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#341312 07/12/06 10:05 PM
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Hm, difficult questiom.

Personally, I'm rather for option 1, although option two is very tempting.

For option 1, then, I'd expect a "map-travel" like in the Realms of Arcania series (a similar thing will probably be used with the Drakensang game, too).



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#341313 07/12/06 10:08 PM
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Large seamless world, props and items get loaded differently, those can be detailed and have much variation. If the world itself doesn't, it's not that bad. You don't just walk from a forest into a desert... and 20 minutes later in a jungle. Atmosphere should be set by the props, buildings and behaviour of npc's rather than textures.

For example, if evil has affected a certain region, the enviroment doesn't get darker, it does not have to be clouded, raining... but npc's act frightened, they mutter and peer as you walk by, tools are just laying around where in not affected regions everyones friendly, smiling, organized and at work. In bad areas you don't hear much birds, some crows but it still can be bright bright sun, green grass, leafy trees.


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#341314 07/12/06 10:26 PM
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I can also mutter as you walk by ! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />



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#341315 07/12/06 10:29 PM
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I am torn between 2 and 3. Graphics are not as important to me, if the atmosphere is there. Something Oblivion lacked IMO.


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#341316 07/12/06 11:26 PM
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1 or 3.

=D





#341317 08/12/06 01:24 AM
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Option 1, as long as there are possibilities for special encounters while travelling on the world map.

Otherweise I have only one wish for the next rpg, make it as bugfree as possible. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/up.gif" alt="" />


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#341318 08/12/06 01:41 AM
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Lots of levels with each level being very different, connected through a map a.k.a. Baldur's Gate or Fallout


I would prefer this option if it is used to tell a deep involving and interesting story. (I believe it is easier to to this with levels than if a player just wanders around freely in a large seamless world.)

If you do it right (cut scenes) you can create much stronger feelings since you control how you present the world to the player. In a seamless world where the player wanders around at will you loose a bit of control. (You can still show cut scenes.)

Levels that are very different can give us something to look forward too. Give us something new to admire from time to time. This can keep the game interesting graphics wise till the end.

At least I get bored if I have to walk the same way many times in a seamless world. Transportation in World of Warcraft is very annoying. It is very nice to fly over an area once or twice... but not every time you travel... just to avoid a loading screen. I'd rather just travel by map. (Lets go on a quest together... 15 minutes later you are still on your way or waiting for others.)

Levels could be adjusted/populated at loading time to represent different stages/directions of the story. Or the level could be adjusted according to current quests. [Guild Wars does it this way in it's instances.] Inform the player about changes in the level through cut scenes.

With a seamless world it could be much harder to achieve this in a believable way. (e.g. An army moves in to besiege a castle. It is easier to just place them in a level at loading time [+cut scene] than letting them gather and move to the castle while the player is watching them. Or even worse just let them spawn out of fresh air while player is watching.)

If the story requires time to advance you can use the 'travel times' between levels. This is fast but still believable. It is just a click away on the map. You can show a cut scene "two months later" with the hero on a ship in rough weather catching the first glimpse of the land he is traveling to. (Or the above example with the army besieging a castle.)

With levels and a world map to travel you don't need teleport stones. Teleport stones could easily break story/quests as the player can travel to any place he has visited before and dropped a teleport stone (as he knows that this will make a quest easier for example). With levels you have defined enter and exit spots for the player. (Exit spots only if the player needs to reach them to activate new areas on the map. Later he can just use the map.)

You can have quest givers and areas to do the quest far apart since they are only a click away on the map. In a big seamless world you either have to have quests taking place in a small area or give us means of teleportation. (Or have us take long walks.)

I could imagine that it is far easier to test a Level with a defined setting compared to a seamless world.

A short loading screen is ok for me. Show different artwork to keep it interesting.

Levels can vary in size. But don't make them too small. There can be (random) travel encounters on small (randomly created or a few hand crafted) levels or some story elements being told on small (hand crafted) levels. But on the other hand the swamp with a few imp villages could be in one large level (similar graphics).

I don't know why you would want to have less detailed graphics (like in World of Warcraft) when you have an engine like that (screenshot!)? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />



But now on to my Whishlist...

- It has to be Fun! *edit* forgot that one <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />

- Interesting story that is also told in an interesting way.

- Easy interface/camera.

good: Guild Wars, World of Warcraft;

bad: Never Winter Nights 2 (I stopped playing because of the bad camera control. The story and the dialogues were pretty good and kept me playing for quite some time before I realized how annoying the camera really is. I hope they fix this in a patch.)

