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What would PE look like if Obsidian catered to the worst of us?


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You need to reconsider what gameplay represents and let it out of the combat shaped box you're trying to cram it into. Not every game is a combat simulator, yet every game has gameplay. Adventure games have gameplay, even if the gameplay mostly involves figuring out the right conversation options or the right items to use to bypass obstacles. In PS:T, I spend a long time playing it (the game) without killing anyone. Because I am nonetheless playing the game, in that I am choosing what things my character will say and do, there is absolutely no way that what I'm experiencing isn't gameplay.

 

You need to stop putting words in my mouth, I said I view gameplay as a technical aspect of the game, whether that is how dialog works or how sneaking, lock-picking, crafting, opening doors, specking your character, getting xp, items, etc. functions. What you described in your previous post, was story, narration and linearity. If you want to divide a game in to story/gameplay/graphics that is your problem, for me it is simply too general and vague to discuss it that way.

 

Also, yes not every game has combat, but this one does and the games it is trying to emulate did, so the biggest part of its gameplay is, yes you guess it, combat.

 

But that is what you mainly do yourself as well as he. Gameplay isn't mainly combat.

 

Gameplay is the ways the player has to interact with the game. Combat system is one of them. Quest system (the actual objectives of the game, the way they are interlinked and how one affects the other, F:NV fanction system is an example), is another, how the world change in regard to your actions, the dialogue system (how dialogue options change depending on your stats, ingame knowledge, if you can perform actions through dialogue like you could in PS:T).

All these have nothing to do with narration and story, they are parts of the gameplay.

 

You say again and again that PS:T had bad gameplay, yet you say that how dialog works is part of the gameplay. And how dialog works in PS:T is the best from every RPG i have played. Fallouts and Arcanum come close, yet the rest of the IE games don't.

 

PS:T didn't had bad gameplay, it had bad combat. You spend most of the time colecting info and performing actions through dialogue. And the way you built your character had massive influence in that. There is no accident that MAXing WIS,INT,CHA is recomended. And character building is part of the gameplay as well. That was the core gameplay in PS:T and not combat. There were only 3 mandatory fights in the whole game ffs, and PS:T would be a much better game if half of the rest of the combat in it was cut.

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So you're saying Icewind Dale has no gameplay? It's linear, after all, as are most combat-heavy games (far moreso than the other IE games). Killing monsters for loot and exp is mechanically no different from choosing a dialogue response - interaction followed by feedback.

 

And no one denied BG and PS:T were by and large linear. They did however allow for player agency, i.e. role-playing. To use Torment as an example: to escape from the Mortuary, you could kill your way through, disguise as a zombie, disguise as a Dustman, leave through a portal, or convince a guard to let you out. That's not gameplay?

 

The comparison is moot anyway since they have already said Project Eternity will be less linear and allow for more room to affect the plot than the BG games and Torment.     

Linear isn't a dirty word. All of the IE games were more or less linear except BG1(and BG1 had the worst story from the lot). The rest of Obsidian games except F:NV were also linear. The best stories in videogames are in linear videogames. PE will be semi-linear like BG2 and MotB as well, and thank god for that. Affect the plot isn't the same as change the plot significantly.

Edited by Malekith
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So you're saying Icewind Dale has no gameplay? It's linear, after all, as are most combat-heavy games (far moreso than the other IE games). Killing monsters for loot and exp is mechanically no different from choosing a dialogue response - interaction followed by feedback.

 

And no one denied BG and PS:T were by and large linear. They did however allow for player agency, i.e. role-playing. To use Torment as an example: to escape from the Mortuary, you could kill your way through, disguise as a zombie, disguise as a Dustman, leave through a portal, or convince a guard to let you out. That's not gameplay?

 

The comparison is moot anyway since they have already said Project Eternity will be less linear and allow for more room to affect the plot than the BG games and Torment.     

 

Are we speaking the same language. I really don't know how you got all that from my post.

 

When did I say that if a game is linear it has no gameplay? The rest is... I don't even know how to try and answer that.

 

I really think you missunderstood something I said, and it would really help if you quoted the part you are referring to, because I really can't connect what you are saying with what I said.

 

But that is what you mainly do yourself as well as he. Gameplay isn't mainly combat.

