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Designer Ramblings: Beyond Kotor 2


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First you dont just click and wait, in BG series that was set in AD&D 2nd edition rules were there are no combat feats but without buffs and heals you be screwed all the time, in many situations magical support was the way to win.

 

As in NwN that I did not played that much you need to use feats and/or spells to survive, I get my ass handed to me in HotU if I made a mistake in combat.

 

KotOR have no depth in combat most of the time, using a feat or spell ... sorry, Farce ... I mean Force power is not going to have much of a impact, with a few excepts enemies are easy.

 

Oh and in Diablo ... sorry you need to keep clicking to attack, a anoying feature of combat system (Sacred also have it) with I dislike.

 

There was more to just "press a button and wait" in KOTOR as well. You don't need to lie about its simplicity to try and prove a point.

 

When I played BG2, if I pressed the button once, my character would take on an enemy until either he or I died. Yes, you could do other things, but technically you could let it "auto fight" for you, just like KOTOR. Same with NWN.

 

So singling out KOTOR for this aspect is an out and out lie.

 

 

As I said before to Hades, in another topic, you can't convice someone who doesn't want to be conviced, Ghost.

 

Don't think that this discussion will have a conclusion since both Drakron and Hades wont listen to anything...they are just closed minded about their views...

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Diference is in BG2 you could not just wait, you needed to be keep you mind the combat are react.

 

It was easy to be killed, expecialy against enemies mixed groups ... remenber the halflings on the sphere?

 

In KotOR there is not much depth in combat, true at start in Taris you can be killed and Dantooine still have tough combat but it starts to became easier and easier to a point were we stop caring, the enemy uses the same force powers, is unable to act in a group with only the "boss" fights require some extra atention but not much.

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Diference is in BG2 you could not just wait, you needed to be keep you mind the combat are react.

 

It was easy to be killed, expecialy against enemies mixed groups ... remenber the halflings on the sphere?

 

In KotOR there is not much depth in combat, true at start in Taris you can be killed and Dantooine still have tough combat but it starts to became easier and easier to a point were we stop caring, the enemy uses the same force powers, is unable to act in a group with only the "boss" fights require some extra atention but not much.

 

To each his own.

 

I never stopped caring about the game. I always wanted to keep going to see what the story will unfold. I enjoyed it every minute (even after my third and fourth play). So I guess it's a matter of taste. You stopped caring, but that doesn't mean that everyone else did. Don't generalize your opinions.

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Did I said anything about the story?

 

No, the story was fine ... heck I survived the Cowled Wizards and the elven Queen of Tethyr Forest so I could live with "Darth", the Ep II Jedi Order and the Mandalorians.

 

Four times would be a little too much for me, I did make two full runs and replayed the Temple Summit to see the other ending.

 

As a RPG is lacking but then again that does not make it a bad game, just its not have good RPG mechanics.

 

As for the music, it was exceptional, it part of the musical themes of Star Wars unlike other Star Wars games that are just mixes of known themes.

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Diference is in BG2 you could not just wait, you needed to be keep you mind the combat are react.

 

It was easy to be killed, expecialy against enemies mixed groups ... remenber the halflings on the sphere?

 

In KotOR there is not much depth in combat, true at start in Taris you can be killed and Dantooine still have tough combat but it starts to became easier and easier to a point were we stop caring, the enemy uses the same force powers, is unable to act in a group with only the "boss" fights require some extra atention but not much.

 

That wasn't the point though. Now you're talking about the DIFFICULTY of combat, which then necessitates more action on the part of the player. I'm not arguing that KOTOR was as DIFFICULT as BG2 or whatever. I'm pointing out the fact that you say that KOTOR is nothing but "press button and wait" and that disqualifies it as a RPG is wrong, since technically you can do that in BG2 and NWN as well. Obviously in order to actually defeat an enemy, BG2 needed you to do more than that. But that speaks towards its DIFFICULTY, not towards how you just "push button and wait". :wub:

"Console exclusive is such a harsh word." - Darque

"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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You know, it always facinates me when folks talk about what's a "real" RPG and what isn't. Technically, none of these things are "real" RPGs except for NWN when it's played online with a live Dungeon Master, and even then, you're limited by what the module you're playing gives you.