- Lots of ingame cut scenes with voice over to tell the story, some quest advancement, special conditions like entering a new area for the first time, meeting a monster for the first time.

[Guild Wars does cut scenes pretty well in it's Missions.]

Imagine you walk into a cave... camera switches to the eyes of a monster watching you enter the cave... a roar as it jumps at you... and the camera switches back giving you back controll. (This would only be the first time you encounter this strong enemy or enter this cave.)

When you enter a city for the first time show a cut scene from a nearby hill showing the city glittering in the evening sun. Merchants standing in front of the city gates discussing with the guards. This would compensate a bit for the 'experience' you have in a seamless world when walking over a hill and seeing the big city before you. With the cut scene you have a bit more control over how you present the city to the player. (Sure, you can also do cut scenes in a seamless world... but they would have to fit to where the player is standing now, what time it is... <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />)

- Interesting dialogues.

- NPC's with a personality. (Even more if they are party members.)

- No 'big' bugs. (Crashes, unable to complete/advance story or quests, ...)
- No 'annoyance' bugs. (Bad controls, bad path finding, getting stuck, )

- Choice of player advances the story or quest in different directions. The choice should matter. But it should not cut you off of large parts of gameplay. Maybe even different endings for the story.

e.g. army besieging a castle. You find a cave with a secret passage into the castle.

a) Sneak in and receive two quests "provide defenders with food and weapons" and "get help against the army"

You can get help straight away. But it will be harder to defeat the attackers since the defenders can't help.

You can first get and deliver food and weapons to the defenders (sneaking past the attacking army).

But you find out something about the defenders letting you wonder if it is a good idea to help them.

You can go ahead and still help them. This time defeating the attackers is easier since the defenders of the castle can come out and help you.

-> The defenders are grateful for you help. You have a new place to buy and sell items and receive a few quest from the inhabitants.

b) Tell the army commander about the secret passage and receive a quest "sneak in an open the gates".

Depending on whether you provided food and weapons to the defenders in the castle the fight is harder.

If the attacking army finds out you helped the defenders (quest to kill your contact person before he is captured by the attacking army) you have to justify yourself.

-> The attackers are more or less grateful for your help and offer slightly different quests.

-> Maybe a part of the castle is burned down. Visual difference to your decision you made.

Oh! I'm getting carried away a bit. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> And I think I'm beginning to repeat myself. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />

Last edited by Tutamun; 08/12/06 01:52 AM.
#341319 08/12/06 03:05 AM
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A common theme in your posts is a big environment with lots of variation - easier said than done of course <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> If you'd have to chose between:

Lots of levels with each level being very different, connected through a map a.k.a. Baldur's Gate or Fallout

OR

One big seamless world with more or less similar graphics throughout the map a.k.a. Oblivion

OR

Less detailed graphics in one big seamless world but with lots of variation a.k.a. World of Warcraft


to answer Lar's question, i would pick option 1, then 3. i don't think i will like 2 as i really hate Oblivion (for being first person perspective).

probably to be more realistic, i would like to have a mix of option 1 & 3, as i prefer for the world not to be cut up according to level, act or story arc. probably the region can be cut up this way (like Fallout).

almost seamless is good as seamless often means toning down the graphics (otherwise rendering will be too much for older systems).

i like Draggy's idea about setting up the atmosphere which can use the same tile set but with different set of behaviour. it does give a lot of visual clue which require no words to convey.

what elgi said is something i agree too. however with the world cut up into different maps & areas, the current set of world can be easily expanded via teleporter stones or portals. thus the freedom is still there without ruining the balance of the original set or map.

Tutamun has a lot of great ideas. i quite like the part about travelling time which the journey can take from a day to months, depending on the distance. i would like for that idea to be expanded a bit with players being able to see their characters taking the route (drawn on the map of course) & with the ability to stop at anytime along the route.

with that, the map can also be expanded (in terms of usefulness) by showing icons of what happen around the region as characters travel along their route. that way, when u see some kind of happening (which can be a nice quest), u can always stop by that town or village to do something about it.

i guess this may mean some kind of cookie cutter side quests (a bit like BD Battlefields) so those who like to do lots of side quests, no matter how boring they are (people like me <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" /> ), might like this.

my 2 cents. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/delight.gif" alt="" />



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#341320 08/12/06 07:47 AM
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Some remarks on last comments, personally...

