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CorSair
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Neverwinter Nights 2 can be little hard with camera and hardware, and holy fuck that first and second chapter are just plain tedious. There was supposed to be more than that, but it was cut. (Obsidian Entertainment is known for cut content, see KOTOR2: Sith Lords.) But if you get through that, you get quite solid RPG experience.
Mask of the Betrayer goes further along with story, almost giving same experience as Planescape: Torment.

And I'll agree with Jodwin on Neverwinter Nights. I remember I kept playing Hordes of the Underdark more than thrice through. Shadows of Undrentide felt quite hard, twice gone through that.

As for Icewind Dale 1&2, I think they are pretty okay, if too linear. First installment is better with locations, like Kresselac's Tomb or Dorn's Deep. ID2 locations felt too boring, with few exceptions, like that Aulirian(?) Ice Temple.
Major difference to ID2 has new rule set, similar to NWN. It's fun to try combining your party with right skills and see how it goes down.

Old Post 12-16-13 22:59 #
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Glaice
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No mention of Path of Exile?

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Old Post 12-17-13 01:24 #
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Nomad
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Poe looks like a hack-n-slash to me. In that vein, Dungeon Siege 2 was pretty decent though repetitive. I've heard DS3 is good, albeit different, but haven't played it yet so I don't know how.

Old Post 12-17-13 03:39 #
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schwerpunk
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Mr. Chris said:
No mention of Path of Exile?
I'm bananas over this game, and at least once a month sink hours into it on the 'hardcore' (perma-death... kind of) server. Great to play with friends, or even alone. A lot of good people, there, too. Although I've noticed a serious hit in the quality of the general chat channels since it left beta (it's F2P (and most definitely not pay2win - cosmetics only)).

But I'm not sure I would consider it an RPG. At least not in the same style as Fallout, BG, etc. It's very much like a mix of Diablo 1 and 2 + better graphics.

Old Post 12-17-13 03:43 #
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Ragnor
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Funny how wildly varying people's opinions are on what an RPG is.

Old Post 12-18-13 12:06 #
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bcwood16
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Ragnor said:
Funny how wildly varying people's opinions are on what an RPG is.


I guess :)

I suppose an RPG is any game that you immerse your self in and become that character, though technically you could do that with Doom guy and Doom is certainly not an RPG. Every doom player would be the exact same, so the game needs options to evolve the character such as evil and good, great at using shotguns or assault rifles.....things that can be made different to everybody else.

*imagination runs wild*
Would it not be great to specialise in 'Fists' in Doom and be super great at fisting all the demons to death......umm....that sounded extremely dirty :(
*hangs head in shame*

Old Post 12-18-13 12:15 #
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Avoozl
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CorSair said:
(Obsidian Entertainment is known for cut content, see KOTOR2: Sith Lords.)
That's not exactly true, LucasArts pressured Obsidian to finish the game for a 2004 holiday release.

Old Post 12-18-13 12:22 #
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Ragnor
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This is why its a good thing hybrids and categories of games exist. Borderlands is an FPS/RPG hybrid, there are action RPGs, strategy RPGs, dungeon crawler RPGs etc. Then theres the ones that are simply "X genre with RPG elements"

I generally play them all.

EDIT: Yeah, Obsidian is rarely to blame. They always get really shitty deals with small budgets and timeframes. What they do put out is generally great. The company not the DW member :p

Old Post 12-18-13 12:24 #
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Jodwin
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Ragnor said:
Borderlands is an FPS/RPG hybrid, there are action RPGs, strategy RPGs, dungeon crawler RPGs etc. Then theres the ones that are simply "X genre with RPG elements"

For a large part these hybrid genres are called "something-RPGs" because people want to validate themselves by playing a "deep" and "meaningful" genre such as RPGs...so they'll go play Diablo 3.

Borderlands isn't RPG either; it has falsely earned that badge by framing its missions as "quests" and by adding experience bars and loot drops. There's nothing special at all about quests on a conceptual level, the only difference between them and, say, objectives in Quake 2 is that they're presented to you by talking heads within the game world and there's usually an unnecessary reward attached to them. Loot drops and experience are a form of progression, and are in no way attached to the RPG moniker either. Or would you call CoD games FPS/RPGs for having weapon progression?

