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random n00b

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  1. Actually, I think you would. I mean, it's one of the few topics where, no matter how mind-numbingly bad your work is, it's bound to have a loyal following. Imagine, getting paid for random outbursts of mental diarrhea that take the form of dismal fan-fiction. Only those folks actually manage to convince some editor at LucasBooks to give them the seal of approval. Go figure. There's no justice anymore.
  2. Yeah, it'd be neat to see Obsidz try their hand at something like that. And if there's a dev team with the quality to pull it well, it's them. Whether they would be able to undertake the project on their own or need the help of a publisher (with the degree of creative interference that entails) for the reasons others have stated, is another matter. We'll see how good they really are at innovating (and selling innovative stuff) when AP is out. But if it does well, maybe they could come up with something that "will change the way you think about MMOs". One can only hope. Welcome to the board, and don't mind our more feral members. They are just a little bitter because of the latest news about KotOR is all.
  3. Combat in AoC is fairly complex in the way you describe, or so I've heard.
  4. Yeah, I tried that, too. And trust me, when dealing with the rabid anti-MMO masses, nothing seems to work.
  5. Why the PvE thing? Anyway, I think Planetside and Hellgate: London are both good examples of games that comply with the "definition" you provided (and would fit in Patrick's list), while still failing miserably at being RPGs. That's what you get when you ask people to square the circle! EDIT: One "both" too many. That's because it's *not* an RPG.
  6. As far as I've seen, MMOs place more emphasis on planning characters than playing them. Optimal characters are invariably one-trick poneys, as they are extremely specialized in one task - in class-based MMOs, every class has a very well defined role to fill, and trying to step outside that role, while fun, often results in a character that isn't up to par when it comes to endgame content. This is done on purpose, to keep grinders interested - endgame is purposefully designed as a timesink that requires maxed-out characters to have any chance at succeeding. I'm rambling, but what I mean is that, if KotOR MMO is as heavily stat-based and role-focused as most MMOs, then yes. It will be a matter of hitting hotkeys. The learning process and mid-game content, as well as the occassional raid can be pretty entertaining, though.
  7. What, like the promotions in BF2 that earn you better gear? You won the challenge as it was proposed by (smartly) adhering to the letter strictly - which was probably the only way to meet the stated requisites, I'm not disputing that. But as far as the descriptive aspect of a definition goes, it leaves a lot to be desired.
  8. Good luck with that. Heh, looks like Cycloneman outsmarted you, even if he just provided a recollection of the element(s) common to the games that you listed, rather than a meaningful definition of "RPG" (which, given the premises, I would think impossible). Kudos to him. It's cool that you're willing to put your money where your mouth is, though.
  9. Um, that's not quite what I understood from the article. What you are describing is another well documented disorder, though. Bad stuff man. The depression analogy in the article is pretty good. I still can't imagine going to your average shrink and going like, "well, I'm fine and all, I'm simply lazy beyond belief is all"...
  10. Yes, Verdi is indeed awesome. Seriously though, great thread. Some of the pieces mentioned I knew, most I didn't. I'm going to have a lot of listening to do!
  11. Sure, I was in fact thinking of Fallout 2, as that game fits what I'm saying perfectly. Let's assume I want to play the stereotypical evil gunslinger. The way I imagine him, he's arrogant, selfish, and utterly without respect for either property or life. So, at character creation, I'll tag Small Guns, Speech, and perhaps... First Aid or Doctor. So, I have a character whose good stats are PE,AG,LK, and decent IN. I arrive at The Den looking for Vic. At this point, the character sheet alone limits my options to: storm the complex strike a deal with Metzger join the slavers I can't screw him for a discount because I'm playing a male. Note that if I was playing a monk-type, my options would be further limited, as taking on the guards with my fists alone would be nothing short of suicidal. The way I've built this character means he could just storm Metzger's complex without too much risk, but since he's an evil SOB, he doesn't give a crap about the slaves, and doesn't like the idea of risking his neck for them. Therefore, it's the artificial personality I have invented for the character, that will determine what the choice is in the end (simply buy Vic off him), because joining the slavers means that too many people will hate me (the character is not too stupid). If I was playing a goody-two-shoes, joining the slavers would be out of the question as well, albeit for different reasons. So, the idea is that two factors circumscribe what are the options that my character has: A represents what is within the realm of possibility (this also excludes any patently suicidal course of action). B represents what the character could do without stepping out of character, that is, without breaking the conception I have previously built of his personality, and/or metagaming. The intersection is the optimal choice for the character in a given situation (optimal from a roleplaying POV!). A is no doubt important, but it is B what defines for me what this kind of game is about, since that's the core of roleplaying - A can vary as the game progresses, but B hardly will. Well, yeah. They could perhaps had Paul appear in some mission later and give you a hand or something like that, but that wouldn't really affect the plot any more than seeing him lick his wounds at Tracer Tong's. It is a very significant change in-game though, as one of the major characters dies or not depending on your actions. Actually, Lebedev is simply arrested. He is killed at some point after JC defects for good, and the murder is blamed on him. But Lebedev is not important - Anna Navarre is. The outcome is the same in the end, she ends up dead either way. But JC shooting a fellow agent to protect a known, albeit unarmed, terrorist or JC shooting the terrorist himself is a fairly important decision from an in-universe perspective at least. Yep, the game does not feature a multi-branching plot, and that makes the consequences of most choices trivial from a gameplay perspective, but not as far as the narrative goes. And in any case, most games that boast an open-ended storyline aren't much better at providing decisive consequences to the player's choices. Fake choice all across the board. I really wish they had had more time to devote to this game, and the option to stay with UNATCO hadn't been scrapped. That'd have been grand!
