varied tactics and trategies. Stack different types of status effects and constantly be using different types of potions and blade oils.
 
 @Hamz said:

" Counterspells. That's a word you don't hear much, if at all, these days. "

Fucking counterspells, how do they work?
 
Spell contingencies is where it's at :P
#261 Posted by sarahsdad (1036 posts) -
@ahoodedfigure said:
 
 I like just about any good entry, doesn't matter if it's something I'm supposed to like or not. I'm more about if they achieve the goals they set out to do or not. A lot of games fail that while still being what others define as perfect examples of RPGs. Some game bog down in intricate mechanics, some games are so much about story that you don't actually have enough choices for it to even be considered a game by most people's estimation.  In the pen and paper world, you blame those excesses on the GM, but in computer gaming the GM is just sending you handouts, and it's up to the designers to actually adapt to player choice. I feel another essay brewing... "
 
There's the trouble in some cases, achieving the goal. Unless you know ahead of time what the developer was going for, how do you tell (aside from games that come out broken, and fail) if the developer did what they wanted, or if they did what you hoped they were going to do? 
I think some of the dev diary videos lately are really nice for that. I watched the recent one for Dragon Age 2 this morning, and even though I was already interested in the game, it's nice to see the definition of what they're going for. 
 
Now as far as the designers adapting to player choice, I may disagree with you about that unless you're talking about a longer term strategy than just a single game.
#262 Posted by armaan8014 (5253 posts) -
@Abendlaender said:
" Sir, you are a wise, wise man. It's hard to find people who share my feelings about Mass Effect 2. Witcher 2 is the only RPG I look forward to in 2011 and I used to be a RPG Fan... "
I share the exact same feelings! And i'm so glad to see Dave felt the same as well.
#263 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4237 posts) -
@sarahsdad:  Designers already sort of adapt to player choice, some of them do anyway, by allowing player choices to have consequences. Bioware is sometimes really good at that-- looking at all the potential actions a player can do, even when you do them out of the expected order, sometimes having little surprises there waiting for you, even if it's just a bit of extra dialog acknowledging what you did. Doesn't mean it always happens, doesn't mean it's consistently satisfying, but I like that they think those things through ahead of time.  
 
One of the alternatives I guess is to put things on rails, another is to limit the consequences (which is a tactic in some open world games, leading to some absurd nonplussed reactions from NPCs), and some games adapt through level scaling of encounters and such.  My point is, though, that designers have a different, somewhat more difficult role of not being able to see what a player does, yet still being expected to provide a fun experience; one of the hallmarks of the pen and paper milieu is the understanding that players can do unexpected things.
#264 Posted by sarahsdad (1036 posts) -
@ahoodedfigure: That makes more sense. I was on a train of thought were I was thinking you meant that the dev. should be adapting the type of game on the fly, which didn't make sense. 
I agree with you that it's a great feeling when the adjustments are in how the world responds to what you're doing. 
Speaking of which, and not to go back to the well twice in one day, but I'm looking forward to the Dragon Age game coming up, especially if they're able to put in world changes over time based on the character actions.
#265 Posted by JeanLuc (3518 posts) -
@snide:  
 I can understand and respect you opinion Dave, I think its just different then mine because of the time periods in which we grew up. 
One of the first ever RPGs I played was KOTOR, and I love that game. I played Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2 and loved both those games as well. 
 
But I do think that your right. Its not that any of these games are bad, its that there different and should stay that way. Games like Mass Effect 2 shouldn't be the replacement of CRPGs, but instead should stand next to them as one of the many different styles of RPGs. 
So yes, I too think its sad that the CRPGs aren't being made anymore. Why can't we have both?
#266 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4237 posts) -
@sarahsdad:  I'm all for that sort of world-adjustment. The more the better!  I realize that it'll take a paradigm shift for those sorts of changes to feel really dramatic and far-reaching, though, since it takes a ton of work to basically give the game a makeover each time. I'm still waiting for games to reach a point where computing power is actually used to help fill in the gaps in a convincing way. Too often we get one extreme or the other, with Daggerfall levels of randomness or games that are very deep but feel like they're etched in bronze rather than being a living world.
 
Anyone play Darklands?  Or is this thread dead?
 
...
 
I'm always late to the party. *kicks rock*
#267 Posted by twigger89 (275 posts) -

Let's just hope Dragon Age 2 is more DA:O than it is ME2

#268 Posted by Raven10 (1584 posts) -
@Von said:
" Well, nothing modern is going to beat Ultima IV and VII it seems. ;) (maybe Sword of Fargoal, but that's a dungeoncrawler, not a pure-blood RPG)   I also agree on most parts regarding ME2, especially the things about combat since that's what killed the fun for me and turned the latter half of the game into utter boredom, just to get to the damn ending. "
Richard Garriot wrote on his Twitter a while back that he was working on a new game. Maybe him and EA have made amends and we will get an oldschool Ultima game.  That would be amazing. But honestly, no RPG will ever beat those two games. Plain and simple. Yes many RPG's look better and some will have better stories, but those RPG's defined gaming in a way no other RPG can. 
 
@snide - I really like shooters that offer more strategy than having the quickest trigger finger. I thought that Crysis was a great example of a shooter with strategic combat that was about more than firing as quickly as possible. As for RPG's, I'm not a fan of turn based games, but I like strategy in my gaming. I enjoyed Mass Effect 2 but I agree that it ditched almost all the strategy from the first game, and definitely from older RPG's. Times change and ours is a more action oriented era. Shame really.
#269 Posted by RenegadeSaint (1473 posts) -

I understand what you're saying, Dave. Well-written.

#270 Posted by Jayzilla (2538 posts) -

I think bethesda should implement Demons' Souls combat mechanics into Skyrim or something really similar to it. They also need better character animations. That has always been their weakness. 

#271 Edited by avantegardener (1087 posts) -

I find myself agreeing with you quite a bit. Mass effect 2, probably my favourite game of last year. But yet the points you make are totally valid, your primary interaction is arguably a second rate gears of war knock off. What it does so expertly create is atmosphere and immersion, and these for me anyway, make up for any weakness in the actual 'gameplay'.

#272 Posted by mewarmo990 (821 posts) -

My introduction to CRPGs was KOTOR, and I loved it. Since then I've worked my way back through time thanks to GoG.com (with the exception of Dragon Age) and I think I see what you're saying, Dave. Basically, you miss a genre that is almost extinct in the industry.
 
Today's generation of games is not only less complicated, they're... different. I guess by design that makes them somewhat easier, but that's not really the point. To use BioWare as an example, following their games back and forward through time since KOTOR, it's easy and a little depressing to see how character dialogue and interaction - a main selling point of theirs - get distilled down into ME2 starting with KOTOR. It doesn't mean they're not good; I really enjoyed ME2 for what it was - a Gears-style shooter with great dialogue and limited skill progression - but it was nothing compared to ME1, which was more balanced regarding shooter vs. RPG, and completely unrecognizable compared to Baldur's Gate II, which I started playing a couple of weeks ago.

#273 Posted by NicksCorner (399 posts) -

Great read. Bring back infinity ingine games again!

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