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Role Playing (Games) Games

Genre Wars — the Downside of the RPG Takeover 248

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-gain-1912-experience dept.
Phaethon360 writes "From Bioshock and Modern Warfare 2 to even Team Fortress 2, RPG elements are creeping into game genres that we never imagined they would. This change for the most part has managed to subtly improve upon genres that needed new life, but there's a cost that hasn't been tallied by the majority of game developers. 'The simple act of removing mod tools, along with the much discussed dedicated server issue, has made [MW2] a bit of a joke among competitive players. Gone are the days of "promod," and the only option you have is to play it their way. If Infinity Ward are so insistent on improving the variety of our experiences, they don’t have to do it at the expense of the experience that many of us already love. It really is that simple. If they don’t want to provide a good "back to basics experience," they could at least continue to provide the tools that allow us to do that for ourselves.'"
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Genre Wars — the Downside of the RPG Takeover

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  • RPG? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Ubi_NL (313657) <joris AT ideeel DOT nl> on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @07:31AM (#30830292) Journal

    I must admit I rarely play these games but I thought all of them had Rocket Propelled Grenades in them since Doom?

  • by Toonol (1057698) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @07:35AM (#30830324)
    The removal of Mod Tools in MW2 has nothing to do with any RPG elements. It is completely feasible for RPGs to have mods, and indeed many popular RPGs have some of the most impressive mods. Also, the summary mentions Bioshock, but that games was a 'spiritual successor' to System shock 1 & 2, and Bioshock actually was LESS of an RPG than those.

    I can understand the complaint about RPG elements (in simple form) creeping into other genres, but a similar problem is faced by RPGs; they are being diluted by other genres. Look at something like Fallout 3 for an example. I'd argue that the bigger problem is that ALL game series seem to eventually slowly turn into first person shooters with light rpg elements. It's a lowest common denominator style of gameplay that is pulling in games from all directions.
    • by polar red (215081)

      Soon they will pull harvesting in(like in dune2 and its successors, or warcraft1,2). I can see the range of possible weapons increase : chaingun, laserbeam, rocketlauncher, scythe, pick, hammer, spade, ... My mousewheel will wear out FAST !

      • by RMingin (985478)

        I see you haven't played Red Faction: Guerrilla. You have a sledgehammer, and you go around whacking any 'crystal deposits' you see for in-game currency, used to purchase upgrades and new weapons.

        The future is now, but it sucks.

    • by mlts (1038732) * on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @08:25AM (#30830566)

      This has been going on for a long time. If one stretched things, they could say that World of Warcraft is a FPS with an extreme number of powerups. However, FPS is a concept is a known quantity. You put out something in this type of genre, and you will almost certainly break even at the minimum.

      Finding new ways to do a RPG combat system is hard. There are not that many ways to do combat, so FPS mechanics is one of the most used. Turn by turn combat used to be the RPG mainstay, but for many people, it is too slow a method of resolving conflict. There are other combat systems, but if a game relies too much on arcade reflexes, it might turn people away.

      For single player, most likely the best bet for a modern RPG these days would be a system used by NWN and NWN2, where people can pause the action before making their next decision, but if they know what exactly is going on, can still do an almost real-time battle.

      What I've not seen that much of are RPGs with RTS mechanics. Picture having your group of people that you start out with at a beginning of the game, and each of them has some ability and weakness. There would have to be more plot and character development for an RPG to separate it from Warcraft 1-3 (adding multiple endings, having side quests), but it could be done.

      One scenario using these type of mechanics could be pushing back some orcs [1] who are pillaging some nearby villages. You send in some scouts to see what exactly their weaknesses are (one village has an orc wizard fireballing buildings. Another has an orc chieftain who keeps his band up with heals. Still another has a warrior chieftain.) Then you send whatever guys you have that would be the best against the type of enemy at hand. With different playstyles, one could have a lot of grunt troops and just swarm the villages, send in ranged troops (with some melee in front as a distraction), or perhaps even find a way to use some type of negotiating skill to get the orc tribal leaders to accept a keg of ogre swill as treasure enough so they stop their invasion.

      Another scenario could be a castle siege. You have your forces and need to punch a hole in the castle walls, while fending off forces coming from other sides. Part of the RPG would be doing side quests. One side quest earns you better siege engines. Another gets enemy troops to not join in on the fight. Still another side quest just might allow the player to earn such a famous/infamous reputation that they can just bypass the siege altogether and have the opposing side open the doors and surrender.