  12. I guess you could have a character be defined by his abilities, but for me that just doesn't cut it. When I'm playing a (good) cRPG in which choices are of any consequence, I have a mental scheme of the character's personality that I create before I start playing, and develop the character accordingly. The character's skills and abilities only determine the options available, not the ones he will choose, because that's determined by his personality. Obviously, a bunch of pixels cannot have a personality, much like a sheet of paper. That's why I must make it up and direct the character accordingly. Punching some guy or sneaking past him is a cosmetic decision for me and ultimately inconsequential, what's important is WHY that guy is a problem. Is he a slaver guard and I'm trying to free the slaves, or is he just the casino guard? No, I mean choices made to affect the world, as opposed to choices to affect the character internally (taking a perk). DX didn't allow many decisions, but the ones allowed were fairly important. Killing Agent Navarre to save Lebedev? Protecting Paul Denton or beating it? Killing Gunther outright or trying to reason with him? Merging with Helios or killing Bob Page? Those actually affected the plot. And the game also had other, more "flavor", choices such as shutting down Lucius DeBeer. Sure, the game wasn't great as far as character development goes - it wasn't even a proper RPG and was not open-ended by any means. But choices were significant and did have an impact, and they did allow for glimpses of the personality of JC through the player's choices.
  13. To me, the set of skills and stats of a character are only very loosely related to that character's personality. It's the choices made by the character externally by which its personality acts and is developed, not its STR score or the perk chosen at level-up. FPSs mostly lack any fundamental decision component outside of "am I going to use the raygun or the boomstick to splatter the thing's brains all over the wall?", and that's why they are boring in this respect. Those games could very easily have a stat system you could play with, and still be without choice or meaningful character development. Think Deus Ex, and remove all player choice outside of skill point allocation.
  14. I'm attacking you? Because I'm disagreeing with you and considering the points you made? Wait, isn't that what a discussion is all about? And playing a character and having it interact with the gameworld is related to stat fiddling how? And how does that preclude player skill from being a factor, too? That's the connection I'm challenging. That's fine.
  15. Some people liking what's traditional does not preclude those same people from liking innovation as well - you are potentially making a mischaracterization, and you are doing it on purpose. No, tradition alone is not a good reason to hold on to something that's obsolete, because the mechanics that spawned those traditions were limited purely by hardware concerns and were themselves heavily modified versions of PnP rulesets in many cases, or borrowed heavily from them in others. I also care very little for your not considering me a "RPG fan" or whatever, I already said I operate on a case-by-case basis, and stat-based mechanics aren't enough for me to even consider a game. I am also perfectly willing to accept that people like old systems, and I am a (fairly crappy, yet) avid chess player myself. What I don't agree with is the close-minded stance that genres are closed and immutable, much less a genre as vague as "role-playing games". Again, I'm argumentative because I refuse to accept the dogmas you take for granted. But then, it wasn't me who started a thread dissing a game's combat system because it doesn't properly observe some arbitrary "tradition" (nevermind the fact that it was never meant to), and a poll that dismisses differing opinions beforehand. Whatever.
  16. So because I'm not willing to accept your view on how stuff should be, I'm being obtuse? Wow, thanks. I take great pride in being obtuse, then. As for the rest of your post... well. I guess you just want AP to be IE/Aurora-style. Not gonna happen, so there. No? Then the whole "that's the whole point of crpgs" thing is something you throw around whenever you feel like it, but it's not actually intended to mean anything, yes? Nitpicking. But yeah, if a cRPG is only about fiddling around with stats (from your previous posts about stats), there's no point in doing anything else, unless you want to artificially crank the difficulty up for some reason. Oblivion is not AP. Oblivion is not any other game either. It is only Oblivion. General conclusions cannot be drawn from the shortcomings of one game in particular.
  17. I don't have a "take" on cRPGs. I operate on a case-by-case basis. But I'm not impressed by others telling me what cRPGs should be about. No, that's just the way it was done in the IE. It really has nothing to do with roleplaying. You want IE-style mechanics, OK. But don't pretend that there is some sort of fundamental connection between character development and the retarded, artificially induced failings of game mechanics from the past. No, you didn't say anything about it, but you've been reducing cRPGs to playing with stats. I guess you could not min/max, but if you strip everything else away, there's not much more to do, really. Then, if you weren't meaning to draw any conclusions from it, what's the relevance of that example outside of a discussion about Oblivion?
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