 

Gameplay is the ways the player has to interact with the game. Combat system is one of them. Quest system (the actual objectives of the game, the way they are interlinked and how one affects the other, F:NV fanction system is an example), is another, how the world change in regard to your actions, the dialogue system (how dialogue options change depending on your stats, ingame knowledge, if you can perform actions through dialogue like you could in PS:T).

All these have nothing to do with narration and story, they are parts of the gameplay.

 

You say again and again that PS:T had bad gameplay, yet you say that how dialog works is part of the gameplay. And how dialog works in PS:T is the best from every RPG i have played. Fallouts and Arcanum come close, yet the rest of the IE games don't.

 

PS:T didn't had bad gameplay, it had bad combat. You spend most of the time colecting info and performing actions through dialogue. And the way you built your character had massive influence in that. There is no accident that MAXing WIS,INT,CHA is recomended. And character building is part of the gameplay as well. That was the core gameplay in PS:T and not combat. There were only 3 mandatory fights in the whole game ffs, and PS:T would be a much better game if half of the rest of the combat in it was cut.

 

 

I said in a previous post what I consider gameplay to be. I also said that P:T could have been a visual novel and would not have suffered for it. The dialog functions identically to the ones in the rest of IE games, with the exception of wisdom and intelligence were also taken in to account besides charisma. The difference between BG/IWD and P:T is that it was used much, much rarely. The content of the dialogues fall in to story/narration.

Edited by Sarex
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Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines gave you the ability to play as malkavians, so more or less a crazy character. All the dialogue was unique and hilarious, but it's seriously some of the most fun I've ever had.

 

I have my doubts that something like that could work with Eternity, but it would be awesome and probably very difficult to implement:P

Edited by sarkthas
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The best stories in videogames are in linear videogames.

 

Maybe this is true for most video games up to this point, but I like to think we will eventually get to a point when we will embrace the true potential of the medium as something beyond films with token interactive elements and carefully-allocated challenges. Narrative nonlinearity is a natural progression of precisely what separates video games from other media. No doubt the counter-argument will be something along the lines of "there is a sweet spot for the amount of interactivity/linearity", but I reject that. There is no such thing as too much nonlinearity; there is only poorly executed nonlinearity, just as there is poorly executed linearity.

 

That said, Project Eternity in particular is unlikely to push that boundary, which is 100% okay given its intended purpose.

Edited by mcmanusaur
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I do think you have the right idea, that the core element that distinguishes video games from other media forms is interactivity, however I do feel that there is a "sweet-spot" between linearity and nonlinearity as far as the story is concerned.  A plot without direction is no plot at all - when I read a book or watch a show/movie, I expect there to be some form of progression towards a conclusion of some form or another.  I hate shows that exist solely to drag you into the next episode, and I hate books that reward the diligent reader with a "continued in part two!" without closing at least a few major threads.  While these mediums don't tie directly to video games, where you can hypothetically forge your own story rather than trod through the one set up for you, I think the impetus to push a player forward is an important element to maintain.  I think that, without direction, a story flounders, and while the player can produce his or her own direction as suits them, there needs to be some stimulus put in place to invoke it.  The Elder Scrolls tries this with mixed success, and I don't suspect the game could work without its faction quests, main quests, so on - regardless of how well they manage the mechanics.  Escapism needs to drop a person into a world of fate and direction, where things may be larger than reality, and our heroes can fight enormous odds to safely get home, or not.  But whatever the case, there is a reason given upon them to turn from one page to another, or watch the next scene, or crawl into the bandit lair.  A player may create their own impetus, but a drawing force helps ground them and tell a story complete with all of the artistic talents a talented writer may apply to it.

 

This wasn't supposed to be an essay, or a monster paragraph, sorry.

tl;dr:  Driving forces help draw the player into stories or substories rife with all of the talents a good writer can offer.  I think that nonlinearity is something to aspire for, but that perfect nonlinearity shouldn't be a goal outright, as linear elements help provide grounding and progression.

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Yonjuro, I think your problem might be that there really wasn't much to IWD besides the combat (and the glorious environment art natch). About as much story as your average pr0n, no role-playing, no choices and consequences, barely any interaction with other sentient creatures that didn't involve sharp objects, and so on. Which is why IWD isn't my favorite IE series game, even if I think it had the best combat of the bunch. (If you include 'spiritual successors' though, that honor would have to go to ToEE -- the combat and environment art is even better, and everything else even worse/thinner.)

