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At least two threads on the main page at this time (Two handed swords and Do you care about a realistic world map?) address this question in the particulars, while the most recent update addresses it in regards to armor.

 

But let's address the issue in the broadest terms, covering anything and everything: does it matter to you, the prospective player, when the designers try to make the world they're designing realistic? Do you appreciate it when swords or armor look and perform like their historical counterparts, or do you not particular care so long as you can get cool stuff? Do you prefer a world which feels like the real world outside of the occasional fantastical elements (like, say, souls and magic and non-human races) which define it, or is that irrelevant to you so long as the world is entertaining?

 

Let's face it: the Forgotten Realms of the Infinity Engine games? Not realistic, not by a long shot. Yet still really fun. Would they have been more fun, more interesting, if the designers had played around with making them feel more like a real world?

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Disbelief is sometimes more easily suspended in a solution of faux-reality.

 

The Forgotten Realms, for example, shamelessly (and occasionally enjoyably) rips off real-world historical tropes and has high-camp fun with them. It uses a medieval backdrop. It has kings and castles and knights. Realistic? No. But the stock from which the soup is made has a tiny sprinkling of recognisable reality to it.

 

The other word that just popped into my head is granularity. When my fighter swings his magical Zweihander of Flaming Awe in the correct manner, and the thing looks credibly like a sword, then it makes the experience just so.

 

Obviously this is a very personal preference, but I thought I'd explain. There is of course room for gonzo fantasy, people fighting with a two-handed sword in one hand and a halberd in the other (and sometimes I enjoy that too) but for this particular game I am looking for a rather superior unguent in which to suspend my disbelief. :thumbsup:

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It depends what you're going for. If you want a realistic world make the game as real as youcan get without sacrificing fun. If you want a fantastical world, ho that route. Either way, fun should come first.

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I tend to like some realism, at least for mundane things. Sure, once you start flinging fireballs the whole realism thing goes away, but when we are talking about a normal non-magical building, or a sword, or whatever, then I prefer it to be realistic.

 

On the recent armor topic for example, I would prefer that normal armor is actually something that people could (and would) actually use for real. But I would not mind adding magical and strange armor on to that.

 

Non-magic = realism.

Magic = whatever.

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The other word that just popped into my head is granularity. When my fighter swings his magical Zweihander of Flaming Awe in the correct manner, and the thing looks credibly like a sword, then it makes the experience just so.

 

this.

 

A general answer - yes. As today's update does it, I'd put "realism" in quotes. It's about suspension of disbelief. John Howe (if you don't know him, he's one of the two main concept illustrators on the LOTR and Hobbit movies) says that all design (in fantasy illustration especially) should come from real functionality and real world principles. It doesn't have to slavishly mimick them though.

 

The LOTR movies, to this day, are imo the best example of fantasy "realism" done right. Jackson told this to his crew "I want this to feel like a historical movie, like Middle Earth existed". And it totally worked.

 

As Honn mentioned, the "lower" and "mundane" stuff helps keep the extraordinary things in perspective. Most weapons in LOTR are the correct size, they feel right and believable. And THEN the bloody Witchking comes up, the camera pans to his feet and the ABSOLUTELY FLIPPIN' MASSIVE FLAIL just hangs there like a boss. You believe Éowyn when she looks scared. You'd piss your pants if all you saw all your life were normal swords and this thing appeared out of nowhere.

 

I've seen games where even larger hammers (Kingdoms of Amalur, was it?) and swords are commonplace. That common nature and familiarity imho robs them of the initial impact, it skews the internal "oh S H I T" scale you have as a player.

 

I could go on. ;)

Edited by Merlkir
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the more dissimilar the armor relationships are to those found in A/D&D, the more they will be re-evaluated for verisimilitude (i.e. "realism").

In the update realism with regard to real world armor is barely touched on. The realism commented on several times was "realism" from a game perspective and explained as a players understanding of armor based off familiarity with dnd. Dnd Scale is better than leather for example but in the PE example given Leather (tier3) is better than Scale (tier2), would players complain about that or consider it less "real" and cause them to be annoyed by it? At least that is how I understood the "realism" in the update.

