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I LOVE what I am seeing in the updates.

The Set-Up

The player witnesses an extraordinary and horrific supernatural event that thrusts them into a unique and difficult circumstance. Burdened with the consequences of this event, the player has to investigate what has happened in order to free themselves from the restless forces that follow and haunt them wherever they go.

 

The Nature of You

Your character is not required to be of any particular race, cultural background, sex, class, moral outlook, personality, organization, etc. The premise is that you are a victim of circumstance. How you choose to deal with your situation is up to you. You can bear it with stoicism and restraint or fly off in a rage at anyone who gets in your way. The world will react to your choices, but the game is designed to give you the freedom to play your character the way you want to.

This all sounds fantastic, and I really hope we get the role-playing freedom promised here.

 

What I would love to see is a storyline that really coerces the character to participate. New Vegas had a great (though pretty harsh) opening hook. Arcanum opened well, too; bad guys were after you from the start. Fallout of course was very motivating, although the hard time limit has been hotly debated ever since (I don't think it's necessary).

 

This is a great chance for a CRPG to have a story written from the ground up that can include a temperamentally non-heroic, non-adventuresome protagonist.

 

Obviously I don't know what the real plot is, but let's just say the hero is haunted by a ghost for no apparent reason. The ghost appears periodically, wrecking stuff, perhaps hurting people. The "hero" tries running away, but the ghost just keeps showing up, and consequences maybe keep getting worse. People get killed. Companions are lost. The hero starts taking permanent damage or something. Eventually it will get to the point where even the world's biggest coward will have to start looking for clues to deal with the haunting and face the problem head-on. Of course a braver character might just start off going straight for the evil wizard. I just want to make sure that the story will draw in even a more, well, realistic guy, who doesn't necessarily have the cojones to solve every problem by challenging five guys to a battle to the death right off the bat.

 

Now I know there are some "open world" advocates out there who never want to be rushed. They want to take their time, exploring every outhouse and chicken coop in the game, wandering from place to place without a care in the world. They don't want any consequences to ignoring a bad situation. I can totally appreciate that kind of gameplay ... but in this case I say thee nay! I don't have to be forced down the rails through the entire course of the game - in fact it's great if sometimes I have no idea what I'm supposed to do next - but the story should always be looming, and always making me want to resolve it.

 

Open world, do-whatever-you-want-whenever-you-want games can be great, but not every RPG has to be built on that foundation. In fact many good RPGs would be ruined without the sense of urgency that strong plotting provides.

Edited by Zombra
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The waterchip countdown in Fallout 1 is a great example of urgency or for those really old farts like me, the Ur-quan slaughter of the galaxy in Star Control II. The most memorable games for me were those that made me feel like my actions were not only necessary, but the consequences of inaction would be dire.

 

This doesn't mean we have to be punished for exploring, but there should always be the sense of impending doom lurking in the background if we Eff up ... but that's just my opinion.

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I've said it in a few different threads, and I'll say it again here.

 

Make quests that are time sensitive. They don't all have to be, but there should be a number of important decisions/quests that need to be made by the player that also have a limited time to be completed and have a very impactful presence on gameplay and/or story. Players who fail to deal with an evil necromancer early on should have to deal with additional minions later, or potentially even risk finding out that a city was destroyed because they ignored him. Players who fail to meet up with a high ranking official could find out that he was assassinated during the time they were to meet him, and also end up being wanted by the faction the official was representing because people think he was in on the assassination or something.

 

It really takes away from the overall story of the game, in my opinion, when the entirety of the game just waits around for the player to take their time and do everything. If the whole point of taking your time is to just explore the world and find out about the lore, that can be done on subsequent playthroughs or potentially even after the story portion has been completed. A sense of urgency within the story makes it feel like the world is an actual living breathing thing, and may discourage a lot of playstyles certain players take throughout games. Having time sensitive quests in the game may in it self act as a deterrant to the idea of sleeping to recover to full strength after every battle.

 

Not being able to complete everything in one playthrough adds to re-playability, and having time sensitive quests that change the game based on whether they were completed on time or not adds to the number of different permutations possible for each playthrough. The inclusion of something like this would not only benefit the world on an immersive level, but also on a re-playability level.

