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IWD series is all about combat; it was touted as such, and so it of course comes off as such. One has to admit, though, that it still has far more depth than, say, Dungeon Siege and Diablo series.

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I have posted this view in a short article and became more or less thrown out of their Forum.
They didn't want to discuss (about) that.


Mind PM'ing me that article, perhaps? Did they ban your account, or just lock the thread or something? I don't think it's wise to judge "them" by hearing only a small bit of the story alone, and one-sided at that.

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I'll agree with your Dungeon Siege vs IWD statement, even with your IWD vs Diablo statement, but not with your IWD vs Diablo2 statement. Have you actually seen those cinematics in D2? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> To me, Blizzard has the best animations that I know. With the rumours of a Diablo movie, I could only hope it would be an animated one and they would do the animations (even though it's more likely to be more of live Hollywood movie).

I agree again with others saying that the original IWD had atmosphere and nice landscapes with fitting music (some of the better heard in games imho).

But see, IWD still lacks actual good gameplay, IWD2 lacks it even more. Yes it's all about combat, but combat still needs to be implented properly and well, it failed there. By the third time I was playing IWD (each time with months in between), I rushed to get past the first few areas, because they got so dull. Agreed, I did the same for Act1 in D2, but Act2, Act4&Act5 (the expansion) are acts I keep playing, pretty much like certain areas I like more in IWD than others.

Overall, it'd rank like this: Diablo2 > IWD > Diablo > Dungeon Siege&IWD2. That's for me personally of course. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />



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Mind PM'ing me that article, perhaps? Did they ban your account, or just lock the thread or something? I don't think it's wise to judge "them" by hearing only a small bit of the story alone, and one-sided at that.


It was in the Bioware Forum, as far as I can remember. You could search for the Alrik Fassbauer there, and perpaps find that.

"They" placed a BIG sign "Off-Topic" "wrong Forum" there, and made remarks I could discuss this theme / topic with the developers, implicitely saying that I wouldn't have any chance to be taken seriously.

May I *really* posted in the wrong forum, but the "audience" acted somewhat hostle towards me, unlike here, that I got the feeling they wanted to drive me out of there.

EDIT : It was at Black Isle.

The Link is more or less this one :
http://feedback.blackisle.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=24217&goto=newpost

But it doesn't work anymore.

BTW. : I found this interesting thread : <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />
http://forums.interplay.com/viewtopic.php?t=27197&highlight=principles+rpg


Last edited by AlrikFassbauer; 31/07/03 11:16 AM.

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DD was a nice diversion. It had a great sense of humor and a lot of great sub-quests. However, there really wasn't much out against it in terms of RPGs at that point. I don't think it would stand up well against Lionheart for the reasons dealing with character creation and art.

I did enjoy it, but still am not sure why I enjoyed it. Except that it is what I expected Diablo II to be..... but it really wasnt a role-playing game in my mind.

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i really didnt think the combat in Lionheart demo was any worse than in DD. combat was not a DD highlight, too darn simple.


Nice topic <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />


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Thanks all. I know what I'm going to do. Not buying IWD2 but trying Arcanum <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />

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Cool! Another one converted to Arcanism!
*whispers* and since I get 100$ from Troika games per person converted...*whispers*

*Loudly* I DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/evilgrin1.gif" alt="" />

Nah, I really like Arcanum but I realise that it's not for some people. Especially MW fans who are used to another gameplay.

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Nah, I really like Arcanum but I realise that it's not for some people. Especially MW fans who are used to another gameplay.


Hey! I'm an MW fan! (Heck, I even run a pnp game based on the Elder Scrolls universe, which Morrowind is a part of). Yet I also have Arcanum and loved playing it. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Especially the way the ending was done was cool!


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Then I take back my words.

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I think Morrowind sucks. Gneneh <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> now flame me all!
No seriously, I WILL try Arcanum. I liked the demo. It was too short <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Morrowind is not my kind of game. Too boring.

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Nah, I really like Arcanum but I realise that it's not for some people. Especially MW fans who are used to another gameplay.

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http://weidu.org/iwg2/index.html

This mod has the chance of being ultimatly cool. It makes BG2 use the rules of IWD2.