 

What we should be talking about is something on the order of "satisfying roleplaying-like experiences." A combat dynamic doesn't decide whether something is a CRPG or not. Strict adherence to a rules system doesn't determine whether something is a CRPG or not...and, for the record, mindless adherance to a rule system is exceptionally foolish when it is to the detriment of a game. Heck, if we were going by d20 rules, the character would only be level 5 or 6 by the end of the game, I'm betting.

 

Certain things, such as having choices that affect gameplay, and deep and interactive characters, can help in the roleplaying-like experience. Immersement in the story is a pretty important one, too. I think the KotOR games have that...

Dracomicron

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Formerly Draconis, Master of Deception

Head ST for Demon and Orpheus on Blood Chronicles online chat

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Then they should be using their own original rules system than try to use d20. If they can't adhere to the rules of an established system for whatever reason they simply SHOULD NOT USE IT AT ALL. Its not that hard to figure out.

 

When I run my own campaigns I use whatever rules system fits the campaign best. A balance between the importance in story and the rules system used needs to be maintained for optimal enjoyment. My campaign story has went from GURPS, to Interlock, to FUZION and now d20 System. If the rules system that Obsidian is using to tell the story of KotOR or NWN, or whatever CRPG they do in the future does not fit the rules system then either scrap the story or scrap the rules system.

 

KotOR1 is a rather unchallenging, predictable game though had it s good points, it had some major faults as well. These faults were because Bioware chose to change teh rules system to fit the story and not the story to the rules system. If the rules system was unfit to tell the story that they wanted, which was obvious, then they should have used an entirely new original rules system instead of a bastardization of d20.

 

Also I have no problems with a level 5 or 6 character after 40 hours of gameplay. Its how it should be done in the first place.

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Then they should be using their own original rules system than try to use d20.  If they can't adhere to the rules of an established system for whatever reason they simply SHOULD NOT USE IT AT ALL.  Its not that hard to figure out.

 

You know, Planescape: Torment didn't use the exact AD&D 2nd Edition ruleset. that must've been a serious mistake, in your book.

 

Here's the funny thing: In every gaming core book of every game, there's this section that details something called the "golden rule" -- All rules are subject to change on the whim of the game master to better fit his or her game. Bioware and Obsidian are our game masters for these outings, they decide what the rules are. If they feel their game would be better suited by a change in the rules, then that's their perrogative. There's room for shades of grey...most of a system might work for them, but some rules might have to go. Some might have to be added. I do this all the time when I'm running a TT or online RPG.

 

Blindly adhering to rules lawyering is the mark of an immature gamer, or, with a game master, a distinct lack of personal confidence in one's own discretion for making changes.

 

These faults were because Bioware chose to change teh rules system to fit the story and not the story to the rules system. If the rules system was unfit to tell the story that they wanted, which was obvious, then they should have used an entirely new original rules system instead of a bastardization of d20.

 

Reality check. There's a lot of money tied up in these games, and I think there's more than enough criticism over a "rushed job" for Christmas or whatever to prove that point. Obsidian and Bioware are companies trying to make quality product, but they're also trying to make a paycheck and please those who can pay those checks (in this case, LucasArts). There is an existing ruleset for Star Wars roleplaying, and it was a very solid move to use at least the foundation for the Star Wars CRPGs. I know these "sell outs" don't mean a lot to a gaming purist, but it's the way of the world, and shoving your head in the sand and complaining about a mote in your eye is counter productive.

 

 

Also I have no problems with a level 5 or 6 character after 40 hours of gameplay.  Its how it should be done in the first place.

 

I'd have no problems either, but that kind of game doesn't sell copies in this market. See above.

 

We want for these companies to continue producing the kinds of games we'd like to play; we have to give them concessions. The RPG genre is growing, but it's not huge yet (at least not in this country). Perhaps in time we will see more niche market games that make the purists completely happy, but that time is not now.

Dracomicron

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Formerly Draconis, Master of Deception

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You know, Planescape: Torment didn't use the exact AD&D 2nd Edition ruleset.  that must've been a serious mistake, in your book.

 

It was one of its many weaknesses.

 

Here's the funny thing: In every gaming core book of every game, there's this section that details something called the "golden rule" -- All rules are subject to change on the whim of the game master to better fit his or her game.  Bioware and Obsidian are our game masters for these outings, they decide what the rules are.