      This isn't to say this has not been done before, but RPG/RTS mechanics are not something seen often in modern games. What sets RPGs apart from "plain old" RTS/FPS games is having multiple endings, multiple side quests, and different consequences for player actions. For example, if a PC is an extremely good diplomat, it may allow for some battles to be skipped or handled in a different way. Similar if a PC does side quests for a reputation. Throwing in some mini-games [2] may be the answer here as a way to help (perhaps use the RTS engine so the player can work as a mercenary general in order to help your side get land or resources in between plot advances.)

      [1]: Classic AD&D/LoTR orcs which would be more than happy to stuff any intelligent race in a stewpot. Except dwarves. They are just too hard to clean.

      [2]: One recent mini-game I liked was the Risk-like one in James Cameron's "Avatar". It was fairly tough because you had very little territory at the start, so you could either play your chances slowly, or start the mini game every so often, because you got more money as the main game progressed. Mini games have to be done right though. For example, the card one in FF8 a lot of players just skipped for the most part.

      • by Splab (574204)

        The castle scenario is done in WoW, PvP in wintergrasp is about protecting or storming the castle (depending on who won last match), the attacker starts out with their own set of towers which the faction on defense can attack to end the match quicker, there are several siege engine shops where controlling faction of said shop can acquire engines. And of course you got all your weapons/spells from normal levelling in WoW.

        Loads of fun, it does however take quite some time before you are level 80 to join the f

      • Ogre Battle for SNES/PS1 and Ogre Battle64 for N64 are what spring to mind as closest to your idea.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Turn by turn combat used to be the RPG mainstay, but for many people, it is too slow a method of resolving conflict.

        Then maybe they shouldn't play RPGs. An RPG with real time combat is an action-adventure game.

        • by thepotoo (829391)

          No. They are action-RPGs. Vampire - Bloodlines, Deus Ex, Diablo, Defense of the Ancients. These are action RPGs. The very best (the first two I listed) allow you to change the story, and have loads of dialogue to back up the action. A different type (also good, but not to my tastes so much) eschews story for pure stat-based combat. These tend to have superior combat systems, but lack decent dialogue and interesting characters.

          I concur with the GP that an RTS-RPG would be awesome. Dawn of War II had a

      • What I've not seen that much of are RPGs with RTS mechanics. Picture having your group of people that you start out with at a beginning of the game, and each of them has some ability and weakness. There would have to be more plot and character development for an RPG to separate it from Warcraft 1-3 (adding multiple endings, having side quests), but it could be done.

        The Crescent Hawk's Revenge, a very early RTS mechwarrior game. You had about twenty missions and mech states would carry over from one mission to the next. The game was pretty linear with a few branches, path A or B to reach an intended goal. Mechs had pilots with stats and you had the opportunity to swap pilots and mechs at certain points. Would be seen as incredibly rudimentary by today's standards but none of these mechanics are present in modern-day RTS.

        Personally, I like the idea of carrying units ove

        • by Reapman (740286)

          Wow, someone else that has played this game.. I consider it one of my all time favorites for back in the day. It was pretty advanced for it's time, big leap from Crescent Hawks Inception. too bad it was also the last.

      • The trouble I have is distinguishing what is setting apart the RTS from the RPG - since they are both incredibly similar in game mechanics. You sit above, select unit, tell unit to perform action. The RTS part naturally suggests that its real time (as its in the name) and the RPG part suggests there is role-playing, which is exactly what Warcraft 3/Dota are, and the literally half a dozen remakes to have come out of it kept are doing. It's not that these games aren't around anymore, it's that they are a dea

    • I personally enjoy the creeping in of RPG elements in games that traditionally don't make use of them. What I however do not understand is how that has anything to do with the lack of modtools or whatever.
      Recently I've been playing a bit of an indie game called Killing Floor, which apparently started out as a mod for UT2k4. This is quite an enjoyable cheap little game with a handful of different classes and a handful of levels for each. Make headshots, and become better with precision weapons, that sort of
    • Removing of Mod Tools is all about controlling shelf-life for games and monopolising the market for extensions/enhancements for those game.