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NO! no time sinsitive, no forcing you to hurry along. I HATE that. I like to stop and explore, I like to read every book and interact with everybody I meet. I hated the chip timer in fallout. There is a reason that you have very few games ever do it, because its not fun. Its not building excitment, its building stress. So no.

 

Also, having something come up and attack you ever so often to hurry you along is really bad. Hey, played skyrim? Remember the constant dragons, sure it was fun for a little while, until you fought your 700th dragon. So again, no.

 

Judging by this quote, I doubt a timed quest will be in.

 

The world will react to your choices, but the game is designed to give you the freedom to play your character the way you want to.

 

And I definetly do not want to be rushed or forced on the quests if I just want to explore at my own leasure.

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One of my fondest memories is my first playthrough of BGII where I thought

I had to rush to spell hold to save Imoen before too many bad things happened to her.

Scraped together the 20000 required and shipped off ASAP only to find myself drastically under levelled but satisfied I had done my best.

 

I think timed quests (of some sort) are a good tool for adding dramatic tension.

Edited by Tale
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One of my fondest memories is my first playthrough of BGII where I thought

I had to rush to spell hold to save Imoen before too many bad things happened to her.

Scraped together the 20000 required and shipped off ASAP only to find myself drastically under levelled but satisfied I had done my best.

 

I think timed quests (of some sort) are a good tool for adding dramatic tension.

 

That's how I felt the first time I played it too, and it's just never felt the same since I learned otherwise.

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Since I play at a rather slow pace, time limits would drive me nuts. A few of them here and there are fine, but I don't want the game to be like "HURRY! HURRY! HURRY! RUSH! RUSH! RUSH!".

 

I also don't want the plot to constantly urge me to immediately go do things, even if their isn't an actual time limit. An example of this is in Skyrim. 90% of main quest/faction quests give you such a sense of urgency in completing it that you either have to break character or complete a chain of quests you might not feel like doing at the moment. When I'm given the choice of doing a big chain of quests when I don't feel like it or having to break character, I don't have fun. When there isn't a constant sense of urgency in plot lines, I can both maintain character and go at the pace I as a player feel comfortable with.

 

Also, it's my first post here! Howdy! :aiee:

Edited by Chunkyman

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Some urgency can be good I won't deny that... especially if it's restricted to just some quests. For example, if it's the main quest I would only accept it if it occurs during the very last part of it. If it's for some side quests it can be cool anytime, it could even add some (small) branching.

 

The one gripe I have is that I want to know beforehand that the game behaves this way, or else I shall feel cheated. This is because games, with their "illusion of choice" and "illusion of urgency", have made me complacent. In DX:HR if you **** around for too long at the beggining some people will die. On the one hand I was pleasantly surprised, on the other hand I damned how most other modern games had shaped me into someone who dismissed this kind of thing. Because most games will *tell* you "OMG!! You must hurry!!111", but in fact you can **** around for 4 ingame years and nothing will happen.

Edited by Tychoxi
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I remember this sort of thing in the Quest for Glory games to an extent. You could miss certain things if the days they happened on went by, and you weren't there. I remember in Quest for Glory II if you went out and goofed off for too long the Elementals (or Iblis) could destroy everything and you'd get this need game over animation of your Hero watching whichever Elemental you didn't defeat destroying everything you were supposed to be protecting. I like unfortunate or bad ends to an adventure when they're well done and make sense, where it's not just game over but 'it's game over and here is why now watch everything you worked for burn.'

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"Step away! She has brought truth and you condemn it? The arrogance!

You will not harm her, you will not harm her ever again!"

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Glad to see so much support, guys. Thanks.

 

And I definetly do not want to be rushed or forced on the quests if I just want to explore at my own leasure.

Yeah. You and I are going to be at opposite ends of this issue, clearly. I enjoy "flower smelling" type games just as much as you do, but again, not all games should be that way, and for a game to have a strong story with strong conflict, it almost can't be that way.

 

Judging by this quote, I doubt a timed quest will be in.

 

Quote

 

The world will react to your choices, but the game is designed to give you the freedom to play your character the way you want to.