 

BG1 and IWD does armor and weapons pretty well with regard to "realism" (real world in a fantasy setting). Most of the weapons look reasonably good, not too fantastic while also incorporating the fantastical with things like Ankheg plate etc. So long as players don't look like robots in armor or swords aren't 10ft long it should be okay. Ashideena is a nice example of something magical but appropriate.

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I think I'm with Mr Sawyer when I say good game mechanisms first, realism second. But that actually means that realism does matter, as long as it doesn't take out the fun (and isn't that so subjective). My personal taste is, whenever I see chain mail bikinis or swords that are positively too large to fight with them IRL, it takes away some of the fun for me. OTOH, when I see that someone tried to be realistic or inherently logical about armor, weapons, and even magic, I always find it commendable.

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I reject your Reality and substitute my own :biggrin: ... The game world should follow certain rules and be predicable (unless total Chaos is the reality in which we are to operate) ... if the game follows its own rules I don't care how closely those rules correspond to those of "our" reality ... we don't have "real" magic in our world (at least as far as I can tell ;) ) but that doesn't diminish my enjoyment of games with magic ... however, if the rules of the game are indecipherable and you can't plan or predict how your actions will affect the game world and vice versa, that makes for a very frustrating and unenjoyable gaming experience ... that's my perspective on this :)

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believable is the keyword. sometimes that requires a bit of realism, sometimes it doesn't. I heard the term "internally consistent" used in the map thread and I thought that was beautifully put.


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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This is probably not going to make much sense but i'll do my best to explain what I mean.

 

For me it depends on the game/genre. As this is a fantasy RPG where magic exists and the laws of Physics as we know it doesn't fully apply. So out right "realism" isn't something I 'overly' care for.

 

Saying that however. Years and years of RPG's, Books, Films and my imagination have had Fireballs blowing things up, Lightning shocking and stunning people. Swords swinging and chopping people and big dirty hammers crushing things.

 

So to some sense I expect realism in terms of I want my people to walk/talk. I want four legged beasts to run, buildings to look like buildings that suit the environment and level of technology/magical sensibility and fighting styles/magic to be how we imagine it to be.

 

Saying that however(again).. I have no issues with things being different because it suits the lore. I have no issue with exaggerated sword fighting (think Whirlwind Warrior with a 2h sword that weighs an impossible amount) or Mages wearing plate armour (that doesn't make them suffer diminishing returns on their casting ability).

 

TLDR: So in a general sense - Realism matters in some things but doesn't in others. It all depends on the lore and whether it's a fighting style, armour or environment.

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I think the hardest thing we all have ahead of us is seperating this game from D&D. While PE plans to emulate the old infinity engine games, which mostly use D&D rules from some edition or another, it is it's own game. And a fantasy game at that! And should have its own rules and ideas... atleast to protect against infringing on someone elses IP lol. I think, as is also mentioned by someone above, that fun and playability should be the main deciding factor in developing weapons, armor, and other gear, not "realism." Being a fantasy game it can be whatever we want it to be! When talking "Historically," we still want well known items to do what we would expect them to do (ex. basic Plate armor > basic cloth without dex modifiers, Halberd does high damage but is relatively slow, arrow > chain mail )... But getting into the nitty gritty of hide vs leather, or dealing slashing with a short sword vs piercing isnt super important. Who's to say that a certain culture doesn't just plain make better versions of common items like dwarven plate or elven chain... Or having an weapon made from a better, fictional, metal wouldnt hold a stronger or sharper edge or be lighter or better balanced. Maybe the (race) of (location) just found a better way to weave cloth or cure hide so it's stonger or stiffer or just doesnt fall apart easily. This would stop the race to plate mail and give players the ability to stay with an armor style they liked, like banded, without feeling dumb for choising the "obviously better" plate. Maybe I want my guy to be kinda samurai looking and full plate just doesnt fit. Id much rather stick to character and get banded style mail that was expertly crafted and offers the same protection as plate to some degree.