Strategy RPG is a weird name for a genre, since it's generally only applied to games such as Final Fantasy Tactics. In other words, to games that are tactical spin-offs of JRPGs and clones of these games. The reason the genre name is weird, because JRPGs weren't role playing games in the first place either. Rather, they're Japanese (hence the 'J') Linear Adventures With Dialogue And Characters You Have No Control Over. Or JLAWDACYHNCOs. It's not a slight against the games, since some of them are good, but do not go around pretending that FF7 let you role play as Cloud because it god damn didn't.



Obsidian is a great studio. After all, they have people who made Fallout 2 in their team and they made New Vegas. What else could you ask for?

Old Post 12-18-13 14:06 #
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Ragnor
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New Vegas with a proper budget and deadline.

Old Post 12-18-13 14:32 #
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Satyr000
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If you like hack and slash rpg's, you cant go wrong with Titans Quest or Throne of Darkness. Throne of Darkness flew under the radar but its well worth checking out. It takes place in Feudal Japan. You control a four man squad of samurai.

Old Post 12-18-13 18:53 #
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Da Werecat
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Jodwin said:
role playing

For the sake of preserving brain cells, I wouldn't perceive genre names literally.

On the other hand, it's fairly elitist to participate in arguments about whether Duck Hunt is an FPS. I witnessed such a discussion, it was rather heated.

Old Post 12-18-13 20:12 #
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Nomad
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I tried Path of Exile, and gotta say it's pretty decent for a Diablo clone. I find it kind of amusing how the spell and skill systems are pretty clearly borrowed from Final Fantasy 7 and 10, with the Materia and Sphere Grid respectively. Ain't even mad, though, is pretty interesting in that you can multiclass with any of the characters, just some are going to be better at some things than other.

Old Post 12-19-13 01:10 #
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schwerpunk
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Da Werecat said:

For the sake of preserving brain cells, I wouldn't perceive genre names literally.



Good advice. I mainly mentioned 'true RPGs' because OP specified a certain type of RPG that he wanted, and Fallout 2 and Baldur's Gate aren't really hack&slash-ers like Diablo or PoE, although they can certainly be played as such.

Diablo is fun as Hell, but other than the perspective, and a bit of the aesthetic, it's nothing like Baldur's Gate.

Old Post 12-19-13 06:51 #
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Avoozl
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.

Last edited by Avoozl on 12-20-13 at 06:59

Old Post 12-19-13 07:21 #
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Jodwin
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Da Werecat said:
For the sake of preserving brain cells, I wouldn't perceive genre names literally.

First-person shooter. Turn-based strategy. Third-person shooter. Real-time strategy. Racing game. Sports game. Simulation. Management sim. Grand strategy. Puzzle game.

Yeah, I agree, we shouldn't perceive genre names literally. Ever. I heard that game called Doom was a great third-person shooter. After all, you shoot stuff in it, right?

Old Post 12-20-13 06:16 #
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schwerpunk
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Jodwin said:

First-person shooter. Turn-based strategy. Third-person shooter. Real-time strategy. Racing game. Sports game. Simulation. Management sim. Grand strategy. Puzzle game.

Yeah, I agree, we shouldn't perceive genre names literally. Ever. I heard that game called Doom was a great third-person shooter. After all, you shoot stuff in it, right?

Don't be obtuse. You know exactly what he was getting at. We were talking about hybrid genres and 'true' versus 'action' RPGs when Da Werecat said that.

Old Post 12-20-13 07:12 #
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Shogun
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Try Temple of Elemental Evil or Throne of Darkness

Both are good RPG games

Old Post 12-21-13 10:45 #
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Da Werecat
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Jodwin said:
I heard that game called Doom was a great third-person shooter. After all, you shoot stuff in it, right?

A moderately nice try. If I was fixated on these things, I would probably start arguing.

Old Post 12-21-13 12:03 #
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Phml
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For a large part these hybrid genres are called "something-RPGs" because people want to validate themselves by playing a "deep" and "meaningful" genre such as RPGs...


Uh, no. They're called something-RPGs because in the specific context of computer games this term represents XP points, quests and skills in the eyes of many players. You definitely see the term "RPG elements" used to discuss military shooters' weapon progression and stuff.