- no cutscenes, scripted events that take place while you play. You can choose to ignore the event. Tho if you do you'll miss out, find yourself in a nasty pickle. Have the player look around for clues, events taking place.

to illustrate with Tutanum's setting:
You near a castle, see an army beseiging a castle, you here a whistle as you turn to the forests edge a couple of children wave at you. So you approach the children "come here, quick hide before they see you" one whispers, "They don't know about the sewers" another one says to his friend wich replies "no no, you're not suggesting we'll go in? not me, no way!". "Somebody has to has to bring Elias his bow, if Elias has his bow this will all be over soon", "Yeah but you stole his bow, you go!", "Can you go sir?" the first child asks "I'm afraid we're to freightened" [questlog updated; find the sewers, locate Elias and hand him his bow]

- battlegrounds, if you have large world, there would be lot's of nothingness, areas wich could act as battlegrounds, away from areas you'll need to go for quests. Enemies will respawn there at reasonable pace. For example you can walk into orc controlled territory slash some orcs, come back later slash more orcs. While in allied zone's respawning is much much slower.


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#341321 08/12/06 10:13 AM
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Is option 1 like in Fable (TLC)?

#341322 08/12/06 10:13 AM
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Gothic 3 was the best RPG this year imo (by far)


Have you played NWN2? Because I havn't played Gothic 3! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

bereil

Edit: New side <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/suspicion.gif" alt="" />...

Last edited by Ubereil; 08/12/06 10:27 AM.

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#341323 08/12/06 10:34 AM
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Lots of levels with each level being very different, connected through a map a.k.a. Baldur's Gate or Fallout
Lar



I prefer lots of variety. I hate the feeling of "seen that, done that".
I prefer a smaller game but with a really epic experience instead of a really big game of constantly encountering the same gfx and gameplay elements.

To put it in console-FPS terms.

In HALO you had the "30-seconds of great fun" every half an hour, which was cool.
But in Gears of War you have "30-second of great fun" every two minutes. (but the playtime is really short, but you just replay the game over and over, because it only consists out of great moments).
If that can be translated to an RPG, there would be a future after all.

C.

#341324 08/12/06 11:24 AM
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I don't really care whether the world is seamless or not - a great game can be done with all three options mentioned above, and as long as the RPG is fun to play, graphics are less important to me. Like bereil, I think Arcanum has done a good job of presenting a huge world while focusing graphical variation on selected places of interest.

[color:"orange"]Im dreaming for a long time about a RPG where we can assign our own combos to our mousebuttons
everyone could have his own unique fighting style and change it so it feels natural for every player
and as your level increases you unlock different combos/skills to use with those combos
because in my opinion most RPGs are just about clicking on your enemys and you need no skill (often just a high lvl, or a good armor)
and that is getting old and boring to me because I played tons of RPGs just like that.
but please at least let us use combos and not always the same attack over and over and over and over again[/color]

I'm strongly opposed to RPGs becoming fighting games that are won by the player's ability to quickly press the right buttons ... I wouldn't buy such a game. It's nice if you have to vary your method of attack depending on the foe and if your foes are clever enough to counter your tactics, but having dozens of different attacks and requiring the player to create combos from them should be reserved for hit'em'ups, imho.

Jade Empire (for the Xbox) has different fighting styles to choose from, which nicely fits this Asian-themed RPG, but you don't have to switch quickly between them. Moreover, they are unbalanced, and the fighting system is re-worked for the PC version that is due to come out in January 2007.

#341325 08/12/06 11:38 AM
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Our current idea is to connect different levels to each other through specific "gates" where we can stream out the level you were just in and stream in the level you're going to. In those gates, there is gameplay, it's just not so diverse as a level is.

So you get the idea of a seamless world whereas in actuality it is actually a collection of levels, and we have "in-between" levels" to offload the burden of doing heavy streaming (which as I'm sure you noticed in the more recent next-gen games is not everything it's cracked up to be <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> )

On the topic - Oblivion/NWN/Baldur's Gate load in the interior of houses as different levels. Gothic doesn't. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages - which do you prefer ?

Lar

#341326 08/12/06 11:50 AM
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Our current idea is to connect different levels to each other through specific "gates" where we can stream out the level you were just in and stream in the level you're going to. In those gates, there is gameplay, it's just not so diverse as a level is.

So you get the idea of a seamless world whereas in actuality it is actually a collection of levels, and we have "in-between" levels" to offload the burden of doing heavy streaming (which as I'm sure you noticed in the more recent next-gen games is not everything it's cracked up to be <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> )


Works for me <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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On the topic - Oblivion/NWN/Baldur's Gate load in the interior of houses as different levels. Gothic doesn't. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages - which do you prefer ?

Lar


Best version I've seen is Dungeon Siege. I've not played Gothic, but if it's like that, then that's what I'd prefer.