 

 

Also, as kinda a side note, I really like being able to "color" your gear!!! I mostly play the "Paladin" archtype and I hate when the "best" gear is totally out of character. Thanks to Mods, my paladin style Skyrim character doesnt have to look like an evil barbarian in Dragon plate or Daedric.... I sat in Dwarven gear until lv 40 just cause it was the most "Holy" looking gear I could get. Guild Wars color customization, or even transmogrification in WOW, is a great way to get your character to look a certain way but still gear up and be bad@$$

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Making a world where the rules are consitent and where things feel logical within these rules I feel is extremely important. That things in this world work the same way as in our world, and fits our history, is not just not important, I feel its important that they do diverge from how things are in our world. They are not making a simulator for medieval europe, even though some people seem to think that.

 

Making a balance between believability and going away from "realism" is sometimes hard, as many of the ways things have been done in history, is done that way because it works. Forgotten Realm, as the OP's example, does somewhat work within this balance, but as the world is defined by dozens of authors, things don't always mesh up very well.

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I think the key word here is consistency: game worlds should follow their own internal logic. When it does not is when things cease making sense to the player and I start having problems.

 

Now I would love for a game that tried for the more realistic medieval world look because I think the actual historical look is more interesting in both looks and culture than the one built on misconceptions and romanticism most people think of and want to play in, but I realise I'm somewhat in a minority, due hopefully just because people don't know any better but I doubt it.

 

What irritates me though is when a game or film does something that is actually historically correct but you then get people, thinking themselves experts because they have played so many RPGs, declare it wrong and attack it for not being right (and when you point out that they are actually wrong they immediately start on the "well its a fantasy world it doesn't matter!" when it was them who were claiming realism in the first place) and who refuse to ever learn any differently or to look into it themselves.

Edited by FlintlockJazz
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Realism is great when it comes to "how things look" and "how things are animated". A human should look like and move like a human. A house should be a house. A Two handed sword should look at least similar to a "real" two handed sword, and in animation have the character do "real" attacks with it.

 

However.

 

If the two handed sword has lightning cascading off it's blade, a sapphire gem in the cross guard, and the players otherwise realistic looking armor is covered in glowing yellow runes. it is fine.

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To me most of the fun parts in IE games were "realistic" feeling parts of the game, like how areas were designed so that they looked functional, how most of the equipments had functional look in them, how relationships evolved, how some people had hidden agendas, etc.

 

Most unfun parts of the game for me were those where there was problems with inner logic of the game, like why I can't take Gorion's body to cleric to be resurrected, or why my warrior hit's with quarterstaff like it is baseball bat, why nobody in market place has any money with them, etc. things that broke my suspension of disbelief.

 

Most important thing is not that things follow rules scientific realism, but that they look like they function realistically. It's like magic show if trick looks like that it wasn't real, it is rarely fun to watch, but when it looks like that person really flows in air or is sawed to pieces or takes dove from thin air then it's very entertaining to watch.

 

And here fatastic three bladed sword which shoot blades. What you think is this such weapon which you want to swing in PE? :)

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As long as realism doesn't interfere with the mechanics, I'm all for it. But I don't want to eat and drink every ten minutes, I don't want to strip down all armour to be able to cross a lake - or anything that gets pesky after time.

 

But I'm all for realism in terms of equipment, weaponry, items. And please make it 16th century with Landsknechts.


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Realism?

 

A more correct word would be VERSIMILITUDE. Or BELEVIABLITY.

 

Realism is - of course - the easiest way to achive it, because realism is by definition believable... and anything that strives to be believable will have some grounding in realism.

 

No, a serious setting doesn't have to be a 100% accurate historical replica.

But it has to be internally consistent.

It has to be..blievable.

