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I'm on the fence with Bethesda...

 

Morrowind was really open-ended, and did deliver for the most part, but it was so riddled with bugs, studdering, crashes, and extended load-times that it was difficult to get truely immersed.

And, though I realize it's a role-playing game, the fact that even high-end systems (at the time) had a hard time running the game smoothly was really unexcusable.

 

You'd hear (see) people complain about the framerate, only to have fanboys retort with "it's a role-playing game, not a first person shooter!!!". True, but it's also a game, not a slide show.

 

Even in the vid, you could plainly see that whoever was controlling the player character took pains to move the camera slooowwwllly. Sure enough it was might purdy, but I hate feeling like I'm staring at a poster with one eye closed during an earthquake...if you know what I mean.

 

The early demovids of HL2 seemed super promising, especially the AI, but the game itself was nothing like that. Like spar and odd, that's my biggest worry. Don't get me wrong, I'm not hoping it's junk, quite the opposite...fuck, I'd build a whole new system for the game...if it's all it claims to be. I can't help feeling that the chick lighting her dog on fire wasn't altogether improvisational.

 

I do like the focus they put on stealth, being one of the least impressive things in Morrowind.

 

After all that cool shit on the vid, I have but one question....

 

Can I sit in the chairs?

 

HEY!!! Stop throwing things at me!!!

 

:P

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I agree about HL2... I'm one of those few people who actually enjoyed the D3 game more than HL2 - but I think part of it had to do with expectations. There were so many things that HL2 advertised it was going to have - and which I very much looked forward to - then didn't include, that I felt very dissappointed with it. To name a few...

1. The hydra level. My favorite parts of the original HL games were unique monsters such as the tentacles in in the rocket testing facility and the pitworm. (also, the behemoth encounters were great too) I just knew the hydra level was going to be my favorite part of HL2, and throughout the game I was on the edge of my toes wondering if I was about to encounter it. Never happened. :(

2. Advanced sound generation. They claimed that if you dragged your weapon across a wall, it would make a scratching noise that matched how you drug it across, and that physics objects would generate realistic sounds. To me, it sounded like they were just playing looping wave files for objects being pushed/dragged, and a set of wave files for each time a physics object hit something. Same old boring technology that didn't accurately create the right sounds.

3. Weapon cleaning. It sounded interesting, and I was very curious how they were going to implement it.

 

Adding to that, the ending was very anticlimactic and kind of sad (I'm under the impression that all your friends died, save Barney and Dr. Kleiner), so the game was all-around disappointing. (I did enjoy the antlion/prison level though)

 

On the other hand, Doom3 turned out to have everything that had been advertised and more, hence having all the stuff I was looking forward to. Additionally, I've wanted to implement computer guis in levels since the original HL, and seeing D3 implement gorgeous, detailed computer interfaces was wonderful. All-in-all I had a blast with D3, though I wish they added more puzzles. (the only part that even remotely resembled a puzzle had a walkthrough pop up on the screen if you didn't solve it immediately - and it was a very simple puzzle :P)

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Right!!!

 

I liked ye olde Doom 3 because it was everything it claimed to be. Id was smart to stay abit more on the happy side of caution when it came to the advertising. Granted, it wasn't the scare-a-thon that they "hinted" towards, but I was definitely scared. And in the end, it wasn't anything more that it claimed...a pretty, dark, balls to wall gore fest.

 

HL2 lacked the cleverness of it's prequel. I never got the feeling I was "using" the physics engine, ever. It was littered with "what's valve want me to do now" kind of puzzles, the physics could've been scripted for all it's use. Granted, the grav gun was fun, but it was still just a "foil".

 

Even the AI "felt" more organic in HL1 than it's sequel. I can name a few games off the top of my head that came out years before HL2 that felt more realistic.

 

And the ending...don't get me started. Yeah, I know that Laidlaw wrote the story, and it's in first person perpective, and there's all this subtext....blah, blah, blah. After the shit blew up, and the credits were rolling, the first thing I thought (I kid you not) was "I paid Valve fifty dollars to annoy me"

 

It was a might purdy game, though.

Edited by Hylix Ulyx

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Well, what is funny, I was OK towards HL2 but did not like it at, I dropped it after Ravenholm, my dad finished it. It just has nothing of its prequel...

 

For DooM 3 though, I didn't even want to play it for the play. I just wanted to look at the engine, but to the game itself, I was annoyed by the popularity of DooM 3, but when I finaly started... I got off only the third day after when I finished it. In fact, there wasn't even sound - I didn't install drivers yet. I wanted to wait, but I couldn't, I just wanted to play it and play it and shoot the next monster and grab the next weapon and new location. I remember seeing the loading screen, the head of a demon. "Oh," I thought sadly, "last level." Damn it wasn't! It was just the half of the game! And I had to get all my weapons new! And compare HL2 size to DooM 3... Well, with slow playing (I was playing DooM 3 really fast), I finished the chapters before Ravenhurt after 3 hours, and my dad, extremely dissapointed, finished it 2 days later... And how could they make such a small game so boring...