      It's all a business decision - outside MMOs, the current way that Game Producers (want to) do business is:

      • Milk a franchise for as long as you can by periodically releasing newer versions of the same game
      • Have extra post-sale revenue by selling extras for the game (DLC)

      In that sense, user mods are "bad for business" since they:

      • Extend the life of an existing version of a ga
      • They almost have a point, but they're missing something important: the only reason that a lot of people bought Half Life originally was for Counterstrike. People who enjoy modding games aren't going to go away if you dn't support them, they'll just start writing mods for your competitor's games. If they stop supporting mods too, then they'll write mods for open source games (and, yes, there are a few good, hackable, open source FPS games, but their graphics tend to be a couple of generations behind the st
    • by nlawalker (804108)

      The removal of mod tools in MW2 most certainly does have something to do with the RPG elements.

      Bioshock and Fallout 3 aren't competitive multiplayer games - your level doesn't affect anyone outside of your one-player game. Leveling in MW2 controls access to perks and weapons that are supposed to be earned, and your level is supposed to be indicative of your relative experience and playtime. The leveling system creates a community hierarchy. Now, I'm not making any argument about whether or not that aspect a

    • by kalirion (728907)

      In other news, the increase of XBox 360 Controller Support in PC games has the downside of increased DRM use.

  • by rwa2 (4391) * on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @07:38AM (#30830338) Homepage Journal

    But it's the only chance a lot of people would have (thus broadening their market)...

    http://www.pixelpoppers.com/2009/11/awesome-by-proxy-addicted-to-fake.html [pixelpoppers.com]

  • Two issues here (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RogueyWon (735973) * on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @07:45AM (#30830384) Journal

    I think there are two distinct issues highlighted in the story, which don't necessarily have a particularly strong connection.

    The first is the creep of RPG elements into other genres. I've certainly noticed this myself, and there are a few obvious manifestations. The most obvious is the idea that the player should get more powerful over the course of the game, and that said power should not be subject to resets. If you look at a traditional shoot-em-up, the player picks up new weapons as he plays through the game, but once he gets shot and loses a life, he's generally back to the pea-shooter he started the game with. This model is now almost dead, at least in its pure form. If you look at any recent action game - Bayonetta, for example - some items (such as health potions and the disposable weapons) may be temporary, but as the player gets further into the game, they accumulate persistent upgrades, such as a longer health bar, more special moves and better weapons. In fact, a lot of games give players who have already beaten them the option of starting over, while carrying over their upgrades from previous cycles.

    So why has this happened? I think the gaming industry has realised that, now that gaming is primarily an activity that takes place in the home rather than in arcades, people do not like excessive penalties for failure. Allowing a power-curve in games is pretty much established in most genres these days, but resetting that curve whenever a player makes a mistake results in people switching off the console - and loses future sales for games in that series. There are still a few titles that hold out - Mario, in particular, which even still preserves the obsolete concept of "lives" in some installments - but they increasingly look like antiquated oddities. We always seem to get a few odd cases here on slashdot who like to post on threads about MMOs saying "they'd be more fun if they had permadeath", but it's interesting that commercial MMO operators, who have to put their money where their mouth is, have never seen fit to pursue this. I think they know what they're doing.

    The second issue is around the restriction of modding, which I don't really see as being at all related to the spread of RPG elements. After all, RPGs are historically highly moddable, from their roots in the pen and paper market onwards. The Neverwinter Nights games were heavily marketed with their modability as a key selling point. However, there does seem to be a trend towards restriction of modding in some genres, including fpses. I think there are two drivers for this. The first, simply put, is a "hot coffee" reaction. As certain countries (eg. Germany and Australia) adopt wildly restrictive attitudes towards video game content, developers are naturally more paranoid about being criticised (or sued) for game content that was actually added or unlocked by a third party mod. The other cause is the desire to deliver a more consistent experience.

    I think this stems from the console market. Consoles have many disadvantages compared to the PC as platforms for multiplayer gaming, but they do have a big advantage; consistency of hardware. While there will still be imbalances due to connection quality, the hardware is the same in every case, so there are fewer non-skill-related variables invovled in gaming. In some ways, this actually makes the game more suitable for serious competition. There may be another factor related to something I remember relating to Quake 3; graphical "vandalism". I remember how when Quake 3 had its brief honeymoon with the gaming community (before being buried by Counter-Strike), almost all high level players (and most of the wannabes) played with graphical details that made the game look more like Carrier Command than a modern fps. I remember reading that ID weren't happy about how their game was being shown off, and that this fed into the more restrictive graphical options within Quake 3.