 

 Yes. I think you're right. My earlier question about 'why do people like the combat in this game?' was off base.

 

 The combat is fine; I just didn't care about it, for the reasons you stated, and so it seemed more like chore than a challenge. 

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@Pipster

 

If a plot "without direction" isn't a plot, why is it called one? Consider the most prototypical and ubiquitous plot of all: life. Unless you're religious (I tend to assume that most people on this forum aren't), there's no magic hand moving everything around "because story". Even so, the various "systems" that comprise the life experience interact dynamically to produce the plot development that other storytelling sources can only imitate. No, video games are never going to possess systems as rich as those that make up life experience, but I think the point still stands; nonlinear "emergent narrative" is no less compelling than predetermined linear narrative, simply by virtue of being nonlinear.

 

Also, I think you make a mistake in equating stimulus with impetus, and in assuming that a hypothetically 100% nonlinear game wouldn't present any sort of stimulus. The difference here is that nonlinear media is brave enough to let the content speak for itself, knowing that the audience will become invested in it in some personally unique way, rather than doing what is essentially beginning with "assuming X applies to you and your experience (if not, you're out of luck), it follows that Y". Presenting a player with potential reasons for investing themselves in a story doesn't make it linear; failing to include players who have different reasons does. There is an obvious question of resource cost and practicality with this line of thinking, but my point is simply that theoretically nonlinearity storytelling is not inferior to linear narrative in any way.

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@mcmanusaur

 

I tend to agree with most of this, however I find it difficult to imagine that a person looking for escapism finds it in a world without some form of direction.  To strawman the argument (I'm untalented with words and argument form, so I resort to extremes to (hopefully) help flesh my less radical ideas), I can look at a sheet of white paper and say that, since it is an amalgamation of all colors, I can project my own personal sense of perfect art upon it.  Of course, your argument is that the white paper is perfect potential, whereupon a person can craft their own ideal art.  I see no flaw in a game like this, but I still would argue that it wouldn't yield as much impact in story as one that might incorporate linear elements.

 

Which I suppose brings us back to the stimulus/impetus bit.  I believe I did use them fairly interchangably, so I should clear up that in my mind they are closely related.  To me, the stimulus is "that guy was murdered," and the impetus is, by a resonable progression of gaming thought "I should find out who and why."  I do not believe that this impetus should be forced upon the player, who should be making his or her own choice to investigate or ignore the matter; but from a story perspective, I don't think it's unfair either to funnel the player into a scenario gilded to incite particular emotions and experiences from them.  To make bad analogy, I suppose I don't want to be lead through a cavern by the hand, but would rather follow the art and patterns painted into the rock to determine my own path.  And if the rock is painted in certain patterns and shapes that draw me from one point to another by the talents of the artist, that's fine by me.  Bringing that back into the realm of gaming, I believe that the stimulus provides impetus to the player, to follow or not, and I don't think it unfair to string stimulus into reasonable progressions of story, which should provide impetus to the player by virtue and quality.

 

To me, the nonlinear aspect is the mechanic of infinite choice, whereas the linear is the structure defining the world I inhabit.  While nonlinearity defines that I may warp and change the structure, linearity is the world as it exists without me.  That dead guy was murdered, and he was killed by Kaine the Farmer, who was seeking retribution on account of the daughter that said dead man raped and brutely killed.  Linear story, and a reasonable linear progression of "investigate, determine suspects, find incriminating evidence, encounter Kaine, close story."  The player doesn't have to follow this path, and idealy infinite paths would be valid, but it could be argued that not all paths are equal in "story magnitude".  One might encounter the murder scene and imedietely kill the dog - it was obviously the dog, and it had it coming, growling at you like that.  And while some may enjoy this route more than others, I would argue that doesn't score as high in "story magnitude." (which to me is like art theory - all answers are correct, but some are more correct than others (blue/purple=cold, red/yellow=warm, lines provide paths to the eye))  The beauty of nonlinearity is that those who enjoy the dog-killing story better can do so, but the appeal of linearity is to define logical and pathological patterns in the nonlinearity (if I'm not just contradicting myself, which I'm not so convinced of anymore).

 

Disclaimer:  I don't mean to outargue you by sheer volume of words, I'm just egregiously bad (by self condemnation, perhaps) at conveying thought and idea, and I attempt to combat this with sheer volume of words. :p

 

I find this topic to be particularly interesting to me.  Perhaps we should dedicate a thread to it?  Too much?