There's a big difference between playing a character the way you want to and playing the whole game the way you want to. Playing my character my way is what I want! ... But I don't want a game world that accommodates every personality. I want the world to draw me into the story even if my character would resist it. In fact I am really hoping to be able to make a character who avoids danger, who is naturally afraid of "adventure" ... but who ends up unable to avoid it.

 

As for a "timed quest", yeah, that's a whole debate I didn't really want to get into, but I guess it's inescapable. I agree with you that a ticking clock is a pretty annoying way to motivate a player, especially in an RPG. The Fallout rug-pull of "Ut! It's been 100 days, you lose" could be pretty obnoxious, and despite its harshness, it wasn't a great motivational system because it was too far in the background ... you could easily forget about it if you got distracted, and then suddenly it popped up with game over.

 

I want ghosts coming at my face even, perhaps especially, when I'm not doing anything to provoke them. I want to be damn well motivated to find the Amulet of Ghost Repellent. When I hear about the Amulet in a scary tomb, but ghosts are constantly trying to kill me, I'm going to want to get in that tomb! Then when I get the Amulet of course I expect to discover I've opened up a whole 'nother can of worms.

Edited by Zombra

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To clarify: when I say timed quests, I definitely don't want to see time sensitive "Oh, you failed to do this, game over" type quests, because yeah... it really isn't a great motivator, and it's just not really that fun.

 

What I do want to see is the world change and react to the things I do or, in the case of timed quests, the things I DON'T do. Waiting until later to clear out a bandit camp should make the encounter more difficult and increase the amount of loot found at the scene, because the bandits are presumably recruiting more people, and stealing more loot. Maybe they're becomming more bold and attacking larger caravans, maybe even nearby towns.

 

Time sensitive quests do not have to be, and definitely should not be, "Game Over because you didn't do this in time". They just end up playing out differently the longer you wait because, you know, they're time sensitive.

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Maybe instead of the threat of looming failure for taking your time it would be more of a bonus for experienced players to get a special item/scene that you would otherwise miss.

 

FFIX did this with a weapon and Suikoden II with a special scene for one character. It isn't something you would miss having (unless you're a completionist) but a reward for making a tight deadline through much of the game.

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While I get why urgency can work sometimes, as a general rule I say no to timed quests, and especially hidden timed stuff that leads to a premature end of the game.

 

For example, Fallout, while being my favorite game of all time, and having played through it enough times to have seen almost everything in the game and able to do speed runs, I still dislike the time limit, and especially the hidden time limit once you've delivered the water chip.

 

So, consider this a big "No thank you" to urgency and timed quests and the like. A few timed side quests or events (clearly marked like that) are fine, but no forcing me to hurry and skip content just to add "urgency".

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I think if the story is compelling enough, it doesn't need some earth shattering repercussion for tarrying to long taking in the scenery or, you know, playing the game. If the main quest is a personal one, at least initially , as it is in Planescape and New Vegas, it gives the player a chance to get out and experience the world, talk to the NPCs, do some sidequests, without feeling like they should be rushing off to stop bad stuff from happening. I think it also holds the story together a little better because you're going to help Farmer Joe find his missing chicken whether the demon lord is going to torture your kidnapped mum and then destroy the world or not. If the player is off doing silly little side quests, it tends to make the threat of impending doom, whatever it might be, a little toothless.

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If they won't put in time sensitive quests it would be nice if they avoided urgency in quest descriptions then.

 

"Oh noes, noble adventurers, the trolls have taken away my sheep (and my wife) and they intend to have them for dinner on the morrow. Please rescue them!"

 

three weeks later

 

"Oh noes, noble adventurers, the trolls have taken away my sheep (and my wife) and they intend to have them for dinner on the morrow. Please rescue them!"

 

Oooookay...

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Say no to popamole!