    • Re:Two issues here (Score:5, Interesting)

      by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @08:35AM (#30830608)
      Eve has "permadeath" of a sort. When you lose you ship, you lose your ship. Fittings, cargo content, ammunition, modifications... Gone. It's like all of your armour and weapons being lost in WoW, especially when you amass Faction modified variants. Insurance covers the ship to a point, but not totally.

      You can buy clones for your actual character, but that again doesn't cover stat-boosting Implants. You lose those if your pod is destroyed (character is killed). If you don't have a clone, you lose all of your Skill Points too. For some characters, that can be many years worth of time investment.

      Fighting in that game was more stressful in the way your body isn't catered to dealing with: Prolonged periods of suspense and fear, with no way to vent it.
      • by paulhar (652995)

        > Fighting in that game was more stressful in the way your body isn't catered to dealing with: Prolonged periods of suspense and fear, with no way to vent it.

        You must have been playing a different game to me. (2004-2009)

        Prolonged periods of gate hugging, station camping, watching a bunch of dreads reinforce a POS while waiting 20-30 minutes for the FC to decide that it's ok to have them jump in.
        Sure, we had fun. We also had suspense, especially when your cloak fails to activate at a gate for some unknown

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by cthulu_mt (1124113)
          I did the 0.0 fleet fights for a few months and it is deadly dull. Go out in 10 man gangs of frigates and cruisers. That is where the real fun is at.
        • by hlee (518174)

          Parent's post helps reinforce OP's view that people in general do not like to be heavily penalized.

          While the mechanics in EVE allow for losses that can make any player cringe, most players will only engage in combat with ships they can afford to lose, with clones possessing relatively cheap implants, and utilize risk adverse tactics. If you don't have medical insurance, you lose a small percentage of your skill points when your pilot is killed, but you cannot lose all your accumulated skills due to a moment

      • by twoallbeefpatties (615632) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @11:56AM (#30832778)
        I propose The EVE Maxim: As a discussion about the shortcoming about videogames increases in length, the probability that someone will propose that EVE does not fall to those shortcomings and is modded insightful for it approaches 1.
    • Re:Two issues here (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Zumbs (1241138) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @08:52AM (#30830686) Homepage

      The second issue is around the restriction of modding, which I don't really see as being at all related to the spread of RPG elements. After all, RPGs are historically highly moddable, from their roots in the pen and paper market onwards. The Neverwinter Nights games were heavily marketed with their modability as a key selling point. However, there does seem to be a trend towards restriction of modding in some genres, including fpses. I think there are two drivers for this. The first, simply put, is a "hot coffee" reaction. As certain countries (eg. Germany and Australia) adopt wildly restrictive attitudes towards video game content, developers are naturally more paranoid about being criticised (or sued) for game content that was actually added or unlocked by a third party mod. The other cause is the desire to deliver a more consistent experience.

      There is another reason to consider. While modding is a selling point, it is a selling point that has two drawbacks for the industry: 1) It extends the lifetime of the game, causing the gamer to purchase fewer games. An example is Morrowind that came out in 2001 and is still being modded. 2) Usermade content gives a free alternative to expansion packs and DLC, which may decrease sales. On the other hand, modding tools are likely to generate a larger and more active core of fans.

      I think this stems from the console market.

      As far as I know, console makers (MS and Sony, at least) hate usermade content on their consoles, making it diffcult (and against the EULA) to mod the games on their consoles.

      • by Splab (574204)

        "As far as I know, console makers (MS and Sony, at least) hate usermade content on their consoles, making it diffcult (and against the EULA) to mod the games on their consoles."

        Little Big Planet...

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by Rogerborg (306625)
          Little Big Planet, and...?
          • Re:Two issues here (Score:4, Interesting)

            by kyrre (197103) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @11:22AM (#30832244)
            Off the top of my head:
            • LittleBigPlanet (level, content and character design)
            • Modnation Racers (in Beta, level and character design)
            • Unreal Tournament 3 (mods)
            • Gravity Crash (level design)
            • Uncharted 2 (Machima thingy)
            • Far Cry 2 (level design)

            I am sure there are more. Sony actually encourage user generated content believing it to be the next big thing in gaming. They call it Game 2.0 or something silly like that.

