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If you had to choose, which is more important: plotline or world?


Plotline or game world?  

206 members have voted

  1. 1. Which is more important?

    • A gripping plot
      159
    • An vast and imaginative world
      47


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I know, hopefully they'll focus on both. Nevertheless, pretend for a second that you must choose one or the other.

 

If the plot is gripping and memorable, somewhat unique and original like Planescape: Torment, the general world of Project: Eternity feels a bit cliche and unimaginative, as well as being somewhat limited in size. It isn't horrible, understand, but its nothing special.

 

If the world is a vast landscape of brilliantly imagined new ideas, and feels amazingly original and fresh compared to the standard fantasy world, the plotline itself feels like typical fantasy fare. Again, not horrible, but not especially memorable.

 

You have to choose one or the other. Which makes for a better game?

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Plot of course.

It looks like a choice between successfull writing and failure.

If they can make a gripping original plot in an unimaginative setting, they just prove that much more what great writers they are - taking something dull and cliche and making it memorable.

If the world is innovative as nothing before has been, but the plot is lackluster and forgetable, they will have failed to use all that potential.

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Unobtrusively informing you about my new ebook (which you should feel free to read and shower with praise).

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Plot. When you look at KoA, there was plenty in that world which was detailed and had ****loads of potential. The plot however was mediocre at best, and combined with with the size of the world meant pretty extreme boredom.

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"You know, there's more to being an evil despot than getting cake whenever you want it"

 

"If that's what you think, you're DOING IT WRONG."

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A vast world with no plot sounds like MMO territory to me (disclaimer: never enjoyed MMOs, I could well be wrong there). I'm here for some Story. That said, PS:T had a kick-ass story but the reason it hooked me so well was the uniqueness of the world. No elves, no dwarves, no swords and bows. It was Baldur's Gate, the most generic setting of all, that got me into Role-Playing Games but Sigil and the Planes are the D&D setting I'll always love the most because of how PS:T introduced them.

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Does this unit have a soul?

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In this kind of RPG, I would say:

 

Storyline > Combat > Gameworld (even though all three are very important)

 

In an open-world / sandbox RPG like Morrowind:

 

Gameworld > Combat / Storyline

 

In an oldschool dungeon crawler:

 

Combat > Gameworld / Storyling

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Depends on the kind of game.

 

I could and would and do enjoy a good story in a totally cliche D&D environment.

Known standard world can actually be helpful if you want to get right on the story without distractions.

 

But recently I've again spent an enormous amounts of time playing Mount & Blade (Prophesy of Pendor)

and that doesn't have plot at all. Just the sandbox world and fun.

And I liked Oblivion and Skyrim more when I wasn't following the plot, but just exploring and goofing around.

 

Voted on Plot.

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I want both too.

Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, She got the Mercedes Benz

She's got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, that she calls friends

How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.

Some dance to remember, some dance to forget

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In this kind of RPG, I would say:

 

Storyline > Combat > Gameworld (even though all three are very important)

 

In an open-world / sandbox RPG like Morrowind:

 

Gameworld > Combat / Storyline

 

In an oldschool dungeon crawler:

 

Combat > Gameworld / Storyling

There aren't this kind or other kind of RPG. There are only good or bad RPG. All three are important for a good RPG. Morrowind and Fallout2 both are open world RPG. But Morrowind only did well on gameworld but Fallout2 did well on all three. Edited by bronzepoem

Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, She got the Mercedes Benz

She's got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, that she calls friends

How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.

Some dance to remember, some dance to forget

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There aren't this kind or other kind of RPG. There are only good or bad RPG. All three are important for a good RPG.

No, I'd agree with Piccolo. I don't go into Dragon Age wanting the same thing I wanted from Diablo. I'm not trying to engage with Planescape: Torment in the same way I am with Skyrim. There are different types of RPG. All three of those elements help make them great games, but I'd rather have a tight focus on whichever hook is used to draw me in. In this case, I'm expecting a really well told story and if I get that I can overlook a generic setting.

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Does this unit have a soul?

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It does not matter how boring a world is, so long as the plot is utterly gripping you are unlikely to mind

 

But if a world is fantastical and diverse you will still get bored when the novelty wears off because it has a rubbish plot.

 

So, most definitely plot first.

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There aren't this kind or other kind of RPG. There are only good or bad RPG. All three are important for a good RPG.

No, I'd agree with Piccolo. I don't go into Dragon Age wanting the same thing I wanted from Diablo. I'm not trying to engage with Planescape: Torment in the same way I am with Skyrim. There are different types of RPG. All three of those elements help make them great games, but I'd rather have a tight focus on whichever hook is used to draw me in. In this case, I'm expecting a really well told story and if I get that I can overlook a generic setting.