BG2 = superior story
IWD2 = new and refreshing rules, making the game different again

Combine those and if they do it well, it might be awesome. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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I loved Icewind Dale I . Great athmosphere, great setting, imagination and landscape.
It was spoilt by far too many fights.


If I think about IWD2 as a squad-level tactical game instead of an RPG, it becomes less "mindless" for me. I liked it as a strategy game,and there was enough RPing to put the battles in some context.

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And - what's more, I fear that combat, fighting, violence is in some countries - those which produce the most RPG games - a well-accepted way of (re)solving problems - kill, and your problem is no more.


You've got it all wrong. The only reason violence is the only means to solve a problem in most games is because the other methods don't make very fun games. It's not reflective of any particular larger philosophy; I just don't want to have a 12-step intervention with the Evil Wizard at the end of a game. Nor do I want to play a game where the object is to establish a meaningful relationship and build trust. I'm male. I want naked girls, big snazzy spell effects, and nifty weapons. We're programmed to constantly test our survival skills (mine are superb, by the way) and games provide the means to safely do so.

Be very careful about assuming how other people think, or assuming that a piece of media influences or indicates someone's decision making and values any more than jousting or gladiator games did. Humans are more complicated than that, even Americans.

Heck, we try very hard to make sure our prefabricated, cross-marketed, buy-one-get-a-free-Happy-Meal, assembly line, homogenous products have as little actual substance or relevance as possible because they need to appeal to the lowest common denominator of the target demographic. The mean nothing beyond someone's hope of making money, which is our real problem.

Basically, what you see as a violent TV show (or game) that has some profound statement about acceptance of violence, we see as a stupid TV show to fly past on the remote control in a vain attempt to find something good. We know we'll have to endure the endless barrage of commercials, and just hope that one or two will show some decent cleavage.


... so I stripped down to nothing but a Super Big Gulp cup and rubberband, and ran up the street screaming "Swing me, gringo!"
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(mine are superb, by the way)

Wouldn't mind to see you use them.

Well, if you like combat-only game, you can simply leave for the Diablo forums.
I never mind to solve a problem with words, for a change because sometimes it's more difficult. In Arcanum you could talk some guy into suicide at the end. You need to talk for about 5 minutes to him.

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You've got it all wrong. The only reason violence is the only means to solve a problem in most games is because the other methods don't make very fun games.


You got me all wrong.

I don't consider combat as "fun" , only to let the party survive.

That's why I don't like "Action-RPG's" that much.

It *can* be a challenge to fight - especvially in turn-based combat - but it mainly should be only to survive.

I find combat somewhat boring throughout a game (especially when there is no other way).

That's why I liked the idea of the "Survivor" in <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/div.gif" alt="" /> very much, and was consequently frustrated as I saw that it is quite harder to survive in the whole game because there are so much and so though enemies.

I dream of an RPG game totally WITHOUT combat - no combat at all ! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shame.gif" alt="" />


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I dream of an RPG game totally WITHOUT combat - no combat at all !
Go play arcanum. You can finish it without fighting yourself. Of course your followers fight but you can persuade people out of many hostile situations.
Some claim you can finish Lionheart without combat.
Well, I am a quite disturbed mind so I prefer combat in my games same as dialogue ;0).

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You got me all wrong.

I don't consider combat as "fun" , only to let the party survive.

That's why I don't like "Action-RPG's" that much.


Fair enough. For me, the fun comes not from the battle, but from assembling the team and tools for the job, making a plan, and then seeing how well that plan works. I liked IWD2's battles because they were a little complicated.

That's different from a game like Diablo (which I don't like) or DS because those battles give me none of things I find fun about combat. It's just random incessant clicking until something expodes. I need something to analyze and figure out. And sure, when there isn't some reason behind the battles it weakens the game.

It's not either/or for me though. I enjoy all kinds of games.


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That's why I play Fallout: Tactics.
DIE MUTIES!
Funny but it's me and my squad who gets to be blown to pieces. Though once I surprised some super-mutant and shot him from behind for a whoopin' 143 damage! I think that was a one-of-a-kind shot. Even if I shot him in the eys, 143 is amazing!

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Well, I've found my controversial Article while searching for another one <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />


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Riddles vs. Fight

(Note: This Text was written offline.)


I'm currently playing Icewind Dale (IWD) - with all extensions.

