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What The #$%& Is With The State Of Gaming In General?


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I thought it was an adequate window dressing to that dumpster fire of a Fallout title. In a way it's actually befitting the postnuclear apocalypse, being a toxic and irradiated zombie of what once was a great role-playing adventure franchise.

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More I read about it (no, I am not gonna even try it), the more I believe that Bethesda never understood what made Fallout 1/2 (and New Vegas) great and were just cargo-culting on it.

"Everything J.J. Abrams Bethesda touches turns into shit"

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It's mainly the function of large investors and their commerical bullshit. That and setting up your dev studios in high cost areas. You can dev anywhere. I would park my devs somewhere like here in Malaysia where the cost of living is low, infrastructure and logistics are good and the quality of life is generally very good. I am biased but we have dirt cheap commercial rentals, low taxes, great food and cheap gas.

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There are now Breakfast Boxes in FO76.

 

No no. totally not Loot Boxes coming.

 

 


 

 

More I read about it (no, I am not gonna even try it), the more I believe that Bethesda never understood what made Fallout 1/2 (and New Vegas) great and were just cargo-culting on it.

"Everything J.J. Abrams Bethesda Todd Howard touches turns into shit"

 

fify it just works. ^_^

 

 

but then to get your postnuclear holocast fix you can go Jagged Alliance/X-Com with Mutant: Year Zero - road to Eden. Play one of the old games. try Wasteland2. Bioshock and B2 remasterd you get for five €uros on GOG, scratching a similar itch. No need to buy a new "fallout"

 

 

 

And absolutely agree, they missed what made the original Fallouts so great. The prediction was Elder Scrolls after the bomb, and that is what we get basically. Short, nearly superflous main story and lots of open world.

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Took itself and the post-apocalyptic scenario too seriously; that may have worked 30 years ago, but since then it has degenerated into a trope unless you're really, really good at it (The Road comes to mind, but computer games just aren't there yet as far as the range of expression is concerned). But - that's a side issue. What really irked me was one of the early missions with a village of incredibly whiny villagers. So there's gangsters, that have set houses on fire. You're expected to fight the gangsters (takes some time to take them out) and to fight the fire at the same time (a nearly impossible task), and it's further complicated by the fact that the villagers removed a crucial part from the water supply and hid it in a location on the other side of the town, on top of the Cliffs of Insanity, in a stupid cave. By the time that you have fought the bandits, collected the part, installed it, then activated the water supply to douse the flames, all the villagers that stood by fiddling their thumbs blame you for everything that happened to them.

 

In short, these inbreds pressed all the buttons that work on me. Your own crew then joins the Greek choir of lament that "we" have to do better "next time" since "we" depend on the goodwill of the people.

 

 

I have since then made it a rule that NPCs that are too incompetent and lazy deserve everything that happens to them, and I will let my characters piss on their graves (if the game models such action).

 

The rest of the game I found largely uninspiring, so I asked myself if I wanted to alternate between boredom and getting worked up over scripted missions that were unrealistically hard, and which would reward me with unfair criticism. Given the limited time budget and the most likely true observation that nobody on his deathbed will say that he wished to have played more computer games, I came to obvious conclusions.

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Took itself and the post-apocalyptic scenario too seriously; that may have worked 30 years ago, but since then it has degenerated into a trope unless you're really, really good at it (The Road comes to mind, but computer games just aren't there yet as far as the range of expression is concerned). But - that's a side issue. What really irked me was one of the early missions with a village of incredibly whiny villagers. So there's gangsters, that have set houses on fire. You're expected to fight the gangsters (takes some time to take them out) and to fight the fire at the same time (a nearly impossible task), and it's further complicated by the fact that the villagers removed a crucial part from the water supply and hid it in a location on the other side of the town, on top of the Cliffs of Insanity, in a stupid cave. By the time that you have fought the bandits, collected the part, installed it, then activated the water supply to douse the flames, all the villagers that stood by fiddling their thumbs blame you for everything that happened to them.