Even the worst turtleneck wearing first-year philosophy student couldn't look at Borderlands' dubstep-filled trailers, with explosions and guns everywhere and conclude "hmmMmMmmm yes, I'm going to play this because it is an delightful foray into the grinding gears of the capitalist industry, forcing the common man to slave away and trade his possessions for newer items endlessly."

I mean, he might yammer this nonsense on his Tumblr or somesuch, but he's not going to actually play the game. And that guy, all of these guys combined are statistically irrelevant compared to the dozens of millions who buy this game "because you can shoot stuff and level up and get skills".

Guys who want to sound deep are too busy playing (well, talking about playing anyway, because there's about ten minutes and a half of "game" in those titles) Gone Home, Proteus, The Stanley Parable, Dear Esther, etc. to even look at the direction of something-RPGs.


Yeah, I agree, we shouldn't perceive genre names literally. Ever. I heard that game called Doom was a great third-person shooter. After all, you shoot stuff in it, right?


Is this really an argument you want to make, that we should perceive genre names literally? A "roleplaying game", literally, is a game in which you play a role (duh). Doom is a roleplaying game. Every game you're raging about in this topic is a roleplaying game.

Orrr we could be sensible and recognize that within the context of video games, RPGs are meant to imply "games in which you interact to people meaningfully" as often as they imply "games in which statistical progression determines your abilities" because tabletop RPGs generally included both of these elements. But then how would we get pointlessly mad at people using the WRONG definition! ARRRGGH!

Last edited by Phml on 12-21-13 at 12:31

Old Post 12-21-13 12:22 #
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Gez
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The pen-and-paper RPGs themselves are derived from tabletop tactical games, with the first adventures being dungeon crawls. The first CRPGs were themselves barely more than dungeoncrawls, often putting you in charge of a whole party of adventurers.

RPGs centered on actually role-playing (i.e., you choose how your character acts and reacts, leading to different outcomes depending on your choices, and eventually different endings to the game) appeared later. And for a variety of reasons, they seem to be disappearing now, at least from mainstream publishers. Skyrim is definitely not an RPG since your character's personality is inexistent and irrelevant. Also its grasp of "choices and consequences" is so flimsy that you can kill the Emperor and the Imperial Legion won't care -- you understand, players would probably be upset if your progress along the assassin's guild questline could block out your progress along the civil war questline...

Old Post 12-21-13 12:30 #
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Ragnor
I do see the humour in a mod sneakily changing my title


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I often consider something an RPG entirely from its mechanics. Borderlands is more of an RPG to me than Fallout 3 for example. Case in point, in Fallout 3 I can kill pretty anything at any level with enough care and planning. In Borderlands, if an enemy is several levels stronger, I am doing a whole lot of 1s and will die in one or two hits. I barely consider Diablo an RPG, as its a town with sixteen levels of random dungeons (with at least two set design sub-levels), while I consider Sacred much more of one than even Diablo 2, as you have 8 different characters, who all have different starts to the game, some with exclusive quests, a massive open world that is ALWAYS the same, with quests everywhere, easter eggs in places, all sorts of things. Diablo series by comparison doesnt ever really feel like an RPG, everythings on rails in a sense, and partially randomly generated to boot.

Old Post 12-21-13 13:26 #
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Phml
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Skyrim is definitely not an RPG since your character's personality is inexistent and irrelevant.


Another point I don't get (well, beyond bashing a popular franchise, but many people make the argument regardless of that). Take Planescape Torment as an example, a game routinely praised as a RPG. I can run in circles in the main square like I'm mentally challenged for minutes, and then I can murder one of my companions for no reason, and right after that I can have a conversation with a bystander, who will fail to mention the brutal, senseless murder that occured right in front of him, and my character who by all appearances seems like a complete lunatic will have a coherent conversation in which he will outwit that onlooker, because my intelligence stat is 20.

Sure, you can handwave this away with some imagination. Maybe the bystander is scared shitless and tries to pretend nothing happened. Maybe my Nameless One has temporary fits of insanity. You can handwave just about anything, in Planescape Torment as in Skyrim.