May the Abyss rule!

 

Shadow of the Serpent Riders fan.

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I loved the twilight and night skies in Morrowind. And some of the landscape stuff. Other than that, the game wasn't that good. AI drove me nuts; all the reading you had to do drove me nuts; all the repetitive readings, sayings and voices drove me nuts; getting stuck in a cave and no way to get out drove me nuts; reptitive NCPs and gameplay drove me nuts; et cetera drove me nuts :)

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yeah, i found a lot of hl2 boring. the scenes seemed to drag on and on, like the water bit. Anyways, with the oblivion movie, they gave the woman a schedule which made her do all that, something like:

 

1:30 feed dog

1:31 use bow

1:32 read book

1:33 eat dinner

1:34 sleep

 

Thats what i think anyway. The point is, they gave her a very short schedule so that the movie wouldnt be 2 hours long. etc.

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Yep, and then they try to claim that those things they told the AI to do are just emergent behavior from "Radiant AI!" Please. If the AI are going to behave like that on a regular basis, it's not something to be proud of. :blush:

 

Looking forward to it all the same, but I wish they'd stop already with the damn dog thing we've all seen and heard fifty thousand times oh gosh oh gee, and hold off just a wee bit on the Radiant AI Ultra-Hype. It's not going to be very different from anything else we've seen, just wait. It'll be Morrowind AI with day/night schedules (which already happened in game (e.g., the Ultimas) long ago).

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I have to discent with general opintion on this one. I loved Morrowind. I liked digging into the story and having to track down different people's opinions to try to get some sort of ideas as to what was really going on. I guess I could see how it would be possible to get lost, since no one person could really give you a definitive answer. You had to talk to various characters and read between the lines to figure out what "really" happened. Even then there are some uncertainties.

 

I'm going to say this, and probably take alot of flack for it, but if you play the main game the whole way through and talk to enough people, you'll find that Morrowind has one of the best plots of any game in recent memory. It has more to say about our modern world and the nature of "history" than any college course. The term "Apographia" doesn't even begin to cut it.

 

As for the missions, some of them were a bit boring, but I guess i enjoyed a great number of them. I enjoyed the fact that I could go off and ignore the main plot for a while and just work on climbing the ranks in some petty factoin if I wanted to.

 

Even if you didn't like the game though, you have to admit that Bethesda are the masters of mixing computer generated fractal worlds and overlayed content. They always are struggling to find the balance. In Daggerfall there was alot of fractal (in the Elder Scrolls Pantheon "Anu") and in Morrowind there was more overlayed human written content (in the Elder Scrolls Pantheon "Padomay"). I was tickled when I figured out that the residents of Tamriel had a cosmology and mythology that touched in places on what there world really was.... Particularly when I red the Redguard description of the "infinite snake that curls around itself, eating itself" and the world as "its skin". Pretty cool tribal description of a fractal procedurally generated universe.

 

Anyway, enough fanboyism for the moment.

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Actually I was a bit sad that the plot was so well hidden in Morrowind. It is one of the most beatuiful games I have played so far, but running around with no clue is not exactly entertaining. And I'm not really interested in asking every single NPC and taking notes just to figure out what I should or should not do. I did this once with Might & Magic. I wrote down all the values of the wepaons and armor, where I found them what value they have and what properties, but this is nothing I enjoy., I expect a good game to tell me this, because it is simply a chore. It doesn't need to give me these details all along, but when I disocver something I shouldn't need a notebook with me just to be able to play the game.


Gerhard

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Wanted to followup in case my post above Zombie's was taken to mean I didn't like Morrowind - quite the contrary! In fact, despite having lost my savegames (only up to trial 4 I think? I was going so slow, mapping every inch (stupid, I know)) with my HD crash, and have actually restarted and gotten myself to trial 3 already (I'm skipping the mapping this time :P). I don't think anyone could argue against how insanely deep and detailed the Elder Scrolls world is. I bet these guys have (real world) volumes and volumes just containing the history of it all.

 

They're clearly nuts, the lot of them.

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They're all too big for my 56k, I'll have to wait till next week.

I guess the release will be march or april at the latest.