          • Re:Two issues here (Score:4, Informative)

            by radish (98371) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @12:23PM (#30833264) Homepage

            XNA? Microsoft will give you a pretty complete 360 dev environment for free, and let you write games (or other apps) and run them on your console. Sure you have to pay a subscription fee ($100 a year I believe) to be able to distribute what you build, but if you're seriously into homebrew or whatever that doesn't seem like a terrible burden.

      • by RogueyWon (735973) *

        MS certainly seem to have slackened up a lot on this. Even leaving aside their indie sections on Xbox Live Arcade, we've seen more and more user-created content permitted in games recently.

        The best recent example is Forza 3, with its custom car skins. Anything outright offensive (eg. featuring nudity or bad language) will get squashed by the mods, but it's perfectly possible to download user-made car designs covering most conceivable eventualities (or upload your own), including designs which I would have t

        • by Zumbs (1241138)
          There is a difference in indie and usermade content. Where indie content is usually made by a smaller publisher and sold for money, usermade mods are usually made by hobbyists and distributed for free (at least on the PC). I'm not familiar with Forza, but is the "in-game currency" used to purchase new skins purchased with real world currency, or is it something you get by playing the game? Or a little bit of both?
          • by Bakkster (1529253)

            I'm not familiar with Forza, but is the "in-game currency" used to purchase new skins purchased with real world currency, or is it something you get by playing the game? Or a little bit of both?

            The in-game currency is entirely earned in-game through racing or selling items (such as paint schemes or car setups) to other players. There is no way to buy in-game cash with real cash.

            Basically, it's just a framework for custom player skinning, with the editing tools and ability to share/gift/sell your creations built into normal gameplay. There's some fantastic stuff available, and those who create quality content are rewarded with game currency to buy more cars. It's a great incentive to encourage

    • by Hatta (162192)

      The first is the creep of RPG elements into other genres. I've certainly noticed this myself, and there are a few obvious manifestations

      And then there's the creep of action elements into RPGs. Where's my turn based combat?

  • What does adding RPG elements have to do with removing tools for modding a game? That's right, nothing.

  • Or Defrag.
    Nothing to optimize on something that is perfect.

    Defrag in perfection: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2hpaKphOtI [youtube.com]
    CPMA in perfection: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4zEge_iWPk [youtube.com]

  • What a ramble... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MikeRT (947531) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @08:07AM (#30830494) Homepage
    I didn't see anything in there that was actually a cause-effect relationship between the "RPG elements" and taking away from the games.

    Personally, I love the blending of genres. Now we get games like Mass Effect which combine action similar to Gears of War with a real RPG feel.
  • Bioshock? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FTWinston (1332785)
    Surely Bioshock should count as RPG elements creeping out of the game, rather than into it? Compare it to System Shock 2, which it is supposedly a "spiritual successor" to. Which has lots more RPG elements? Its the one more convincing and compelling story.

    [Grumpy rant]
    Every time I play bioshock, even when I force myself, I get bored with it and eventually give up. Maybe its just me, and I'm well aware of all the people that go on about how great it is, but it never felt compelling, and things like pretty
  • There is an easy way to remove all RPG elements - use cheats.

  • by Simulant (528590) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @08:38AM (#30830628) Journal

    IMHO, RPGs, are the most time consuming type of game you can play and serve primarily to feed the the player's obsessive-compulsive instincts for very little, if any, tangible benefit. You basically run around behaving repetitively & collecting as much virtual crap as you can. Your reward is "experience" which can only be taken advantage of with further gameplay. I find the crack analogies to be very compelling.

    It's no wonder that game companies want to extend the model to other game genres. They want you to keep playing & paying.

    Granted, many games cater to your inner, OCD afflicted hunter-gatherer but few genres keep you on the hook as purposefully and for as long as a RPG will.

    The RPGificataion of the COD series started with the addition of "Perks" & levels. I found this to be immediately detrimental to the game. The number of custom servers was reduced dramatically. Few people wanted to run an 'un-ranked' server despite the fact that all the serious players would rank up in a few weeks, after which time experience was essentially meaningless.

    This led to thousands of generic servers with more or less the same set of rules and levels.

    Yet players clung on, even ranking up all over again for the ridiculous "prestige" levels. The erosion of gameplay had begun, it's now less about the game play and more about collecting meaningless, virtual experience points.

    Now throw in the massive growth of consoles and you can see where this is going.

