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CRPGs Today and 5-10 Years Ago

Discussion in 'Featured Polls & Comments' started by Taluntain, Mar 22, 2010.

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In general, do you feel that CRPGs developed these days are as good as those developed 5-10 years ag

Poll closed Jul 30, 2015.
  1. They're even better now

    2 vote(s)
    5.3%
  2. They're about the same in terms of quality

    15 vote(s)
    39.5%
  3. They're worse now

    21 vote(s)
    55.3%
  4. I wasn't playing CRPGs that far back

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    This time around we're feeling a bit nostalgic for the good old days... or is that merely an illusion?
     
  2. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    My favourite CRPGs are much older. Fallout 1 goes back to 1997 and Baldur's Gate 1998. When I think about games between 2000 and 2005 I'm not particularly impressed. Vampire Bloodlines and Icewind Dale I and II stand out IMO (and probably NWN if the OC is not taken into account). I have only played Knights of the Old Republic once. Morrowind was good but I enjoyed Might and Magic VI more.

    If I have to compare current CRPGs to these games I would say that they are roughly the same. Compared to DAO, Jade Empire, Kotor and NWN are not so different as far as CRPGs go.

    If I think about Oblivion (2006) and Fallout 3 I can't say they are that different from Morrowind either.

    Arcanum Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura and Lionheart Legacy of the Crusader are both to be listed with the older games (2001 and 2003) they could have been worthy successors to the original Fallout (they used modified versions of the Special system) but both were deeply flawed. I can't think of any current game that can be compared to these games though (as flawed as they were they were very original games).
     
  3. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I don't know if they're better or worse. I have fun with most of what I buy... I'd say things are just different today than they used to be, and some people really don't like change.

    I remember when Ultima VII came out. I was like: WTF?! No more turn-based combat?! This sucks! But then when I played it, it turned out to be one of the best games I ever played.
     
  4. Rawgrim Gems: 21/31
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    I think they are just about the same. However; if we go 15-20 years back, rpgs were alot better (disregarding graphics and sound of course). The late 80s to mid 90s had some of the besr crpgs ever made. Took ALOT longer to finish them as well. The Ultima series, Betrayal at Krondor, Lands of Lore, Might and magic series. All great. To be fair though, In the last two years crpgs have really improved. Looks to me that things are heading in the right direction. Mass effect, dragon age, and drakensang. are all barking up the right tree, in a very good way, I think. I cincerely hope they won`t go mmorgp with these series. Seems to be the trend though. Kotor going online, instead of them making a kotor 3 instead. No fun being forced to play videogames online with a bunch of 14 year olds.
     
  5. The Magpie

    The Magpie Balance, in all things Veteran

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    [​IMG] It depends entirely upon what you're looking for. RPGs are a good deal slicker nowadays, but with that they're a bit less free-form. Obviously, the 80s & 90s were a "Golden Age" for free-roaming RPGs, but I find turn-based combat absolutely unbearable. Also, if you think about just BioWare, they've really expanded their horizons. RPGs really suffered from having basically the same setting as each other, but after KotOR's success BioWare really began to push the boat out: Jade Empire and Mass Effect were welcome shifts in the genre, both in terms of setting and gameplay.

    Also, since NWN, BioWare/Obsidian titles had felt too uninvolving playing them; it was like you were watching the computer roll dice rather than genuinely effecting the outcome of combat. In Jade Empire, the Chinese-inspired background wasn't, perhaps, as dangerous a move as the shift to a beat-'em-up style of gameplay, but it worked fantastically. Similarly, Mass Effect created a fantastic sci-fi universe that begged, borrowed and stole elements from sci-fi everywhere. Babylon 5, FarScape and (of course) Star Trek were all voraciously mined for inspiration, and the result was truly astounding. Add to that the integration of an engine that made the game into an excellent, fast-paced squad-based shooter, and you had the perfect recipe for win. A mating of KotOR and Halo, that actually worked on damn near every level and featured blue alien lesbianism, Mass Effect was probably close to as perfect as any game has a right to be. Additionally, there was quite a bit of freeform exploration thrown in.

