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CrystalHawk_Doom

What would you consider to be the golden age of computer rpgs?

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I recently played fallout 2 and as always, I had a ball with it, but then I started to wonder if it belongs in the "golden age" of virtual role playing games.

Of course now I've put together several titles that I enjoy into a list of sorts.

 

So, now to the point, what time period do you consider to be the golden age, or your own golden age?

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The computer RPG world is too rough around the edges imo, but since you played Fallout 2 i really recommend Fallout NV and 3, Maybe some ARPG's too.

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3 minutes ago, Kurogachii said:

The computer RPG world is too rough around the edges imo, but since you played Fallout 2 i really recommend Fallout NV and 3, Maybe some ARPG's too.

I recently got FO:NV, so I'll probably check it out.

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What about the time all the Ultima games came out?

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Most of those who argue for a "golden age" of cRPGs tend to pick the late 90s/early 2000s as the era in question. Nevermind that actual cRPGs released in that time were pretty few, and most of them aren't very good.

 

The actual golden age is the 80s, particularly the late 80s (and very early 90s.) This is the era that gave us:

 

- Ultima 4 and its groundbreaking approach to characterization and player morality

- Wizardry and its litany of concepts that later games would build on; also massive influence on jRPGs alongside Ultima, including Dragon Quest which in turn inspired Final Fantasy

- The Gold Box games that brought DnD to the PC (and consoles)

- The Bard's Tale series

- Wasteland

 

Among others.

 

Most of these games don't stand the test of time now, but their importance and influence is not to be denied. Remember, Final Fantasy exists because some Japanese nerds thought Ultima and Wizardry were really cool. And Wizardry might have closed out its Western development with Wizardry 8, but it lives on in Japanese hands.

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Fallout 1, Baldur's Gate, Fallout 2, Icewind Dale, Planescape Torment, Baldur's Gate 2

 

That's the golden age. Those games are better than everything that came before them, and they are still better than anything that came after them, unlike those 80s games they still hold up extremely well. And it's not even close, it's by fucking leagues. 

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I would say late 80´s and early to mid 90´s.  Most of them still hold very well.

 

The Goldbox series, Dungeon Master 1, Wizardry VI,VII, Ultima V,VI,VII,VIII, Ultima Underworld I and II, Eye of the Beholder series, Lands of Lore I, Ravenloft, Robinson´s Requiem,  Stonekeep etc.

 

 

 

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june gloom's post was good. I honestly think Ultima V is the highlight of the entire form, and always timely since the plot's a description of what happens when you let virtuous language be co-opted by charlatans >:3 Megami Tensei also began in the 80s and is my other fave RPG series

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, hybridial said:

Fallout 1, Baldur's Gate, Fallout 2, Icewind Dale, Planescape Torment, Baldur's Gate 2

 

That's the golden age. Those games are better than everything that came before them, and they are still better than anything that came after them, unlike those 80s games they still hold up extremely well. And it's not even close, it's by fucking leagues. 

 

Of those, only the Fallout games are actually any good or have stood the test of time (and I'm not sure about 2, anyway -- too wildly uneven, too many pop culture references.) Realtime with pause is God's punishment on a sinful earth, and Planescape Torment in particular is what happens when a 20-something Chris Avellone works out the high school goth phase his parents didn't let him have, the results being masturbatory, overwrought wash.

 

Again, I don't think that era is a "golden age" at all, though it does have its notable titles: Diablo, Fallout 1, Deus Ex, Anachronox, Daggerfall, and whatever Arcanum was trying to be, if not what it turned out as. Importantly, most of these games don't have the influence or importance on the genre as their forebears did, with the exception of Diablo probably as it basically invented the ARPG genre.

 

[ETA]

 

If anything, we're in a golden age right now. There's never been a greater selection of RPGs to choose from on PC, from Skyrim to Dark Souls to Caves of Qud if you're into that kinky roguelike shit. To say nothing of the slew of old games that are back up for grabs, some of them getting remasters on PC like Shin Megami Tensei III.