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This just hit me, regarding the topic...

ACHIEVEMENTS

Those pesky buggers that seem to pop-up suddenly while doing your thing. You know:

KILLA'!
Slay 100 enemies, +5 pts.
 
EVEN MORE KILLA'!
Slay 300 enemies, +10 pts.

WILY E. COYOTE
Fail at setting 10 traps, lol, +5 pts.

ANDREW GOŁOTA
Punch 50 people in da face and flee, +5 pts.

MASTA' OF DISASTA'
Master a skill you suck at, +20 pts.

LIVIN' ON A PRAYER
Quicksave the game while being fatally hit, +99 pts.

Who needs them?

.

.

.

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!
HYPOCRITE
Talk sh#t about achievements on Obsidian forums, +10 pts.

It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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I don't mind achievements, though I find them rather pointless in an RPG, but I do mind achievements for things that are bound to happen, and aren't really special.

 

like: "The way forward" "Successfully pressed 'W' to move your character"

I feel insulted when I see those kinds of pats on the back.

 

Congratulations you've managed to burn the rope.

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.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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@Pipyui:

 

At the risk of oversimplifying, I dare say that the best approach is to melt the two into an alloy, and make the game from that. Give shape to opportunities, but allow for the non-linear interaction with them, etc.

 

Look at Legos. You get lots of different block shapes, to put together as you please, but they're also all designed to function together, as opposed to just being a bunch of random block shapes that may or may not actually fit together, but that allow you to do whatever you want.

 

Anywho... excellent post, ^_^

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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  • 2 weeks later...

Late to the party. Hilarious thread, guys! :)

 

Here's what I think would be the PE distilled from our most recurrent wishes, demands and discussions:

-Choices, choices, choices! (You can't place one foot in front of the other without making deep choices: "Hmm, naturalism or phenomenology?"

-A vast world, teeming with cultures and societies so interesting and multi-faceted that departments of anthropology all over the world begin to study them as if they were RL entities.

- A combat system so gamist that it actually becomes meta-realistic: "I am now one with this endurance surge of mana wisdom."

-Practically any mathematically conceivable equation will apply to the explosion of intricacy and complexity involved in rolling up one character: "I've been at it for three weeks. My eyes are bleeding. Do ya hear me?" *Howling at a wallpaper flower.*

-The UI is covering half the screen. It's heavy, blocky panels are dripping with IE nostalgia, and any use of it will involve a nagging click sound that would awaken Smaug in an instant.

-The stronghold is no less complex than running the administration of the White House: "Shall I enforce Deekin Care, my liege?"

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Late to the party. Hilarious thread, guys! :)

 

Here's what I think would be the PE distilled from our most recurrent wishes, demands and discussions:

-Choices, choices, choices! (You can't place one foot in front of the other without making deep choices: "Hmm, naturalism or phenomenology?"

-A vast world, teeming with cultures and societies so interesting and multi-faceted that departments of anthropology all over the world begin to study them as if they were RL entities.

- A combat system so gamist that it actually becomes meta-realistic: "I am now one with this endurance surge of mana wisdom."

-Practically any mathematically conceivable equation will apply to the explosion of intricacy and complexity involved in rolling up one character: "I've been at it for three weeks. My eyes are bleeding. Do ya hear me?" *Howling at a wallpaper flower.*

-The UI is covering half the screen. It's heavy, blocky panels are dripping with IE nostalgia, and any use of it will involve a nagging click sound that would awaken Smaug in an instant.

-The stronghold is no less complex than running the administration of the White House: "Shall I enforce Deekin Care, my liege?"

The hightlighted part sounds good to me.

Edited by Malekith
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There is no healing magic in PE's world, meaning that your party get their health back only by resting. Death is permanent and currently there is no way to bring members of your party back to life, although in normal and lower difficult settings party members don't die but are only maimed, which means that they get heavy penalties to their stats and skills until you rest.

 

Current plan is dropped all "cool down" abilities from game, instead of those there is per rest abilities, per battle abilities and abilities that use resouces like wounds (Monk's abilities) or Focus (cipher's abilities), that are renewed by different mechanics like getting damage (monk's wounds) or doing damage (cipher's focus).

 

Current plans are to limit resting in camp areas and save zones. Which may or may not be good idea.

Ok this actually boggles me.