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#341327 08/12/06 12:02 PM
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Our current idea is to connect different levels to each other through specific "gates" where we can stream out the level you were just in and stream in the level you're going to. In those gates, there is gameplay, it's just not so diverse as a level is.

Can you 'stream' back to a previously visited level?

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On the topic - Oblivion/NWN/Baldur's Gate load in the interior of houses as different levels. Gothic doesn't. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages - which do you prefer ?

If it is fast enough to load, it hardly matters.


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#341328 08/12/06 12:02 PM
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I would stream it, assigned with a stream radius. Loading it as a different level does hurt the flow of the gameplay, especially as you'll just run in and out.

Greater establishments like castles etc could verywell be a seperate level, just not the small house along the road.


It's one of these days...
#341329 08/12/06 12:27 PM
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In those gates, there is gameplay, it's just not so diverse as a level is.


Sounds like a street, for example. Alongside a street, few things happan, apart from other travellers and inns.


Personally, I would prefer houses as part of the world, not as levels. I'd like to use them for hiding, for example (as long as the inhabitants do let me hide there. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> )

Stealing without being noticed by house inhabitants should not be possible. At least the inhabitants should notice that *something* is going on ("why are you rummaging in my chest ?")


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#341330 08/12/06 01:23 PM
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On the topic - Oblivion/NWN/Baldur's Gate load in the interior of houses as different levels. Gothic doesn't. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages - which do you prefer ?

A very important matter, thanks for mentioning it!!!

I think it is one of the most annoying things in games if there has to be loading when you enter a building. The loading isn't the problem actually, but the fact that the immersion is highly disturbed by that - imagine you enter a house in real life and have you wait a few seconds before doing so. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> And finally if you are in there and look out of the window, you don't see the normal word but just some static picture - or worse, nothing at all! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/down.gif" alt="" />

No, no, no! The best way would be seemless entering of any building - including caves or dungeons or whatever - and those have to be real parts of the world. So, if you open a window and look out of it, you have to see the person you were talking to just a minute before entering the room. You have to see and hear the outer world... feel the weather... and of course face the danger if you are in such a situation. Let's say you are in fight with Orcs and decide to run away. You run and run until you reach a town. The guards try to fight off the Orcs while you keep running. Finally, you think you are not seen by your enemies and jump into an old building. You close the door and hide in there... looking out of the window every now and then. There you can see how and hear how the Orcs manage to beat the guards... and then start looking for you. Maybe even storming a house or two. And if you are not a very lucky person, they enter your building and the fight continues...

I think it is highly recommended not to load buildings as different levels. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/exclamation.gif" alt="" />


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#341331 08/12/06 02:36 PM
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I'm strongly opposed to RPGs becoming fighting games that are won by the player's ability to quickly press the right buttons ... I wouldn't buy such a game. It's nice if you have to vary your method of attack depending on the foe and if your foes are clever enough to counter your tactics, but having dozens of different attacks and requiring the player to create combos from them should be reserved for hit'em'ups, imho.


I'm not saying it should become a beat'em up game or use difficult combos
i mean if you press left mousebutton twice you shouldnt see the same attack twice but make it successive hits
and if you press forward and then hit the left mousebutton you should do a stablike movement
and for example use right mousebutton to use some stronger and slower attacks
and as your skills/level increases you should be able to use slightly different (better) attacks

gothic 3 was a step in the right direction but imo this couldve been worked out abit better

my problem with the gothic 3 attacks was that eventhough they change as you become a master they do not change enough
i mean there should be some lvls in between because you got the master rank much too soon
and it didnt really matter who or what u were fighting you didnt need tactics
often just keep hitting the left mousebutton would do the trick
to me this is boring...
another problem with gothic 3 was that i didnt feel the need to find teachers and spend the learning points i was strong enough anyway. Getting your char to a higher lvl should be something to look forward too

and if we could change the attacks as we see fit we could have a bigger choice between for example an agile swordsman that uses quick successive strikes opposed to a strong one that uses slower and stronger attacks, or the ability to have abit of both.
i can not understand why you wouldn't buy such a game because how i see this you could adjust it and tweak your build untill you have designed the fighting style that feels the most natural to you. and if you don't care about this you could just keep some default attacks.

And offcourse the game should be kept interesting but if i get alot of rewards too soon and unlock too strong attacks early in the game i get the feeling the game is almost over because i can't develop the character any further
(or at least not in the attributes that have any use to me)

so correct me if im wrong but i think that you misunderstood me
all i want is that the fights become interesting
else we could just point to our enemys click on them once and see our character fight them. and if the game is like that the fighting isn't exciting or fun but just something you want to have finished asap.


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