I don't have the extensive experience people who seem to hate the latter game have (masochism?), so I haven't killed the Emperor nor ran into some of the nonsensical scenarios mentioned as examples, but my own Dragonborn is so far consistent as a no-nonsense woman forced to go along with a destiny she didn't ask nor care for. She's turning down quests she deems morally wrong and tries to stick as close as possible to her moral code when she's tricked into stuff she'd rather not do, and that's the end of it. Kind of like how people behave in real life, as everything isn't sunshine and stars aligning perfectly to give you the story you wish you'd live. That's roleplaying to me - playing a character in a world, rather than playing a character in a vacuum.

About the weirdest thing that happened was an assassin carrying me on her back to a random hut dozens of miles away while I was taking a 1 hour nap in hidden dwarven ruins. Perhaps this is where the argument comes from, perhaps you feel the system itself is designed to be inconsistent at times. But again, it's not hard to find justifications. Perhaps the assassin followed my character around for hours before she got into the ruins. Perhaps she drugged my food while stopping at an earlier inn. Just because *I* know that mechanically there was no one behind my character and it's just a scripted event triggering because I slept at a particular point in a quest line, just because there's not a giant flashing sign in my inventory saying "this apple has obviously been injected with some sort of sleeping drug", does not ruin the story, unless you want it to be ruined.

Besides, where is the line in a consistent system vs an inconsistent one, even if we exclude the player? Bystanders staying indefinitely, without moving or eating or sleeping at one spot is accepted in most games (save for, ironically, the Elder Scrolls). NPCs endlessly repeating the same lines of dialogue, or closing off their dialogue choices past a certain point, are also common.

For now there's not many ways around that unless you make your game completely on rails. It doesn't affect my own game one bit if xX_joe_elite_gamer_Xx decides to kill the emperor and wear his skin as a mask while leading the imperial troops to a charge against dragons, because none of these things happened in my game universe. So there is the possibility to do that - so what? I'm not a child. I don't have to be the archmagi and also get in bed with magic-hating Nords if I don't want to, just like I don't need to bunnyhop like I'm high on sugar if I'm trying to have an immersive experience playing a zombie FPS. Trying to push a game to its limits, to purposefully take various and specific steps to see how the system responds can be a fun experience in itself, but at this point you're not roleplaying, you're metagaming. In the end any system giving you a sufficient degree of freedom can be broken. If you make it a point to behave out of character, you'll get your wish.

Of course I'm not going to defend Skyrim as some magnum opus of the RPG genre. But to me it is definitely a RPG. Arguably a mediocre one, perhaps, but a RPG nonetheless.

Old Post 12-21-13 13:31 #
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Gez
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Part of it is that the game tries to incite you to accomplish all quests, even if they aren't coherent with each other, on a metagame level (cluttering your journal with quest hooks, offering achievements, etc.). The "Stones of Barenziah" questline is very annoying for that. If you want to get rid of the "unusual gems" in your inventory, you have to join the Thieves' Guild.

Part of it is the writers' spending their limited amount of writing allowed by the voice acting budget on assumptions about how you'd play instead of using more generic dialog that might be less memorable but would be more generally appropriate. To continue on the Stones of Barenziah example, when inquiring about the thieves guild, you'll be greeted by a guy going "you look like the kind of person who never earned a single coin honestly" even if your character has so far never stolen anything or committed any crime.

Part of it is some uncanny valley-like effect. For instance, in Morrowind, NPCs pretty much spend all their time standing in place, staring at the walls, but that's not really a problem because they all do that. Starting with Oblivion, they got some "radiant AI" thing where they go on to accomplish many daily tasks, which makes them seem more lifelike -- and as a result, makes unlifelike reactions on their part more jarring. Skyrim pushes that even further, where you can get hitmen sent after you if you steal something or kill someone, etc. A lot of effort went into making the world feel even lifelike -- so when you run into major plot holes, it's a problem.

It's kinda like with graphics. In a low-res game like Doom, it's not really a problem that every single sergeant looks like every other. The grain isn't fine enough to make these clones look like actual clones. Replace the small sprites by hyperdetailed high-poly models with high-res textures, and then if the shotgunners are still completely identical to each others, it now becomes jarring.

TL;DR: "better" is the enemy of "good". Or "qui trop embrasse, mal étreint" maybe.

Old Post 12-21-13 15:13 #
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