Monks are made to deal damage by taking damage, but there is no way to heal them after battles?

So they have a 1 time use after each safe zone rest?

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Somehow I forgot this thread existed or something. As another possible answer to the OP's question, it might amount to little more than an RTS with narrative and in a fantasy setting. Anyway,

 

@mcmanusaur

 

I tend to agree with most of this, however I find it difficult to imagine that a person looking for escapism finds it in a world without some form of direction.  To strawman the argument (I'm untalented with words and argument form, so I resort to extremes to (hopefully) help flesh my less radical ideas), I can look at a sheet of white paper and say that, since it is an amalgamation of all colors, I can project my own personal sense of perfect art upon it.  Of course, your argument is that the white paper is perfect potential, whereupon a person can craft their own ideal art.  I see no flaw in a game like this, but I still would argue that it wouldn't yield as much impact in story as one that might incorporate linear elements.

 

Which I suppose brings us back to the stimulus/impetus bit.  I believe I did use them fairly interchangably, so I should clear up that in my mind they are closely related.  To me, the stimulus is "that guy was murdered," and the impetus is, by a resonable progression of gaming thought "I should find out who and why."  I do not believe that this impetus should be forced upon the player, who should be making his or her own choice to investigate or ignore the matter; but from a story perspective, I don't think it's unfair either to funnel the player into a scenario gilded to incite particular emotions and experiences from them.  To make bad analogy, I suppose I don't want to be lead through a cavern by the hand, but would rather follow the art and patterns painted into the rock to determine my own path.  And if the rock is painted in certain patterns and shapes that draw me from one point to another by the talents of the artist, that's fine by me.  Bringing that back into the realm of gaming, I believe that the stimulus provides impetus to the player, to follow or not, and I don't think it unfair to string stimulus into reasonable progressions of story, which should provide impetus to the player by virtue and quality.

 

To me, the nonlinear aspect is the mechanic of infinite choice, whereas the linear is the structure defining the world I inhabit.  While nonlinearity defines that I may warp and change the structure, linearity is the world as it exists without me.  That dead guy was murdered, and he was killed by Kaine the Farmer, who was seeking retribution on account of the daughter that said dead man raped and brutely killed.  Linear story, and a reasonable linear progression of "investigate, determine suspects, find incriminating evidence, encounter Kaine, close story."  The player doesn't have to follow this path, and idealy infinite paths would be valid, but it could be argued that not all paths are equal in "story magnitude".  One might encounter the murder scene and imedietely kill the dog - it was obviously the dog, and it had it coming, growling at you like that.  And while some may enjoy this route more than others, I would argue that doesn't score as high in "story magnitude." (which to me is like art theory - all answers are correct, but some are more correct than others (blue/purple=cold, red/yellow=warm, lines provide paths to the eye))  The beauty of nonlinearity is that those who enjoy the dog-killing story better can do so, but the appeal of linearity is to define logical and pathological patterns in the nonlinearity (if I'm not just contradicting myself, which I'm not so convinced of anymore).

 

Disclaimer:  I don't mean to outargue you by sheer volume of words, I'm just egregiously bad (by self condemnation, perhaps) at conveying thought and idea, and I attempt to combat this with sheer volume of words. :p

 

I find this topic to be particularly interesting to me.  Perhaps we should dedicate a thread to it?  Too much?

 

At least you're not as bad at conveying ideas (you're actually not at all) as I am at replying to posts in a timely manner... a thread is one possibility, though in reality there are already a lot of threads where this issue is discussed (even if it's not the OP's intended topic, usually thanks to me).

 

It depends on what you consider direction; I personally find plenty of potential direction and sufficient motivations to do things simply operating under the basis of my own psychology and within the world that the game presents. To me (at least on a hypothetical level, outside of which my point isn't all that relevant) what separates linear and non-linear games is not that one gives the player motivation and direction and the other doesn't; what separates them is that one does so in a metagame fashion (and that includes when there is an in-game reason as a post-hoc justification for a metagame-enforced linearity) and the other does so otherwise. I don't have any particular reason to feel that your metaphor is a straw-man argument, so it would be interesting to see you expound upon it (maybe then I would decide that you are doing so).