 

In short, these inbreds pressed all the buttons that work on me. Your own crew then joins the Greek choir of lament that "we" have to do better "next time" since "we" depend on the goodwill of the people.

 

 

I have since then made it a rule that NPCs that are too incompetent and lazy deserve everything that happens to them, and I will let my characters piss on their graves (if the game models such action).

 

The rest of the game I found largely uninspiring, so I asked myself if I wanted to alternate between boredom and getting worked up over scripted missions that were unrealistically hard, and which would reward me with unfair criticism. Given the limited time budget and the most likely true observation that nobody on his deathbed will say that he wished to have played more computer games, I came to obvious conclusions.

 

Thanks for the detailed response. The game was on my Steam wishlist for a while before I took it off after reading a pretty damning review about a year ago. Unfortunately I forgot the specifics and was looking at it again until I read this. Thanks for reminding me why I likely ditched the thought of grabbing it before.

 

Your bolded bit is basically where I'm at right now. In the last year I've heavily shifted away from PC gaming and have fairly high standards if one is going to take up any of my time. It's amazing how... bad many of them are in ways they shouldn't be. For me the biggest culprit is terrible UI. There are games out there many consider classics, like the EU series and their derivatives, that I simply won't play due to their atrocious UI. I'm amazed at how patient many PC gamers are and still floored at how bad many devs are at making a decent UI. :blink:

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To touch on the Bethesda hate train a bit more, Bethesda is charging DLC prices for simple skins. There is a lot of outrage at the moment, but looking at all the anger there was over how shady Rockstar was with micro transactions and multiplayer content that fans then totally forgot when the new Red Dead Redemption came out complete with predatory micro transactions, I fear that is how it is going to play out with Bethesda and their future Elder Scrolls / Fallout games. I'm sure the suits at Zennimax are betting on this too, and probably have market research to back it.

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I know I've pretty much done that, I do buy games (3 or 4 a year) but I've stopped preordering and kickstarting games. I am comfortable with waiting to get them 3 or 4 months (or however long it takes to patch in a playable game) after release. I especially avoid anything where the review starts out raving about the game's potential, buying a bad game in the hopes that the developer will fix it is just dumb. This may be why, according to good reads, I've read 100+ books this year.

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It's possible for a developer to turn around a stinker, but it's rare (like, once in a blue moon). Supporting games that are botched on release only makes sense if you're really passionate about the game/topic/setting (or the developer). If you know what you're doing as a developer, you will at least release something half-decent. If you can't do that, chances are you've lost your path, or painted yourself in a corner. Either way, it's not a good sign for the consumer.

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Heh. So I had this conversation at a role playing convention with developers of a new pen & paper RPG. The two dudes said they had spent the last 15 years "perfectioning" a game, and that it was made for people who thought that Rolemaster was undercomplex and needed more tables (literally!). At which point I wished them ... good luck.

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Speaking of absurd episodes, I'm in the pharmacy, maybe three weeks ago. In comes a young mom, the two kids parked outside in her bike trailer. She breathlessly tells the phamacists that she thinks she has overdosed ... on chamomille D12 globuli (at which point I'm seriously struggling to keep a straight face) because she was prescribed D12 chamomille globuli for her cough, but the ones she was given (in error) were for menopause treatment, not for her cough, and can she return the bottle after she opened it and took the "overdose".

 

I contemplated telling her that the sugar pellets from the baking shelf in the supermarket were also super-effective, if she'd sort them by colors - white against headache, green against cold, red for blood rheumatism, ... but then again, I still want to buy my medicine locally, so I clenched my teeth, paid, left, and nearly died from laughter on the way home.

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Heh. So I had this conversation at a role playing convention with developers of a new pen & paper RPG. The two dudes said they had spent the last 15 years "perfectioning" a game, and that it was made for people who thought that Rolemaster was undercomplex and needed more tables (literally!). At which point I wished them ... good luck.

Two games that come to mind are Eclipse Phase and the new version of Twilight 2000 that came out in the late 2000s. Both are table dense and if I ran either I would be ball parking dice roll modifiers like a mad gm.