 

WRONG The games they make are seen as "official" and part of the gaming universe they are set in. They need to be held to the same standard that any official product coming out of WotC. Plain and simple. If they want to make "unofficial: campaigns and game products then more power to them, but these games are considered "official" therefore adhere to the same guidelines and rules to ALL OFFICIAL PRODUCTS.

 

If they feel their game would be better suited by a change in the rules, then that's their perrogative.  There's room for shades of grey...most of a system might work for them, but some rules might have to go.  Some might have to be added.  I do this all the time when I'm running a TT or online RPG.

 

Your private campaign isn't spouting to be an official is it? There is no room for grey in official products. Official products need to be consistant otherwise they are just a waste of time.

 

Blindly adhering to rules lawyering is the mark of an immature gamer, or, with a game master, a distinct lack of personal confidence in one's own discretion for making changes.

 

I make rules changes in my personal campaigns before the campaign starts and remain consistant to those rule changes throughout the campaign. If there is a need for fchange I discuss it with my players first and get a consensus. Then again my personal campaigns aren't Official so whatever changes I make are simply personal.

 

Reality check.  There's a lot of money tied up in these games, and I think there's more than enough criticism over a "rushed job" for Christmas or whatever to prove that point.  Obsidian and Bioware are companies trying to make quality product, but they're also trying to make a paycheck and please those who can pay those checks (in this case, LucasArts).

 

And they aren't going to get a paycheck next time if no one buys their next game because of the shoddy quality of their last game. A game company is only as good as its last game.

 

There is an existing ruleset for Star Wars roleplaying, and it was a very solid move to use at least the foundation for the Star Wars CRPGs.  I know these "sell outs" don't mean a lot to a gaming purist, but it's the way of the world, and shoving your head in the sand and complaining about a mote in your eye is counter productive.

 

If something is unacceptable I state it so. If I don't who will? The d20 rules system for the Star Wars PnP game is okay, but they removed a major balancing point for the Jedi classes by removing the Vitality/Wound system. They made teh Jedi classes way too freaking powerful. Sorry, but I like to play non-munchkin characters but in KotOR 1 and 2 you have no choice but to play a munchkin. That is poor game mastering, no doubt about it.

 

I'd have no problems either, but that kind of game doesn't sell copies in this market.  See above.

 

We want for these companies to continue producing the kinds of games we'd like to play; we have to give them concessions.

 

Ever heard of giving an inch, losing a mile? We already gave them concessions with games like Morrowind, KotOR, Lionheart, ToB, NWN, SoU, HotU, and the such. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

 

The RPG genre is growing, but it's not huge yet (at least not in this country).  Perhaps in time we will see more niche market games that make the purists completely happy, but that time is not now.

 

You are right that time is not now. That time has past and gone, with all indications never coming back.

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Also I have no problems with a level 5 or 6 character after 40 hours of gameplay.  Its how it should be done in the first place.

 

I'd have no problems either, but that kind of game doesn't sell copies in this market. See above.

 

 

The obvious proof that such games do sell is the original Baldur's Gate, which maxed out at level 7 (level 8 if you had the expansion). If you make a solid game, people will buy it and play it even if you can't level up as much as you might like.

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You are right that time is not now. That time has past and gone, with all indications never coming back.

 

I can only assume this only applies to games that get the 'official' hades RPG, discounting such pieces of rubbish that fail to hold itself to official hades weights and measurements lobby. Im suprised you are not hired out as a consultant so distributors dont put a HUGE stamp on the front that says 'HADES APPROVED' in massive block letters. Maybe in red font because kids these days dont know a savings throw from their elbow.

 

Rpgs have come a very very long way from the goldbox SSI games I was raised on. (Had walk backwards, in 8 bit graphics, of grey scale, both ways)

 

obligatory

Oh yeah back in my day we just had extended ascii characters and on green monochrome and we were writing curses.h by hanging 1s and 0s on yarn, and we happy to do it!

 

 

RPGs are so plentiful I actually have to go out and do a little reading to be able to distinguish the KOTORs from the sudekis of the world.