Edited by june gloom

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7 minutes ago, june gloom said:

Realtime with pause is God's punishment on a sinful earth

 

If that's the only basis for your position, you know, guess it's not for you, but I certainly can't take your post seriously on any level. 

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I'd say the 90s, because I loved the german The-Black Eye-Games 1-3 and I cannot explain why, but I absolutely love Lands of Lore Guardians of Destiny, although it isn't the best game... And Ultima 8, I love the dark atmosphere there... And in the late years of the decade Baldurs Gate came out ;)

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Although the thread was originally about computer rpgs, I'll say that there really isn't a golden age for them. If anything, the 1980's period of table-top rpgs could be considered the golden age to some.

But don't take my word for it, I stopped playing rpgs years ago.

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Hot Take: I don't consider the 90's RPGs (Fallout, Icewind Dale, Planescape, Baldur's Gate etc) to be any kind of "Golden Age". Playing a tabletop game on PC adds an extra layer of jank that is navigating menus and trying to figure out things without the benefit of a DM and other players. It's the function of D&D without the social aspect and that doesn't elevate these games. 

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9 minutes ago, DRM-MAN said:

I'll say that there really isn't a golden age for them. If anything, the 1980's period of table-top rpgs could be considered the golden age to some.

Fair.

 

1 minute ago, Mr. Freeze said:

Hot Take: I don't consider the 90's RPGs (Fallout, Icewind Dale, Planescape, Baldur's Gate etc) to be any kind of "Golden Age". Playing a tabletop game on PC adds an extra layer of jank that is navigating menus and trying to figure out things without the benefit of a DM and other players. It's the function of D&D without the social aspect and that doesn't elevate these games.  

Also fair.

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I agree with those saying mid to late 80s, and early 90s would likely be the “golden age”, but which games from then people consider to be a true RPG or not could differ at times based on varying viewpoints and opinions. 

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I think I should extrapolate on what I said and also step back from the zealous declaration.  First off I took the topic to be JUST Western CRPGs. Like not counting ARPGs, JRPGs or anything specifically outwith that specific definition. Having said that, the set of games I named, are the best ones I've played. I've played newer ones, I've tried some older ones, I respect the older ones but I can't really go backwards in terms of the quality of presentation. I largely have no interest in ARPGs, maybe with the exception of something like Symphony of the Night/Bloodstained. I have found most newer CRPGs to be disappointing in some way or another, exceptions would be Shadowrun Hong Kong and Dragonfall which I do think are excellent. 

 

Dismissing certain games because you don't like the battle system is a questionable position to me, I didn't put those games forward specifically because of the battle system. I like it, but there greatness to me comes from other elements. And @june gloom only talked in detail about Planescape, how am I supposed to infer the position for the other games? That said I don't really care what they think, because if they don't consider them good I'm going to disagree strongly, I just wanted to be clear.

 

If talking about JRPGs, I consider Shin Megami Tensei to be the most interesting series by far, I do like Suikoden and Shadow Hearts but they seem to be dead pretty much. SMT III: Nocturne is the best JRPG I have ever played and I am glad to have the opportunity to play it again in HD.

 

I would probably say that the concept of a golden age is probably irrelevant to me, really. There's just games I consider great and games I don't or don't care about. The Golden Age are the games I enjoy playing. 

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It's still the golden age as long as NetHack is still under development. :)

 

Also, OldSchool Runescape is nice too.

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1 hour ago, hybridial said:

Dismissing certain games because you don't like the battle system is a questionable position to me

 

The Golden Age are the games I enjoy playing. 

 

Essentially this is saying "you complaining about a gameplay mechanic is bad but I get to unironically declare that only the games I like are objectively the best."

 

Look, my issues with the late 90s era of cRPGs extends beyond RtWP, and there are plenty of games that don't use it that I also don't like. The deeper problem with labeling late 90s cRPGs as "the golden age" has to do with the fact that aside from being comparatively fewer relative to the actual golden age of the 80s, these newer games simply aren't as influential on anything except the memories of 30-something nerds.

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Wasn't this thread a question for people's opinions on what they think is their own golden age? Better yet, maybe the original poster should've just said rpgs instead of adding computer at the beginning.