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Heh. So I had this conversation at a role playing convention with developers of a new pen & paper RPG. The two dudes said they had spent the last 15 years "perfectioning" a game, and that it was made for people who thought that Rolemaster was undercomplex and needed more tables (literally!). At which point I wished them ... good luck.

 

I never understood obsession with "table for everything" in the P&P RPGs.

 

I was always of the "If the mechanics get in the way of the good story - ditch the mechanics" school, but I have started with WH FRP and Call of Cthulhu which were both reasonably rules light.

 

If I want to play "highly detailed combat" I will play computer games. But "highly detailed combat" tends to look too much like work, and too little like fun after a while.

If I want "outside simulator" I will go camping.

I want my P&P to have a good setting, decent story and interesting NPCs, everything else is secondary. Heavens know how many decent adventures I have adopted from one system to the other even when their parent system sucked (top was I think some "weird western Mormon RPG" adventure that ended as a backbone for a Dark Heresy frontier world)...

Edited by bojan
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The way I see it, it's still all voluntary. We just need to walk away.

 

That's it.

 

I don't really get all the handwringing about bad games any longer. There is no reason to grow hysterical whenever a company pulls something like Bethesda did with Fallout 76. Just don't buy it, period.

 

Over the last decade, it has become very easy to simply not buy any games that are crap. Don't preorder, don't buy any season passes, wait for the reviews, watch some let's plays, read the user reviews.

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I agree don't preorder, don't buy season passes, and wait for reviews and lets plays from people who have not been bought off by the industry. However I understand people getting upset when they have been a fan of a franchise like the Fallout series for 20 some years, when companies like Bethesda go and shit all over the franchise and the fans to make a quick buck.

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I agree don't preorder, don't buy season passes, and wait for reviews and lets plays from people who have not been bought off by the industry. However I understand people getting upset when they have been a fan of a franchise like the Fallout series for 20 some years, when companies like Bethesda go and shit all over the franchise and the fans to make a quick buck.

 

You may be a fan of a franchise, but a franchise will never be a fan of you.

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It seems like the older and more beloved the franchise the more likely each subsequent game is to turn into a naked cash grab. It doesn't help that by the 4th or 5th iteration of the game most of the original team that created the game have long since moved on to other projects.

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Heh. So I had this conversation at a role playing convention with developers of a new pen & paper RPG. The two dudes said they had spent the last 15 years "perfectioning" a game, and that it was made for people who thought that Rolemaster was undercomplex and needed more tables (literally!). At which point I wished them ... good luck.

Two games that come to mind are Eclipse Phase and the new version of Twilight 2000 that came out in the late 2000s. Both are table dense and if I ran either I would be ball parking dice roll modifiers like a mad gm.

 

 

 

At least the Eclipse Phase crew has intentionally written their system with percentile rolls in order to make conversion easy to ohter systems. I think there are several ports to other rules systems published made by fans. Really,because of the central element of resleeving (putting the character's mind into a different body) I found the rules too dense and not fit for purpose. If I were to play a longer campaign I would use Fate or FUDGE or something similarly lightweight. Or try the apocalypse world rules, because with changing the body often I see it turning into a bookkeeping nightmare in an instant. so far I have only played Eclipse Phase only at conventions and those games turned out rolling the dice only a few times anyway. So why bother with complex rules in the first place?

 

 

 


 

It seems like the older and more beloved the franchise the more likely each subsequent game is to turn into a naked cash grab. It doesn't help that by the 4th or 5th iteration of the game most of the original team that created the game have long since moved on to other projects.

 

 

Past sucesses lures greedy managers in. The same as all those bad remakes from Hollywood. Wringing money from old well known names. Just like in Hollywood most of the money for AAA titles is blown on marketing instead of developing a good film or video game.

 

 

Luckily there is a living, breathing independent scene of video game makers. Sure most are bad, but that comes with the ease of publishing nowadays. with the demise of games journalism it is sadly harder to find the gems.

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