    Millions of lemmings competing for bragging rights over virtual perks. No thanks.

    I will even go so far as to say this is bad for IT.
    I got into this field because of video games. I learned a lot about computers & networks because games, the modification of games, the modification of hardware to make the games run, (and yes, even the obtaining of games for free from dubious sources), were a big incentive for me to figure out out the damn things worked. I wonder what kind of incentive the average young X-Box owner has.

    • by dangitman (862676)

      I will even go so far as to say this is bad for IT. I got into this field because of video games. I learned a lot about computers & networks because games, the modification of games, the modification of hardware to make the games run, (and yes, even the obtaining of games for free from dubious sources), were a big incentive for me to figure out out the damn things worked. I wonder what kind of incentive the average young X-Box owner has.

      Wouldn't that be a good thing for IT?

      IT would be better if fewer people were in IT just because they like games. After all, IT has little to do with games, and too many IT employees waste time at work talking about or playing games.

  • If Infinity Ward are so insistent on improving the variety of our experiences, they don't have to do it at the expense of the experience that many of us already love.

    With the game almost having made 1 billion dollars, it seems they can pretty much do anything they want: The people will buy it anyways.
    For myself, I've decided to boycot the game as I don't agree with dedicated servers, and absence of player-created content. I wish only more people would actually hold to their (announced) boycot...

    As for
  • Modern Warfare 2 does not have dedicated servers. It will never have dedicated servers.

    Modern Warfare 2 does not have official mod tools. It will never have official mod tools.

    Modern Warfare 2 has made, so far, over $1 Billion in revenue. That is roughly $800 Million over it's production budget.

    Please, kindly, STFU and GTFO. This debate is over.

    You haven't added anything interesting to the discussion by noting FPSs have added leveling up to the multiplayer experience.

  • RPG and pro-Gamming or e-Sport can work togueter. There are lots of examples, from DoTA, WoW Arena (and games with "WoW Arenas" design, maybe not wow itself because is a RPG design for PVE).

    Adding RPG to a FPS don't ruin pro-gamming. MW2: P2P networking and the un-ability to manage a game to be fair does.

  • I'm more bothered by FPS elements creeping into RPGs. Prime offender in my eyes was Oblivion, which required far too much in the way of twitch-shooter ability to play to be any fun at all - I still haven't tried Mass Effect (bought, but yet unplayed) or Fallout 3 to see if either of these titles as more playable for me.

    Not saying everything has to be turn-based - although it's still very much my preference, NWN-style "close to real-time but pausable" works, as does anything with time limits, action points

    • Fallout 3 is better. The pipboy basically makes it so you can wait out the time to trigger your attacks, almost like a turn based approach. Once it is triggered, all of the attacks that you select from it are set off one at a time. This allows you to run around, dodge and block attacks while waiting for it to recharge and launch your next calculated attack, or... you can go the FPS approach and swing on your own.

    • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was still an RPG at heart, though. Fallout 3 is not an RPG. It is a first-person shooter with a lot of RPG elements. It's still a good game, though, but it is impossible to get through it without heavily developing your character's combat skills. In the original 2 Fallout titles, you could theoretically beat the game without a single battle.
    • I'm going to need to say you're wrong here. Being able to physically fire the bow added a huge level of immersion for me. Particularly with poisons, the sneak attack 4x bonus, and the zoom at level 50. Sneaking up on a target, poisoning the arrow, and then gently sliding it into the back of his head was a sublime thrill.

      I was really disappointed that this experience is totally lost in Dragon Age. You hit auto attack, and your character fires arrows as fast as they particularly feel like it. They hit if thei

  • One positive, though I miss visiting regular servers, is that you don't log into some new server only to find all these arbitrary limitations on what equipment you can use. (No martyrdom here pal, oh and no "noob tube", oh and if you kill us with anything else we'll ban that too...)

  • ...then go back to CoD4. Hell, that's what Joel Gardiner [wikipedia.org] did IRL [twitter.com]...if it's good enough for the cueball it's good enough for anyone, I say.

  • RPG elements? Where? (Score:5, Informative)

    by YourExperiment (1081089) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @09:53AM (#30831106)

    RPG elements are creeping into game genres that we never imagined they would

    No they're not. Games like Deus Ex, like System Shock and System Shock 2 had RPG elements - games that were truly a clever blend of genres that worked perfectly. Shooting action along with a bit of thought too.