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But let's address the issue in the broadest terms, covering anything and everything: does it matter to you, the prospective player, when the designers try to make the world they're designing realistic? Do you appreciate it when swords or armor look and perform like their historical counterparts, or do you not particular care so long as you can get cool stuff? Do you prefer a world which feels like the real world outside of the occasional fantastical elements (like, say, souls and magic and non-human races) which define it, or is that irrelevant to you so long as the world is entertaining?

I'd say it's a balancing act. A game that takes itself seriously needs to be at least realistic enough to give a sense of historical accuracy, but not so much that it bogs down the play. The greater the diversity of weapon, armor, and shields, then the higher the need for nuances in order to discriminate between them. But the game should handle most of the complex interplay between the parts, freeing up the player to apply tactical decision making.


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Realism is a strange word to use. We're better off using verisimiligfdgsg verisimilitude or believability. Realism may suggest more than what is possible, in a video game or any fictional setting.

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I don't want realism. Especially since the argument is often used as to why magic users should be superior in every way to "mundane" characters, though it doesn't seem to be a problem here, with souls powering monks and warriors and what not.

I do want "unrealistic" things in the game: Two-bladed swords, punching hard enough to kill a dragon, simultaniously firing two pistols* and actually hitting something, and a whole bunch of different tropes that anyone that has used the actual weapon or tactics involved (eg. real swords, firearms, martial arts) will flinch at, while not batting an eye at magic doing much more. If it's cool (and workable within the rules and engine), why not allow it?

On the other hand, consistency, believability, and suspension of disbelief is all good, as long as it's not just an excuse to use different standards for "magic" and "mundane" characters.

 

(* I know these aren't automatic pistols, but using a brace of pistols makes sense with one shot weapons, and maybe there are pebberboxes?)

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At least two threads on the main page at this time (Two handed swords and Do you care about a realistic world map?) address this question in the particulars, while the most recent update addresses it in regards to armor.

 

But let's address the issue in the broadest terms, covering anything and everything: does it matter to you, the prospective player, when the designers try to make the world they're designing realistic? Do you appreciate it when swords or armor look and perform like their historical counterparts, or do you not particular care so long as you can get cool stuff? Do you prefer a world which feels like the real world outside of the occasional fantastical elements (like, say, souls and magic and non-human races) which define it, or is that irrelevant to you so long as the world is entertaining?

 

Let's face it: the Forgotten Realms of the Infinity Engine games? Not realistic, not by a long shot. Yet still really fun. Would they have been more fun, more interesting, if the designers had played around with making them feel more like a real world?

 

To distill Josh's comment about "realism" and mechanics--

Realism is important to me, but it is of secondary importance to producing good gameplay and choices within gameplay. Realism is valuable because it can a) provide an intuitive basis for how a mechanic works and b) it can prevent the player from being distracted/annoyed by something that doesn't make sense. I keep verisimilitude in mind when designing mechanics, but I generally try to "back" the realism into the gameplay rather than trying to make good gameplay out of a realistic simulation.

 

--For me, verisimilitude in a game is a cohesive world-building lore held together in a subtle webbing of mechanics and player interface. When either the mechanics or player interface encroach into the world in more metagamey ways, I don't like it: Game "realism" is essentially immersion, and there are certainly different ways to both make and break it.

 

Day-night cycle--I'd love that. I'd love to see quests and critters and stores behaving within a proper day-night cycle (immersion). But if the in-game cycle was too long or too short and messed with player ability to control their reaction to time (for example, I'd want the option to "wait" through the in-game clock instead of being forced to "rest" for 8 game hours), that would be bad. Scantily-clad warrior women is immersion-breaking because it's aimed at a certain type of player (metagame) rather than being mindful of basic combat immersion, at the same level as an average human dual-wielding two 2-handed war hammers. A minimap with automatic quest markers is very metagamey and infringes into the world quests far too much. etc.

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I want the world to be "believable", wich doesn`t necessarily mean realistic. If the lore supports a 2 meter long sword that is light as a feather, so be it.