What strikes me, is, the amount of Fights neccessary to solve the whole problems.

I don't like that.

Me, I'm just rather a person who doesn't like fight; more: I don't think that Fighting is the Ultimate Solution for problems in General.


So, if I'd make an RPG, I'd rather involve Riddles as ways of earning Experience Points (EPs) than fights.

For me, that's a principle: Fight cannot be The Ultimate Solution. Let's take a look back in time at the 11th of September in New York: There someone took the path of Fight to solve his "problems" (although I'd rather tend to say that he mas more problems with himselv because he is a kind of mentally poor character: always focused on violence and terror, not on Love).
We see - we know - how disasterous it can be - become - to try to solve "problems" with fight - violence - terror - war.

Other examples could be Hiroshima, Nagasaki (german form of spelling the names), Vietnam, the Nazis.

What is common with these examples is, that they used violence, negating the possibility of non-violent solutions.

Back to the RPG-genre.

Personally, I think, that violence and fighting should not be presented as the only possibility to solve "problems". There are always other ways.

Sometimes the "other ways" don't work, as seen with the Nazis, or for example in the Bosnian war, where the grade of violence and what we call in german "Menschenverachtung" - in english possibly "disdain(ing) (of) humanity" - used by one party is so incredibly high, that there is seemingly no other way.

What I want to say is that we shouldn't reward fighters in giving Fighting as the only possible Solution.
We should - at least also - reward non-fighters for their kinds of ways to solve things.

To go even deeper: I mean the Learning Process.

Rewarding one particular way of acting possibly leads to letting the rewarded person stay with this way, no more looking at other possible ways of acting.

Presenting an RPG which shows fighting as the only possible way of solve things, could lead to a learning process which makes the Player keeping this way.

"Why should I talk ? I *always* reached my desired point through fighting !"

I also mean that there are kids out there who will play an RPG game.

What they will learn, that influences them.

And surely, we can always see that violence is often - im my eyes far too often - used as a Solution of things by them.

For example in the game whe all know as "Diablo". There is no solving of riddles by talking and/or negotiating.

Personally I think, we should teach the world outside that there is more than violence, fighting, terror, war.


The whole process of non-fighting solving clearly collides with the Fredom to Act. I mean, any person should be given the Right(s) to solve things in the way he/she likes to.

This is important, too.

So, if someone chooses to solve things through fighting, this Person should be given the Right to do so; if someone chooses to solve things without fighting, this Person should also be given the right to do so.

Especially in an RPG, this Freedom to Act should be clearly outlined; any good RPG requires such an "outline".


What would I do if I'd create an RPG ?

I wouldn't give penalties to fighters, but a fighter - someone who shoots first and asks later - could miss good information, or even subquests.
If the key person - no matter whether good or evil - is already dead, this key person cannot talk anymore - which could include things like hints, items, subquests, or even EPs (through negotiating, as I've seen in IWD: there was a place where the party had to speak with an undead one, and received EPs through negotiating (in fact through avoiding a fight through talking and negotiating with this one).


Maybe even the Key Person is *not* *obviously* a good Person. (Or bad)
The Real Nature of a person could be hidden or concealed; only through talking and negotiating we could learn more about this suspicious Person. Maybe this one could reveal himself/herself in the end as a mighty ally !
I remember good how Strider is presented in LOTR. He is a far suspicious person, and the people in general do *not* like him. He is an clear Outsider, who acts like a Criminal (concealing his Real Self). "Why should we like one who acts so suspicious ? Who hides in the Shadows like a Thief and Murderer ?"

Well, here my own principles clearly show up. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> I don't like *obvious* things, and I don't like fighting. I'm more a man of the Word, and not of the Sword.

If I had to defend myself, I'd take the Sword, when there is no other way.

But if we'd all take this Path, the whole world would fall apart into small elements of crime and violence.

The World would not be worth living in anymore.

A Good Year 2002 to Everyone ! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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Me, I'm just rather a person who doesn't like fight; more: I don't think that Fighting is the Ultimate Solution for problems in General.


"Ultimate Solution"? Somebody's been reading Nietzsche recently and I know who it is... <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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What is common with these examples is, that they used violence, negating the possibility of non-violent solutions.


Uh huh, and what apples and oranges have in common is that they're both round.