    The dumbing down started with consoles and Deus Ex 2. It was completed in BioShock. Awesome graphics, great atmosphere, an interesting story, but hardly any RPG elements to speak of. Any trace of RPG elements in (non-RPG) games these days are so watered down that they just dilute the fun of the shooter, rather than adding any element of challenge of their own.

  • You can have all the RPG elements you like and still have a moddable game with dedicated servers. Making that claim and including TF2 on the list makes it sound like the author did little or no research.

  • I hate to break it to the writer and most of the clowns who parrot buzz words in the industry but a roleplaying game isn't defined by stats, swords, levels, or anything other mechanic. Mechanics are separate from the genre. One of the few gems to come out of a reviewer was from a fellow named Desslock. He correctly defined what a roleplaying game was and unfortunately too many people were busy trying to attach RPG to every game going in an attempt to give them some sort of claim to legitimacy. I'm paraphras

    • by jgtg32a (1173373)

      Thank you, I was going to post the same but in a much less articulate fashion.
      JRPGs are not RPGs they are adventure game with Stat based combat. Don't get me wrong I love JRPGs, but they aren't RPGs any decisions that you make are largely irrelevant, to the overall story.
      You might want to look into Alpha Protocol, its a "spy story" made by the some of Black Isle guys, so at least the story and writing will be amazing. It uses the Mass Effect engine (but don't under estimate BI's ability to introduce bugs

  • so, rpg elements are creeping into other genres, and ousting mods, dedicated servers etc ?

    that is happening, DESPITE rpg games themselves are being made from the start to include extensive modding, and multiplayer ? like how dragon age has modding, and like how unbelievably moddable mount & blade is ? ( to the extent of some mods being entirely different games) upcoming multiplayer server (counter/starcraft style) for mount and blade ?

  • by nschubach (922175)

    Dammit! MW2 will always belong to Mechwarrior 2 for me!

  • I'm not even sure I buy the premise. Sure, Battlefield: Bad Company eschewed the PC version altogether and Modern Warfare 2 lacked official mod tools, but I'm not really sure this is a trend. DICE has pointedly announced that the PC version, mod tools, and dedicated server are back for Bad Company 2. You've also got Medal of Honor, Alien vs. Predator, Crysis 2, etc.

  • He calls Bioshock an example of RPG elements creeping into other genres? WTF?

    At its core that game should be an RPG. I think it's an example of shooter elements creeping into my RPGs. Same damned thing happened to Mass Effect. Hopefully I'll be able to look past it in Bioshock 2 and ME2.

  • It's pretty simple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nlawalker (804108) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @12:53PM (#30833796)

    It's really pretty simple: people who play games are demanding more for their $60 - more playtime, more engrossing experiences, more replayability, more choices and more customization. Think of all the games on the market now... a hippity-hop 2D platformer can be a pretty hard sell for 50 or 60 bucks when there are games right next to it that promise expansive environments, customization, tons of playtime, etc. The easiest way to make a game more complex and cover all those traits in one fell swoop is to toss in a leveling system and some kind of skill tree or progression. It makes a game more multifaceted and provides a "meta-game" that sits underneath the pew-pew-pew on the screen. Technology has also made it easier to create no-loading open-world environments as opposed to static levels, which play very nicely with RPG elements because passing by areas you can't reach and enemies too strong for you to kill is interesting and makes you want to come back later.

    And why are these games trending toward being first-person shooters? Well, if you want a three-dimensional, open world experience with a free-roaming character, there are really only two places you can put the camera: inside the player-character's head, or outside of it. I guess developers have simply found that third person cameras don't add a lot to the experience (who wants to look at their character's ass for 40 hours - then again, this may explain the rise of female player-characters), they are hard to program, and they don't feel as controllable or as precise as first-person viewpoints.

    So if it all comes down to the price point, which I alluded to in my opening sentence, then where are the cheaper, less complex games? They're on XBox Live, PSN and the VC store, where they get little attention from casual gamers because they're not advertised and they're too hard to find, no attention from "hardcore" gamers because they're "casual games" that are too simplistic and not worth the money, and ignored by the media because they're not blockbusters and no one wants to read the reviews. Welcome to the games industry.

  • I, too, hate it when game developers break through predefined molds and come up with some innovative and new.

Any circuit design must contain at least one part which is obsolete, two parts which are unobtainable, and three parts which are still under development.

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