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Since I play at a rather slow pace, time limits would drive me nuts. A few of them here and there are fine, but I don't want the game to be like "HURRY! HURRY! HURRY! RUSH! RUSH! RUSH!". I also don't want the plot to constantly urge me to immediately go do things, even if their isn't an actual time limit. An example of this is in Skyrim. 90% of main quest/faction quests give you such a sense of urgency in completing it that you either have to break character or complete a chain of quests you might not feel like doing at the moment. When I'm given the choice of doing a big chain of quests when I don't feel like it or having to break character, I don't have fun. When there isn't a constant sense of urgency in plot lines, I can both maintain character and go at the pace I as a player feel comfortable with. Also, it's my first post here! Howdy! :aiee:

What iof their could be something like a Time mode? I.e. when you first start the game, you can choose for things to be time sensitive, or to just disable the time counter for the quests. That way, both sides can be happy; those who want it can have it, and those that don't can just put a checkmark in the box, and continue on their merry way.

I remember this sort of thing in the Quest for Glory games to an extent. You could miss certain things if the days they happened on went by, and you weren't there. I remember in Quest for Glory II if you went out and goofed off for too long the Elementals (or Iblis) could destroy everything and you'd get this need game over animation of your Hero watching whichever Elemental you didn't defeat destroying everything you were supposed to be protecting. I like unfortunate or bad ends to an adventure when they're well done and make sense, where it's not just game over but 'it's game over and here is why now watch everything you worked for burn.'

I like this.

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Do you like hardcore realistic survival simulations? Take a gander at this.

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What iof their could be something like a Time mode? I.e. when you first start the game, you can choose for things to be time sensitive, or to just disable the time counter for the quests. That way, both sides can be happy; those who want it can have it, and those that don't can just put a checkmark in the box, and continue on their merry way.

 

 

A great idea. It would be even better if you could choose story difficulty, too. On higher difficulties, time limits could be harsher, the consequences more dire, and bad things would happen to good people way more often.


"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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What iof their could be something like a Time mode? I.e. when you first start the game, you can choose for things to be time sensitive, or to just disable the time counter for the quests. That way, both sides can be happy; those who want it can have it, and those that don't can just put a checkmark in the box, and continue on their merry way.

 

 

A great idea. It would be even better if you could choose story difficulty, too. On higher difficulties, time limits could be harsher, the consequences more dire, and bad things would happen to good people way more often.

Yes! Exactly.

 

Really, in my ideal game, and I know I'm pretty much taking this to a logical extreme, their'd be like a list of thirty or forty things to check off/on, so that I could create my own, custom difficulty level/experience.

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Do you like hardcore realistic survival simulations? Take a gander at this.

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Urgency would be nice but it's tricky to implenment as many dislike the idea of "being forced to do something in a timely manner".

 

Perhaps the consequences should not be too harsh if you ignore, say, the "evil necromancer"?

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I'd be in favor of some sort of time-sensitive mechanic for certain situations because, for me, it makes the world feel real. For example, I liked in Mass Effect 2 how if you didn't immediately go to rescue your crew when they get abducted, then it would lead to them dying. This didn't prevent you from completing the game; it simply was the logical consequence to delaying a rescue mission. This sort of reactivity made the world feel authentic and gave the protagonist's actions weight.

 

The exact opposite occurred in Dragon Age: Origins where there is supposedly this army of monsters descending on your home, but you can waste infinite amounts of time fiddling around with side quests with no consequences. No matter how much time you wasted hunting down rogue mages or whatever, the invading horde never conquered more territory until the plot advanced through the main quest line. This always irritated me because it completely destroyed any feeling of immersion in the conflict.

 

So, I'd prefer that there be times in the game when you can wander around doing side quests if you want, but when a crisis emerges, I think there should be some sort consequence for being off task. This shouldn't be an automatic game over like the water chip quest in Fallout 1, but it should show that the threat won't wait for you to "get around" to dealing with it. For example, if you hear that a village is under attack and don't go to defend it, the next time you visit it, it should be burned down or at least pillaged. You can still continue with the game of course, but your inaction is reflected in the world through the village's pillaged state. This wouldn't necessarily be a punishment for inaction; your character may not care if the village gets pillaged. Whatever your feelings on the event, the possibility of this outcome shows that the world has internal consistency. The rules of cause and effect apply.

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Let me reiterate that timers in general are not my favorite motivators, but I do like consequences, particularly sensible ones.