 

I have a hard time envisioning a world where no stimulus exists; that's like there might as well be no world existing at all, which isn't what nonlinear games are about in my experience. In addition, I don't define quality (i.e., logical, rational) roleplaying as "linear"; I guess at the end of the day we're just using completely different definitions of the word, and there's little to it beyond that. For me, complete nonlinearity isn't about 100% agency (in fact I would hate that, which is sort of a funny notion I suppose); it's about setting the game's system loose to create its own emergent narrative without outside (i.e. metagame) interference.

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There is no healing magic in PE's world, meaning that your party get their health back only by resting. Death is permanent and currently there is no way to bring members of your party back to life, although in normal and lower difficult settings party members don't die but are only maimed, which means that they get heavy penalties to their stats and skills until you rest.

 

Current plan is dropped all "cool down" abilities from game, instead of those there is per rest abilities, per battle abilities and abilities that use resouces like wounds (Monk's abilities) or Focus (cipher's abilities), that are renewed by different mechanics like getting damage (monk's wounds) or doing damage (cipher's focus).

 

Current plans are to limit resting in camp areas and save zones. Which may or may not be good idea.

Ok this actually boggles me.

Monks are made to deal damage by taking damage, but there is no way to heal them after battles?

So they have a 1 time use after each safe zone rest?

 

 

Most of combat damage goes against characters stamina, which regenerates after each battle and which lose also gives monks wound resources (in my understanding). And monks can deal damage without taking any damage, but their souls powers are fueled by suffering of their body. Monks soul powers make them even deadlier in fight that what they are normally. So player has options with monk, one is to play save and try avoid taking damage, but with cost of some combat efficiency or second option is to risk monks life but make it more efficient in fight which will probably save resources of your other characters.

 

This don't differentiate from wizard for example much as you have ability to rise havoc with your by rest spells but if you use all of them in one fight it will damper your wizards efficiency in rest fight before you rest. So you need to find right tactics and strategies to minimize use of your resources or otherwise you risk run out of them before next rest point which means that you probably need to back track to previous one to get more.

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It depends on what you consider direction; I personally find plenty of potential direction and sufficient motivations to do things simply operating under the basis of my own psychology and within the world that the game presents. To me (at least on a hypothetical level, outside of which my point isn't all that relevant) what separates linear and non-linear games is not that one gives the player motivation and direction and the other doesn't; what separates them is that one does so in a metagame fashion (and that includes when there is an in-game reason as a post-hoc justification for a metagame-enforced linearity) and the other does so otherwise. I don't have any particular reason to feel that your metaphor is a straw-man argument, so it would be interesting to see you expound upon it (maybe then I would decide that you are doing so).

 

I have a hard time envisioning a world where no stimulus exists; that's like there might as well be no world existing at all, which isn't what nonlinear games are about in my experience. In addition, I don't define quality (i.e., logical, rational) roleplaying as "linear"; I guess at the end of the day we're just using completely different definitions of the word, and there's little to it beyond that. For me, complete nonlinearity isn't about 100% agency (in fact I would hate that, which is sort of a funny notion I suppose); it's about setting the game's system loose to create its own emergent narrative without outside (i.e. metagame) interference.

 

Yeah, I think we're effectively talking the same game.  The difficulty I had in contemplating a purely nonlinear game was due, I suspect, to a predisposition to equate nonlinearity to narrative entropy that I couldn't fully shake myself of.  A nonlinear story doesn't mean one without stimulus for the player, I was just using the structure of those stimuli to define my idea of ideal linearity - without any meta-game forces driving player action.  If we are to define linearity as a meta-game mechanic to push the PC down particular paths, however, then yes, I agree with you that nonlinear narrative is absolutely superior.  As you say, our debate seems to center around semantics. :grin:

 

I think if I'm to produce a metaphore regarding any diffence of opinion, it'd be that your ideal narrative is an empty journal and a pen with which to write your own story, where for uncreative clods like myself, I'd be happy with a complete novel given a pen, whiteout, and full creative license to change it as I see fit (even the entire thing).

 

 

I can look at a sheet of white paper and say that, since it is an amalgamation of all colors, I can project my own personal sense of perfect art upon it.  Of course, your argument is that the white paper is perfect potential, whereupon a person can craft their own ideal art.

 

I had a strawman in mind initially to reflect your argument in the best way I knew how, but immediately after found better words.  I just never went back to remove the preceding sentence. :p

 

 

... you're not as bad at conveying ideas (you're actually not at all)

 

Yes, but unfortunetly that post well defines the limit of just how intelligent I can feign be!