    Now, I haven't played ME2 yet, but Dragon Age: Origins (DA:O) is reminding me of all the good bits of BG2 the more I play it. Yes, it's basically thiefed Dungeon Siege II's gameplay and character advancement. But it's done it because it's a system that works well in CRPGs. I am now about to commit an outrageous act of SP heresy: I just don't think that the D&D system, especially 3E, works at all well as a ruleset for CRPGs. It's too unbalanced, too dependent on a human DM to step in and slap down the munchkins, and too wedded to its absurdist, Vancian spellcasting system. 3E is particularly rubbish because its multiclassing system makes balancing the game an impossible task. At least 2E made you pick a class and commit; 3E allows you to have the advantages of several classes with a minimum of disadvantage. DA:O may not be anything like as mold-blowing as Mass Effect (but then, Fantasy backgrounds are almost always more cliched than sci-fi, anyway), but its gameplay is just as fantastic, in a different way. You're always involved, giving orders, maneuvering rogues and casting spells. Even if you rely on the combat tactics menu more, that's still something you've set up, and it's truly wonderful that a game gives you the option to set your companions' AI up "out of the box". How many games have you swearing at the screen because of the retarded companion AI? In DA:O, the customisation factor virtually eliminates this. In my book, it's an even bigger innovation & selling point than the much-vaunted Origins, and they're really very good, for the most part.

    The ditching of the pantheon of D&D gods is also hugely welcome, as it allows for greater moral ambiguity, which leads to better stories & characters. D&Ds' alignment system was, ultimately, a noose for character development that forced characters and institutions to be pigeon-holed. That choked the maturity of the whole system, and often forced out-of-character decisions upon you if your moral reading of a situation didn't match the developers'.

    In conclusion, games like KotOR are classics, but the more modern games have better game mechanics; the combat is more fun & involving and thats what counts 90% of the time. I know I've not mentioned Morrowind, but IMO that's not in the same league. It's too unfocussed, too open to really grab you when running around hacking stuff isn't as fun as it should be. A better combat engine and more restrictive class system could've made it great, but c'est la vie. DA:O & Mass Effect cut and run from the restrictions of tabletop gaming, and can do a lot more a lot better as a result. Maybe they're not perfect, but the evolution of the genre is clear to see, and the improvements concrete. Even the original (& I thought unassailable) Baldur's Gate is now looking long-in-the-tooth, in terms of gameplay, although the free form storytelling of stuff like PS:T and Fallout is unlikely to ever be matched in a gaming culture that demands voiceovers for all chacracters, fun-wise RPGs have come light years.
     
  6. Rawgrim Gems: 21/31
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    I have to agree with that one. 3+ed are terrible systems for a crpg really. Its as you say; way too munchkin. Belive me, having been a DM for 12 years or so, its just as bad when playing it pen and paper. Kotor used a bastardized version of the 3ed rules though, minus the multiclassing. I remember that bit being a letdown really. Too many wierd feats. "Power shot", for example. Shouldn`t even be a feat, should be a function that could be used on that particular gun. I have noticed though, that never games tends to get more and more dumbed down. Mass effect 2 is a very good example of this. ME2 was very good anyway though, so i am not complaining about it.

    But still, as an overall, there were alot more "good rpgs", back then, than now. But the good ones we have now, are really good.
     
  7. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The pantheon really only served for the Divine characters in these games. The Clerics and Pallys. Also the Monk in IWD2. The alignment system fit the game world as the Divine characters were followers of Deities and the dieties enforced rules, kinda like our own world(except the churches create the rules, as their is no gods. :D). The alignment system also guided the different classes along the game's path. Now, I will admit the designers were not always spot on on every choice when alignment was the determining factor in the game's path, causing you to do something you think your character wouldn't, but hit the mark most of the time. Most game worlds and systems do this in the rpg universe. No matter if they use alignment or just Good vs. Evil scenarios or moral vs. immoral. It's all the same. IMO, games with unlimited choices and no consequences adds a very unrealistic, fake feel to me. If I am rping a
    Noble Knight and slay the townsfolk for their gold, I should be penalized. Again, that's just my opinion.
     
  8. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    I have enjoyed CRPGs from all eras. My only regret about modern CRPG is that there aren't enough of them. Of course, that is balanced, by the fact that I don't have enough time to play them all so I guess it isn't a problem. In the old days, it seemed like SSI was coming out with a game all the time.
     