You're overlooking one very important thing they DON'T have in common: war and Nazism are real; games are not.

I sometimes think it's not the game players that have trouble discerning between reality and fantasy.

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To go even deeper: I mean the Learning Process.

Rewarding one particular way of acting possibly leads to letting the rewarded person stay with this way, no more looking at other possible ways of acting.


Okay, so combat in games is bad because it could possibly lead to the effects you mention. Therefore, it follows that anything that could possibly lead to those effects is bad and should similarly be gotten rid of. Groovy, now we have a plan: get rid of things that could possibly lead to violent behavior in a human. Make a list and get back to me. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

(I know you're not actually saying combat should be elimitated, and I hear what you're saying. I'm just making a point.)

There is no simple cause-effect. It seems like there is because it makes sense intuitively... until you remember that this cause-effect is the same as saying that by getting rid of violence in computer games, humans would stop being violent. And then that makes you rememebr that violence existed before computer games. And then there's the fact that if there was cause-effect, you (Alrik) would be killing people with swords right now because you played a game that causes violence. But you're not killing people because you know that real violence and game violence are completely different things.

We have that same ability here in America.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go kill someone.


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Then it's great! :0)


Ah and Mandrake: what America has against nudity, Germany has against violence. Which means you don't have to be 18+ to buy those magazines <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/evilgrin1.gif" alt="" />

Is it true that gaming mags are 18+?


Nowadays, in part, yes. Since a month or so ago we here in Germany have a new law saying that things with much violence must not be sold to younger people, especuially games.

So, producers of magazines have to a) put a sticker on it "not to be sold to people younger than 16" (was it 16 ? I think so) , b) withdraw any sign of violence from their mags, c) allow articles about violent games only to subscribers (that's what most gaming mags did, and - alas ! - we don't have many gaming mags here in germany !

Nazi symbols are NOT allowed in games, but ARE in movies - I don't exactly know why, but the law says that movies are more works of Art, but computer games are not. And for art this is allowed. (Indy Jones movies, for example.)


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Ah and Mandrake: what America has against nudity, Germany has against violence.


Exactly. Violence is for the majority totally unacceptable, for example (I'm speaking of the overall majority of inhabitants in Germany). People in germany generally are often simply not able to understand why guns are so widely spread and allowed in the U.S. . For us, that's not tolerable.


My article presented in the RPG Chat Thread about Icewind Dale I arose from the ttypical german point of view that violence as a means of solving problems should not be propagated in games.

Needless to say nobody understood me.


You see, these are two different cultures, totally different at least in these two points.


And that's why the Germans were so against the war against Iraq - it was unneccessary violence to many of us here, driven only by economic interests (just two points : Almost all oil in the Iraq is now being sold to U.S. companies - not to the people of Iraq themselves ! And - at the time the national museum was plundered, the only national building guarded by U.S. forces was the Ministry of Oil. If Germans had to guard, it wozuld have been vice versa.)


By the way, have you ever heard what NLP does ?


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Well, I'd prefer a game, too where I can play a diplomate. Twisted plots, trying to find out who's behind it, whom to turn to, whom to trust, entwining plots, making alliances - simple killing/clicking is too boring and simpleminded for me to give me a real game atmosphere. This is what fascinated me about BG 1, constant tries to kill my char and no clue why. The way the plot slowly developed, kept me glued to the game. I remember, I went to work, my mind was still on the game and I rushed home to delve into it. I didn't have this fascination in BG 2 - and the romances were boring for me, I'd have rather turned them off.

Maybe a cultural difference? Some like it nice and easy, want to relax and find this in click-killing, others like me prefer to relax and use my brain cells? But I'm coming from the adventure side and am accustomed to this approach.

Violence seems to be propagated as a very easy method to "solve" everything, not only in games but in every part of the mass media, including RL news on TV. Use magic or muscles, the result is killing.

And sorry, DEATH, I didn't like Arcanum, same goes for Morrowind or PT. I was very disappointed by IWD, reacted the same way as you, Alrik: Didn't finish it, bored me. I liked BG 1 more than BG 2. And IWD2? Is sleeping on my hard drive at the moment. IIRC, I'm in the last chapter or 2nd last.

Maybe I've played too many games - maybe the same concept is repeated over and over again... I don't know. I miss genre plurality.
Kiya

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