Edited by Pipyui
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I think if I'm to produce a metaphore regarding any diffence of opinion, it'd be that your ideal narrative is an empty journal and a pen with which to write your own story, where for uncreative clods like myself, I'd be happy with a complete novel given a pen, whiteout, and full creative license to change it as I see fit (even the entire thing).

 

Wow, nice metaphor. But wouldn't full creative license mean that you could essentially white the whole thing out and effectively make it that empty journal of consummate nonlinearity? :biggrin:

To complete the metaphor, normal RPG linearity would be represented by Mad Libs.

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IMO, PE would be a soulless mechanical grind with a thin layer of narrative applied to mask the lack of anything but combat if to catered to the worst of us.

 

I would like to see PE be something like a good PnP campaign, where there is a set story but a great deal of freedom is allowed the player so they don't feel railroaded into progressing along a bland linear path. IMO, BG1 did a good job of this, as the PC could wander around in the wilderness or head straight to Naskel instead of having to go and pick up the Harper couple. You couldn't say "**** the Sword Coast" and hard to Icewind Dale or Rashemen, but you were allowed a reasonable amount of freedom.

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<jabber>

 

One more thing I don't like about cRPG's is a combat scenario proudly adopted in Icewind Dale 2:

  1. So there you are, just strollin' through the dungeon, minding your own beeswax, when suddenly foes appear out of nowhere around you. It's a trap, I get it, but they pop-up just like that - no teleportation animation, no coming out of the shadows, no nothing. But you're surrounded in a fraction of a second. It's lame to suddenly give you like 10 monsters out of the blue.
  2. Now you are all like "OK dungeon, you wanna play it rough?" and kick the out-of-nowhere enemies back into oblivion, when all of a sudden 20 more of them comes from the north, and there's 30 more on their way from the south, or east or west, whataver. So you waste a quarter of an hour to defeat swarms of foes, heal/rest, and proceed to the next room where BAM! the same scenario all over again.

Frustrating, or what? I know IwD gameplay was similar to IwD-2, but I don't remember frowning so much back then. BG series was so much better.

 

</jabber>

It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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IMO, PE would be a soulless mechanical grind with a thin layer of narrative applied to mask the lack of anything but combat if to catered to the worst of us.

 

And on the flip side it would be just a visual novel with combat tacked on to it just for the sake of it (Torment).

 

 

<jabber>

 

One more thing I don't like about cRPG's is a combat scenario proudly adopted in Icewind Dale 2:

  1. So there you are, just strollin' through the dungeon, minding your own beeswax, when suddenly foes appear out of nowhere around you. It's a trap, I get it, but they pop-up just like that - no teleportation animation, no coming out of the shadows, no nothing. But you're surrounded in a fraction of a second. It's lame to suddenly give you like 10 monsters out of the blue.
  2. Now you are all like "OK dungeon, you wanna play it rough?" and kick the out-of-nowhere enemies back into oblivion, when all of a sudden 20 more of them comes from the north, and there's 30 more on their way from the south, or east or west, whataver. So you waste a quarter of an hour to defeat swarms of foes, heal/rest, and proceed to the next room where BAM! the same scenario all over again.

Frustrating, or what? I know IwD gameplay was similar to IwD-2, but I don't remember frowning so much back then. BG series was so much better.

 

</jabber>

 

I am almost to the end of my IWD2 heart of fury playthrough and I have encountered the respawing of enemies in dungeons maybe 2 times. I think you need to replay the game. Any time that an enemy appeared "out of thin air" there was an accompanying narrative to explain it.

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I am almost to the end of my IWD2 heart of fury playthrough and I have encountered the respawing of enemies in dungeons maybe 2 times. I think you need to replay the game. Any time that an enemy appeared "out of thin air" there was an accompanying narrative to explain it.

 

It's not respawning I'm complaining. It's a way of making the game harder by throwing more and more (in their numbers) foes at you at once. Sure, the game takes more time to beat, but it gets tiresome killing the never-ending swarms of enemies. This isn't Diablo, ffs.

It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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IMO, PE would be a soulless mechanical grind with a thin layer of narrative applied to mask the lack of anything but combat if to catered to the worst of us.

 

And on the flip side it would be just a visual novel with combat tacked on to it just for the sake of it (Torment).

While i think both scenarios should be avoided, between your two extremes i find the first one worse by many orders of magnitude.

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