  9. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Actually Snook, they were. Several a year most of the time. They were the greatest of the rpg companies, IMO of course.
     
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  10. Rawgrim Gems: 21/31
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    They certainly were great, thats for sure. My vote goes for Origin though. The Ultima series was fantastic. I think Origin, SSI, and New World Computing, are the best ones so far. With Bioware somewhere in between those.
     
  11. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    To my great shame, I have never played an Ultima game and the only New World Computing games I played were Might and Magic VI- VIII
     
  12. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Snook. Even though they are old, the Ultima games are well worth a visit. Even the first three games. Graphics are ancient, gameplay is basic, but still alot of fun. Plus each games revisits or builds from the early games of the series. I loved the familiarity of the series as it grew over the years.
     
  13. Erod Gems: 14/31
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    5 to 10 years ago is not really the good old days if you ask me :-). But overall I would say that RPGs now are on the same level as then. Action RPGs are even better than they used to be, but there are perhaps less traditional CRPGs.
     
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    As we all have seen from the advancement in technology CRPGS moved from text driven dialgoue to voice acting dialogue. We moved from dot pixel games to textured polygon games.

    The most important piece of CRPG is the story and well to put it simple 10 years ago developers had the time to develop a story and make sure the game was well written. Today, large gaming companies like EA and Atari force games out early before they are ready to be released.

    The good thing about DAO is that Bioware has been developing the game for some time. It would not surprise me if they had the DAO, DLC and Awakening already written well in advance before they even started creating the game. It would not surprise me if DA2 was also already written prior to DAO being released.

    Other games like NWN OC the story behind the game is misplaced or nonexistance due to a lack of good writers or the game being rushed to be put on the shelves. I believe NWN can be an exception as it was more about the toolset than the actuall game when it was released.

    As for other CRPGs I don't really bother as I try to play more than one type of genre in games. I do enjoy my sports, racing, action, etc... games.
     
  15. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The developers of NWN had a genius idea. "Let's create a game engine with a crap story, milk a few crappy expansions and let the fans make the real stuff, while we reap the monetary reward!" I guess they knew the fans would mod their games anyway, so why develop a story, right?!
     
  16. Scythesong Immortal Gems: 19/31
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    Speaking as a person, I think the games from 5-10 years ago > games today. Speaking objectively, I think overall quality has been the same for the last several years now. No idea how that'll change in the next few months (Diablo/Strarcraft 2, DA2) although DA:O is proof that the potential for growth is indeed there... somewhere.

    Don't forget DA:O's pathing AI. Click on the ground somewhere and if your character can reach it then he'll go there without actually getting stuck somewhere else.
     
  17. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    That sounds like my thoughts, echoed word for word.
     
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  18. Rawgrim Gems: 21/31
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    Very good point. Maybe that is why alot of us tend to replay the older games? Saves time learning new systems and whatsnot? I have no idea how many times I have replayed the BG games. But i have noticed that i tend to do it when I want to relax after a busy day.
     
  19. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Taking the easy comparisons, I'd say that Fallout 1 & 2 > Fallout 3, Morrowind > Oblivion, and Dragon Age (as the so-called spiritual successor) cannot even begin to compare to BG2. And that's not even talking about PS:T. I think the only fairly recent RPGs that have managed to hold my attention are The Witcher and to a lesser degree Jade Empire, which had many flaws, but ultimately worked pretty well. Overall, I'd have to go with that I liked the older RPGs better.
     
  20. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    I think the main thing is that just as with anything else the more you consume of something the more developed your palate gets and the higher you standards are set. We expect and want more from our games now than we did in the past. I play through games once and then I can't bring myself to play them again I have a big pile of games I want to replay after my first newbie rush but never get around to it. Modern games also have the problem of trying to measure up to the monster that is World of Warcraft. Blizzard managed to pretty much take all the good parts from the history of CRPGs and put them in this one MMO. I actually find myself looking forward to Diablo 3 a lot and that is despite never playing the first two to any significant extent simply because I doubt any other company can even come close to Blizzard in the genre. Sadly I doubt Blizzard are going to make a story driven single player CRPG but if they did I think it would blow everything else away. They are the only company capable of standing up to publishers like EA and Atari and do their own thing.
     

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