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

character models site

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Pardon, but did mister developer person just say (about 5 mins into the second video) that the realtime soft shadow stuff was something they couldn't end up using and it's gone? That now there are settings for what you want to cast shadows and not? So much for realtime lighting. That's going to go over well. Nice how he understated and obfuscated it. <_<

 

Disappointing also that they say (on the forums, not this video) that implementing mounted combat would take a dedicated team hundreds of man-hours to design and code and test... when Mount & Blade does it from one guy's programming... :rolleyes:

 

And damnit Bethesda, love your stuff, but use some interpolation on your animations or something. I've only been on board since Morrowind, but you guys are infamous for choppy animation.

 

All that aside... it's still goddamn exciting. :)

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It'll no doubt turn out to be an overhyped consolised piece of crap like every other game these days.

I hope it doesn't, but hoping isn't going to change the game.

I thought Morrowind was shit, it was the most shoddy, half-assed attempt at a game I've ever seen, with a ridiculous list of major flaws, yet somehow a large number of people still liked it.


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

character models site

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It'll no doubt turn out to be an overhyped consolised piece of crap like every other game these days.

You might be right, considering the guy in the interview says the PC version and XBOX 360 version pretty much have identical gameplay.

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Yeah that's bad news. The Sims 2 plays very differently on XBox compared to PC, but this is good - they are really well designed for their own platforms. and are fun in their own ways. The XBox version makes up for its narrower scope by having a slightly different focus in gameplay.

 

The reason why people liked Morrowind was because it was another poker-machine-like click-fest.

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Morrowind on Xbox and PC also had pretty much identical gameplay, I don't see why you think they would consolise Oblivion.

 

The only thing that could make it feel consolised is the new battle system which will be more actiony. For example you decide when to block with a button and how sufficient the block is depends on your stats, while ALL hits that seem to hit DO hit, but the ammount of damage depends again on the stats.

 

Still, that's a good thing imo, the fighter based characters were not fun at all in Morrowind (I don't know about the wizards, I never play as one). Ranged weapons were a bit better but still not that fun.

 

I'm very excited about the stealth part because it sounds very well made even in that. I just hope I'm not expecting too much in that aspect from an RPG.

 

What troubles me is I can't really see any shadows on any screenshots at all... And most of the screenshots seem to be made on purpose so that you can't see down to the legs of the characters and see if they cast a shadow or not. There's only a couple that show that and there are no shadows whatsoever in them. Why would they disable that graphical feature in screenshots made to promote the game? Granted both screens are from the 360 version which could lack dynamic shadows but I can't see any shadows in the PC version screenshots either.

 

Still, look at this image:

http://img.gamespot.com/gamespot/images/20...4_screen003.jpg

 

And read this article:

http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/theelderscr...tml?sid=6144923

 

And you can see why I'm excited about that.

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Apparently the shadows can be turned on/off for indoors outdoors. Though that was said a couple of months ago, dunno how much that's changed

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Oh I'm sure that if they have shadows they can be turned on or off at will... But I don't think I've ever seen any developer promote his game by showing screenshots that have any sort of graphical features turned off. And why would they?

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With my feirce opposition against stat-based gaming, I'm still definetly buying this game. Just to stand on hills and look at the views, and walk all the way to a mountain and climb it just because the entire landscape seems to be visible all the time, due to an awesome LOD system.

 

I mean, the forest is so beautiful, it just seems wrong that he's fighting some dryad in it, it's like "What are you two doing, can't you see how beautiful everything looks? Just calm down and look around... it's nice... doesn't it make you want to go exploring?"

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Yeah. Like a poor mans vacation. :) I thought the same when I played Far Cry. I enjoyed it much more to look at the beach, then go around and fight. :)

 

Well, in a few years this might well be the only chance for not so rich people to get a look at how fine nature looks. Considering that rich people like superstars are already buying all the big and nice landscapes (for example along the sea).


Gerhard

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Oh I'm sure that if they have shadows they can be turned on or off at will... But I don't think I've ever seen any developer promote his game by showing screenshots that have any sort of graphical features turned off. And why would they?

 

As I was saying above, the guy says in the video that they are "gone." He was somewhat unclear in what he was saying, but what I *think* he's saying is, things like plants, characters, or rocks, can have their shadows turned on or off, but the world geometry will not cast shadows. In other words, no total realtime light and shadow system - just faked quasi-shadows for some things.

 

"The soft shadow thing was, basically was an old system that we had wanted to try and use in the game but couldn't, so those are gone. They don't exist. It's not a button [?], to be turned on. Um, but more in terms of, you know, whether you have shadows, whether grass has, um, casts shadows, things like that, um, and those are things you can turn on but are gonna affect your performance to some level..."

I wonder how many fan following the development closely and believing that total, soft shadows would be in there from the start know of that new development.

 

Edit: On the one hand, that might be good news - if they've managed to make it look good without all the glitz of a realtime lighting engine, the game should run WAY faster. On the other hand, if it performs as poorly as Morrowind did, AND has no realtime lighting... <_<

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