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I had made a thread a while ago (when I first joined the forums) about "always asking why." In it I wrote a poorly worded plea to the devs to always ask why any certain thing works a certain way. What I was trying to ask for was for the world - as others have put it - to have a certain "internal consistency." Scientists and students of science (as I am) know that our world consists of certain constants and laws that make the world act certain ways (gravity, Planck's constant, organic materials being carbon-based life-forms, etc). Thus, the current world we live is always internally constant. Once you understand why a certain thing works a certain way, you can understand the consequences of what that implies (through logical deduction, etc). Then scientists begin to imagine and hypothesize how our world would be different were these constants changed. What they describe isn't real, but because they start from a position of changing those unchanging constants, the logical implications are immediately accepted. Why? Because these is no actual reason why Planck's constant is so and why so-and-so law of science is a law: it just is. Therefore, if those constants were changed (in another universe, say), the world would become an actuality. Our brains would not try to fight it. A good example of this hypothesizing and what-if scenario is shown in the website xkcd.com (http://what-if.xkcd.com/)

 

So what does this have to do with verisimilitude and realism? Well, whenever you take elements of history and the real-world and incorporate it into your fictional universe, you are effectively taking a short-cut in describing a big portion of that world with its own internal logic. Why? Because you have just taken what actually exists (which by definition already has internal consistency) and have supplanted it into your world. It helps to know that it is possible for such things to happen, because they already have happened. Then you can focus in on certain aspects of this world and tweak the internal constants to your liking. Once you have done that, the logical implications must once again be performed throughout the world and questions that would seem illogical must be answered for our minds to accept them. This internal consistency once again holds firm and we are able to accept these worlds as possibilities in the infinite universe. Our brains begin to imagine this world as existing and do not fight us against believing in them.

 

So when good fantasy or science-fiction draws heavily from real-life history, it is allowing us to not have to develop a completely new (and invariably HUGE and extremely complex) world from scratch. A lot of the "leg-work" has already been done. We can then start to use this world as a sounding board for our own philosophical questions and what-if scenarios. What if magic truly existed? What would that mean for humanity? What if other sentient beings existed in our world? Like dwarves and elves. What would that mean to us as humans? What would it mean in regards to nature and how we interact with it? What is the nature of a man? What can change the nature of a man?

 

These things matter because when we are thinking about the philosophical aspects of this new world and their implications through our "thought-experiments" we don't want our brains nagging at us, saying "this isn't believable." "This doesn't follow any sort of logical thought-process. Why should any conclusions made be accepted?" We can truly begin to immerse ourselves in these worlds and spend our time thinking about the actual questions posed in this fantasy world.

 

So, yes. Versimilitude and realism matter. Only to the extent that it helps us with the internal consistency that would keep our brains from actually entertaining the more important questions that the setting and plot are asking us.

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yeah, realism is good.To me if something would look stupid in real life (like most "fantasy blades" out there) I'm not really that impressed with it in a virtual setting.

 

 

I don't want realism. Especially since the argument is often used as to why magic users should be superior in every way to "mundane" characters, though it doesn't seem to be a problem here, with souls powering monks and warriors and what not.

I do want "unrealistic" things in the game: Two-bladed swords, punching hard enough to kill a dragon, simultaniously firing two pistols* and actually hitting something, and a whole bunch of different tropes that anyone that has used the actual weapon or tactics involved (eg. real swords, firearms, martial arts) will flinch at, while not batting an eye at magic doing much more. If it's cool (and workable within the rules and engine), why not allow it?

On the other hand, consistency, believability, and suspension of disbelief is all good, as long as it's not just an excuse to use different standards for "magic" and "mundane" characters.

 

(* I know these aren't automatic pistols, but using a brace of pistols makes sense with one shot weapons, and maybe there are pebberboxes?)

 

Balance is one thing, I agree that magic users shouldn't totally eclipse normal warriors in terms of ability, however many games in today's market already feature ridiculously unrealistic things, I think it would be nice for a change if PE went the other route. Some un-realism is fine, but If everything is unrealistic it all just seems rather mundane, doesn't it?

Edited by jezz555

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