 

I'm also a fan of quests that have several possible resolutions, not just "quest complete" and "quest failed". Resolutions that are kinda "neutral" are great. If you choose to go hunt the bandits, but spend the time to gather a posse first, maybe they will have packed up and moved by the time you get there. So, they're gone, but still at large somewhere else. Is that a success or a failure?

 

But I'm getting off my main point, which is that I hope that the game really lives up to the promise of a normal person forced into a bad situation, and having to do certain things to get out of it. HAVING TO deal with it. I don't like a game where I feel like I can just sit around farming carrots for 20 years and that would be fine. I need more motivation than, hey, maybe that citizen lost his library card or something, I guess I'll go talk to him and hope he has a quest. The supernatural angle makes it very interesting and gives a lot of potential to strike at a character whose life is otherwise "safe". If demons come after you every time you dream, then you are damn motivated to get moving, because you can only go so long without sleep. This isn't an arbitrary Fallout style timer, but is a nice, regular kick in the ass to keep you moving.

 

I also want to mention Mass Effect (1) for a couple reasons. Even though there were no timers, the main story conflict was strong enough that I always felt motivated. The fire under my ass was convincing. In that sense, I loved it. The downside ... it was SO convincing that all the side quests I came across seemed pretty meaningless by comparison. There were whole planets that I never even saw in that game. Too busy chasing the MQ.

 

I'm trying to say that urgency is a good, necessary thing, but not too much. If I spend the whole game bleeding to death, desperately trying to catch the doctor who's always just out of reach, I'll be too focused on that to enjoy anything else. But maybe a sense of slowly getting sicker and sicker - with actual gameplay consequences - would be incredible.

 

In truth, I would dearly love an RPG in which my character was offered a crappy rat-killing quest, and it was actually a good decision to say, no, I have more important things to attend to. It never is a good decision, because a character with that extra 10xp for doing that crap quest is always better off. There's no trade-off. Dogged, painstaking completionism is always rewarded. For once I'd like a real incentive to ignore unimportant stuff.

 

Boy, I'm kinda all over the place in this post, aren't I?

Edited by Zombra
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I'd be in favor of some sort of time-sensitive mechanic for certain situations because, for me, it makes the world feel real. For example, I liked in Mass Effect 2 how if you didn't immediately go to rescue your crew when they get abducted, then it would lead to them dying. This didn't prevent you from completing the game; it simply was the logical consequence to delaying a rescue mission. This sort of reactivity made the world feel authentic and gave the protagonist's actions weight.

 

The exact opposite occurred in Dragon Age: Origins where there is supposedly this army of monsters descending on your home, but you can waste infinite amounts of time fiddling around with side quests with no consequences. No matter how much time you wasted hunting down rogue mages or whatever, the invading horde never conquered more territory until the plot advanced through the main quest line. This always irritated me because it completely destroyed any feeling of immersion in the conflict.

 

So, I'd prefer that there be times in the game when you can wander around doing side quests if you want, but when a crisis emerges, I think there should be some sort consequence for being off task. This shouldn't be an automatic game over like the water chip quest in Fallout 1, but it should show that the threat won't wait for you to "get around" to dealing with it. For example, if you hear that a village is under attack and don't go to defend it, the next time you visit it, it should be burned down or at least pillaged. You can still continue with the game of course, but your inaction is reflected in the world through the village's pillaged state. This wouldn't necessarily be a punishment for inaction; your character may not care if the village gets pillaged. Whatever your feelings on the event, the possibility of this outcome shows that the world has internal consistency. The rules of cause and effect apply.

 

This is exactly the type of thing I'm talking about, and I find it strange that anyone who is big on RPG's at all would be against something like this. Having the world wait around for your hero to get around to something is not immersive in any way. It breaks immersion.

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I like to be able to explore at my leisure. It really annoys me when games pester me to get something done within an amount of time. It would probably ruin the game for me if those who like to poke around and enjoy the world are punished.

Edited by Moonlight Butterfly

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While I don't like time limits on the main quest I wouldn't be against a few urgent sidequests, It's always slightly annoyed me when a quest is presented with a sense of urgency but on a replay it turns out that I could sit around for a year if I wanted to.

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