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Role Playing (Games)

Oblivion Designer Moves To New Company 37

Posted by Zonk
from the big-huge-gig dept.
Gamasutra reports on the new position that former Bethesda designer Ken Rolston has taken with Big Huge Games. The lead designer for Bethesda's hit titles Morrowind and Oblivion, Rolston is now slated to be working on an unnamed title for the Rise of Nations developer. Rolston announced he was planning to retire early last year but ... apparently not. The designer characterizes his new project as 'a strikingly original and cunning concept for a console RPG'. No name or concept was included in the announcement.
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Oblivion Designer Moves To New Company

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  • If he's the one who came up with the crappy enemy scaled leveling system in Oblivion, I hope his new project bombs big time.
    • I actually really liked that, so I hope to play his new project if that's the case
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PoderOmega (677170)
      I like the idea of a scaled leveling system, but not the way it was implemented in Oblivion. I already have the leveling mod so I am still playing, but here are my 2 cents.

      -There was almost no variation in the enemy's skill. Starting enemies at your level was fine, but after leveling most random enemies stayed at your level. I think it would have worked if when your character was level 30, you could encounter enemies from level 1-30.
      -Having non-combat skills as main attributes was suicide. I comment
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by spun (1352)
        By level 30, even if you have been getting +2 stat increases the whole time rather than +5, assuming you have some halfway decent armor and weapons, you should be able to stroll through the toughest enemies blindfolded with one arm and one leg tied behind your back. At level 33, I can take on 5-6 of the toughest enemies at the same time, and dispatch them all within 30 seconds using at most one potion.

        Actually, having all combat skills as main is suicide. To get the best character, you do need to level a ce
        • Interesting. I got so pissed off by getting my butt handed to me by goblins I started using a leveling mod around 20. But by this point I had spent at least 20-25 hours or more into the game and the leveling system was making the game less fun. It kind of sucks if you have to play for 20+ hours just to get to a point that combat is fun. I've gotten bored with Oblivion and I think your Chameleon suggestion may breath some life back into the game for me (that sounds fun!).
          • by spun (1352)
            Hehe, it's fun for about half an hour, until you realize that there is NO challenge. It makes all the thieves guild quests rather unchallenging as well. Higher level goblins are actually surprisingly tough, I would put them on a par with high level daedra. They were still a challenge for me even when I was whipping through bandits and other run of the mill encounters like a hot knife through butter.

            One of the things about the Elder Scrolls series, there are many viable strategies and ways of dealing with si
            • by Reapy (688651) on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @05:45PM (#18101534)
              If you are a mage, make use of the mages guild to create customized spells that match your abilities.

              Like my favorite spell, "Camp Fire". This little gem consisted of a long duration firespell that did a few points of damage. It also did some fatigue damage as well. This kept the mana cost somewhat low. When you encounter a bad guy, the first trick would be to hit him with some powerful fatigue drain effects, until he hits the ground, passed out. Then, run close and drop the camp fire on him. He will lay on the ground, unmoving, happily toasting away to his death. Sometimes it takes a while, so feel free to pull out marshmallows and toast accordingly.

              Oh, should fire not get the job done, you could try the sister spell to Camp Fire, entitled, "Electric Chair". :)

              Reapy
      • by Specter (11099)
        "Having non-combat skills as main attributes was suicide..."

        So totally not true. I always play on the hardest difficulty setting now and I rarely put any skill I plan on using very much as major attribute.

        I've played through the main quest and the Mages and Thieves guild quest lines with a character who did not ever once use offensive magic or wield a weapon herself. She did _no_ offensive damage herself to anyone/anything and did not loot corpses/chests/etc.

        I played another character most of the way thro
      • by nuzak (959558)
        Go grab Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul. It makes combat punishingly hard at first (it's supposed to be -- run away!), but does remove the obnoxiousness of the leveled lists without doing away with them completely.

        Get the right economy mods (starting and perhaps ending with Living Economy) and you can ply your own trade routes. You're still going to have to fight, a lot, since there aren't any well-developed hireling mods (and in most games, typical friendly AI is still dumb as a brick)

        It's still a combat-cent
      • by Is0m0rph (819726)
        Maybe I'm not high enough level yet (16) but I really haven't had a problem with this auto leveling. Buy the Wizard's Tower add on (or use the Arcane University) and you can easily create weapons and spells that will level the playing field if the leveled up creatures are too tough. I just got done creating a couple game breaking weapons for my current level. 1-2 dagger strikes takes out anything at this point of the game.
  • If this console RPG they're making is as good as Rise of Nations was, then hot damn, should be good. I just wish the rest of the RTS people liked it. :[
  • I wonder if this means that Elder Scrolls games will go the way of Baldur's Gate (aspired to but never reached by subsequent games by the developer (or, rather, what's left of the developer)). I'm curious about Fallout 3, but ES matters more to me, and I'm hoping the rest of Bethesda's designers will be able to determine what worked about those games and what didn't.

    Anyway, he was planning on retiring after Oblivion anyway, so it's only a good thing he's staying in the industry to help on another RPG. Aut
    • by chrish (4714)
      Huh, what?

      Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II (and the expansions for both) were all written at BioWare [bioware.com], by generally the same folks... you can see how they progress in their craft (game design, writing, and programming) between the two.

      The Neverwinter Nights and Knights of the Old Republic situation (BioWare did the good/excellent originals, shifted the sequels to Obsidian where they were rushed out the door by the publisher before they were even close to ready) on the other hand...
      • by Sciros (986030)
        Hmmm well I was under the impression that after Black Isle fell apart the dev team had changed somewhat, but you're right, it barely did! I guess there was no excuse for NWN to be as rubbish as it was compared to BG II, haha. (BG I and II are some of my favorite RPGs)

        Well, I'm still worried the ES series will suffer the same fate in terms of going from good to mediocre. That is, ES 5 will be on the level of NWN or something.
  • by drsquare (530038) on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @05:27PM (#18101260)
    Even though he's been given a large pay rise, he's found that everyone else has also received the same raise and all the prices have gone up accordingly, leaving him wondering why he bothered.

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman

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