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Yes they have come a long ways since the SSI days. They height in quality was back when Fallout 1, Fallout 2, BG 1, and PST was released. Now, its just a bunch of simplistic unchallenging games. You kknow, I like to have a bit of a thrill when I play my CRPGs. Its just not there any more with the recent crop of Morrowind, NWN, and KotOR.

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And you get thrills from the game being so hidebound as to subject you to every little thing, as opposed to putting "fun" slightly ahead of strictness? There's nothing wrong with complex rpg's, and I'm all in favor of them. KotOR, however, is supposed to be a less complicated game and gets its strength from immersion and presentation, not complexity. You can play the games you like, and it really shouldn't bother you that games you don't like exist, since you don't have to play them.

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The problem being is that there are more games being made I don't like than there are games that I do like. I love long complext plots and challenging game play. Fallout and Baldur's Gate, as well as PS:T, despite its flaws, fulfilled this. They were the pinnacle and the standard I judge all other games.

 

Also I found those game s far more immersive than KotOR.

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Also I have no problems with a level 5 or 6 character after 40 hours of gameplay.  Its how it should be done in the first place.

 

 

This approach really screws spellcasters, though. I played through BG1 a couple of years back and now I am playing BG2 + TOB for the first time and there is no comparison. In BG1 if I actually used any spells except for healing, I had to rest all the time to regain them or just use my mage as a feeble slinger and cleric as sub-optimal fighter and healer. In BG2 my spellcasters finally have enough spells to participate in all fights _as spellcasters_ and can afford to keep a couple of less commonly useful ones prepared for special situations.

 

And now that I think about it, with new rules and all active feats they provide it would make playing melee characters more boring, too. After all, a lvl 3 character would have very few feats and thus very little tactical choice... which would lead to boring repetitive gameplay - a la BG1's "give everybody missile weapons and point them all at one target at a time" which was the best strategy for 95% of all encounters.

 

Basically, there needs to be special accomodation made for low-level characters, to make playing them flexible and interesting, but I have no idea what it should be. I'd certainly love a lot of options high-level characters have without their godly power....

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Ah, how memory sugar-coats the flaws of the past.

 

You know, my first foray into computer RPGs was Wizardry ! on a monochrome monitor and two 5 1/4" floppy drives. I still remember the sign on the front of the dungeon:

 

"Now entering the proving grounds of the Mad Overlord!"

 

And when your characters died and you dragged their corpse to the temple:

 

"MURMER - CHANT - PRAY - INVOKE! KING KLUNK IS WELL."

 

Yes, I had a character named King Klunk. I was 10, gimme a break.

 

The point is, I look back on those days of sitting in front of my parent's computer with a couple of friends, taking turns controlling the travel through the ASCII dungeon and casting TILTOWAIT on enemies and cursing when I ran into the deadly MALEFICs, and I think, "man, that was some good gaming." When, in fact, the game sucked hinder.

 

The Sith Lords immersed me all the way through. I do not say it is without flaws, but, when you get right down to it, it added a lot to the evolving Knights of the Old Republic storyline and made me both want to play again as a different character type and eagarly wish to see what happens next in the no-doubt upcoming KotOR 3.

 

I could go on about game mechanics and gaming theory and the like, but I don't see any point. People like what they like. They don't like what they don't like. I can see that what some people like best is -complaining-. Well, that's okay. I hope they have fun with it. Fun is the point, right?

 

 

PS - WERNDA SUX!!!

Dracomicron

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Formerly Draconis, Master of Deception

Head ST for Demon and Orpheus on Blood Chronicles online chat

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So a market criticism then, like how I would kill for a good space-sim.  You didn't like Morrowind though?  THe interface kinda sucked, but the world was really cool, and I kinda liked the main quest too.

 

There are good aspects to the game but there were many weaknesses. The primary weakness was it played like a single player MMORPG.

 

@ Draco: Who is sugar coating the past? I still have those games on my hard drive and play them on a daily basis. No sugar coating for me, I just do a side by side comparison.

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Well you could look at it as a single player MMO or you could look on it as an attempt to realize an entire world. It sorta seemed like what you were talking about when you said you wanted a freer game world. You looking forward to Oblivion though? It's supposed to have better combat, the world goes about on its own with a life simulation of npc's and the story is supposed to be stronger. Seems like they're working hard to address all the problems with MW.

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