For me, diablo isn't a RPG. It's a mouse click game. In fact, a vast and imaginative world is the basic to tell a great story. PS:T did well both in the two.
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Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, She got the Mercedes Benz

She's got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, that she calls friends

How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.

Some dance to remember, some dance to forget

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It depends on what you want to get as a result. If you want to have a great game, then plotline is more important. If you want to have a great series of games (with the possibilities of sequels and spinoffs) then world is more important.

 

Really it depends on whether you take a short-term or a long-term view of it. It is kind of ironic that caring more about a game not scheduled to come out until Q2 2014 is short-term, but that's how I see it...

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A gripping plot for me. The story is what draws me in, and keeps me drawn in over the course of however many hours it takes to finish the game.

"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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I think what really made Planescape Torment amazing for me was the world the way it affected you and the story so if they want to make something as good as that they need both. This goes for another of my favourite games The Longest Journey it was the world that made the game what it is to me beyond what a good or great plot could manage set in a less interesting space.

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Plot of course.

It looks like a choice between successfull writing and failure.

 

I don't think it's such a clear-cut choice.

 

I'd much prefer good plot + good world over great plot + mediocre world.

 

Remember BG2? A large and very important part of it was chapter 2 (in and around Athkatla), with tons of side quests and exploration that didn't really advance the plot at all (except that it served to gather enough gold and experience to move on to chapter 3).

In fact, during some of the longer side-quests of chapter 2, I pretty much forgot about the whole over-arching storyline, and didn't miss it either, because good old world exploration and dungeon crawling is enjoyable in itself if the game world is well designed.

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Plot of course.

It looks like a choice between successfull writing and failure.

 

I don't think it's such a clear-cut choice.

 

I'd much prefer good plot + good world over great plot + mediocre world.

 

Remember BG2? A large and very important part of it was chapter 2 (in and around Athkatla), with tons of side quests and exploration that didn't really advance the plot at all (except that it served to gather enough gold and experience to move on to chapter 3).

In fact, during some of the longer side-quests of chapter 2, I pretty much forgot about the whole over-arching storyline, and didn't miss it either, because good old world exploration and dungeon crawling is enjoyable in itself if the game world is well designed.

 

BG2 was actually the exact game I was thinking of when I was considering the concept of 'great world, mediocre plot.' The entire BG series has a fantastic atmosphere to explore, lots of cool characters, fun NPCs, a ton of replayability...and a main plotline which can be fun at times, but is riddled with plot holes, poorly explained retcons, and cheese in general. By the time ToB comes around to wrap it all up, its really flagrantly obvious how little interest the writers had in maintaining consistency about the story they were telling. The BG saga's strength, alas, is not in its main plotline.

 

And yet its an awesome game, one of my favorites of all time. In its world exploration and expansiveness, and its strategic battles, it tramples Torment into the dust. Yet Torment's plotline is far more original and far more interesting than anything seen in BG.

Edited by Death Machine Miyagi
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You can't really isolate the two entirely without sacrificing what makes a good RPG. A good story is affected by the game world and player's impact in it, otherwise you might as well just be reading a book. But a cool world with no story, and then the player is just running around playing imagination. Setting is a pretty important part of story, even more so in games I think.

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Of course I'd want both, but if I had to choose I'd say plot. The two kind of go hand in hand though. You need an interesting and well fleshed out world to have a strong and impactful narrative.

rowsdower_sig.jpg.0f13980282a9229af0f1609eb6dee060.jpg
I wonder if there is beer on the sun

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In this kind of RPG, I would say:

 

Storyline > Combat > Gameworld (even though all three are very important)

 

In an open-world / sandbox RPG like Morrowind:

 

Gameworld > Combat / Storyline

 

In an oldschool dungeon crawler:

 

Combat > Gameworld / Storyling

There aren't this kind or other kind of RPG. There are only good or bad RPG. All three are important for a good RPG. Morrowind and Fallout2 both are open world RPG. But Morrowind only did well on gameworld but Fallout2 did well on all three.

Sorry, but you're wrong. Lots of RPGs are very different in nature, and have different priorities. I suggest you go play some more RPGs, right from the 80s through to present, so you can learn just how different western RPGs can be.

 

If you're going to argue that an RPG is inherently bad if it isn't equally good in terms of combat, gameworld, AND storyline, then that makes a LOT of incredible, very highly regarded classics complete garbage I guess. :mellow:

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Both, like in the Ultimas or New Vegas, don't see why we have to prioritise one over the other.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Incidentally, very unsurprised by the results. We've had plenty of perfectly good open sandbox style games, large gameworlds with a lot to see and do, but the gaming industry is still hurting badly when it comes to telling original and interesting storylines. Nowhere near as many of the latter as there are of the former.

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