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I think we're using the letters 'RPG' to refer to wildly different things here, even if most of them do involve goblins. The changes over time are lateral as well as linear. I'm much more interested in playing all of Gold Box, maybe Ultima or Might & Magic, and everything by Spiderweb Software; and much less interested in Baldur's Gate 3 and Skyrim. There are specific things that I like and dislike, which are more or less present in different epochs. I don't think there's an objective standard by which any age can be called more or less golden.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, june gloom said:

Look, my issues with the late 90s era of cRPGs extends beyond RtWP, and there are plenty of games that don't use it that I also don't like. The deeper problem with labeling late 90s cRPGs as "the golden age" has to do with the fact that aside from being comparatively fewer relative to the actual golden age of the 80s, these newer games simply aren't as influential on anything except the memories of 30-something nerds.

 

No, now I can say, objectively that you are completely wrong and I don't get why because it's very easy to show why, so easy I don't know why on earth you'd even say it.

 

Bioware and Black Isle made those games. Black Isle became Obsidian more or less. Who have made pretty much all the big epic mainstream RPGs of recent years? Bioware and Obsidian. What was Dragon Age's inspirations? Baldur's Gate. What was KOTOR 1's inspiration and basis of design? Baldur's Gate. What was Mass Effect's? Baldur's Gate. Obsidian made the only actually good "bethesda" style RPG in Fallout New Vegas and well, I kinda think Fallout 1 and 2 might have influenced that. Oh and KOTOR II which is quite well liked by a lot of people I hear. 

 

No, they were very influential. They are very much loved by a generation of fans. My point is you take one aspect you don't like, and then try to completely bury them for that reason alone whilst ignoring every positive thing about them, and these are some of the highest rated games ever released on PC, so ah, just no, you have no point and I am pretty much done with this nonsense. 

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Gamers in my opinion we should first define what "Golden Age" means in the thread :O

As it could be interpreted as many things (when there were the most CRPGs coming out, when the best ones came one, the first boom of CRPGs, etc...) we need a general definition for atleast this one thread and then discuss it :)

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Posted (edited)

@hybridial You're really hung up on the RTWP thing when I'm trying to explain to you that that's not my main issue with that era of games. You're so convinced that it's made my arguments worthless that you clearly don't feel the need to make good arguments yourself. Everything you just listed was made by the same people who made those previous games. Of course they're going to be "influenced" by those previous games BECAUSE THEY'RE MADE BY THE SAME PEOPLE.

 

Show me a glut of RPGs made today, by different developers, that take influence from those games of yesterday. Not one or two, either -- show me that today's modern RPG scene, with its colorful variety of games of all styles, is informed by that specific era.

 

"Much loved by a generation of fans" is meaningless. Ultima and Wizardry and Bard's Tale and Wasteland et al. were also much loved by a generation of fans, but Fallout, Baldur's Gate, etc. would not exist without them. That's what makes them important, not your personal feelings on something you played when you were in middle school.

 

If it's not clear, my definition of Golden Age is "the era in which most of the tropes and design conventions that inform later games are created" in which case the 80s is absolutely the Golden Age.

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Just now, SOSU said:

Gamers in my opinion we should first define what "Golden Age" means in the thread :O

As it could be interpreted as many things (when there were the most CRPGs coming out, when the best ones came one, the first boom of CRPGs, etc...) we need a general definition for atleast this one thread and then discuss it :)

The OP seemed to have wanted people to explain their opinion on what they think is a golden age, but of course they didn't specify anything else.

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Alright, before more people waste their time arguing about games, I'm going to explain since apparently people can't look at the title of this thread at anything but face value.

 

1. When I mean "what would you consider to be the golden age of computer rpgs." I mean a person's opinion on what they think is a golden age, not an objective golden age.

 

2. It doesn't matter if they're from the 80's or 90's, the rpgs being from 90's doesn't invalidate someone's opinion on them.

 

3. Arguing about an objective golden age is a waste of time, especially since the idea of my thread was asking someone a subjective question.

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