Awesome video on the dumbing down of TES games

#121MorvoniPosted 2/8/2013 3:56:01 AM
GriffRoberts posted...
Making your games accessible to the widest possible audience isn't "casualization", it's just plain good game design. Bethesda's not some indie developer filling a super specific niche here. .


Making the game easier so that it appeals to a bigger audience is also casualization. It's good game design because it's more profitable game design. Nevertheless, it's still casualization. I think you'd be hardpressed to find anyone who disagrees that making a higher profit isn't better, but it's still casualization if the method you took to make it more appealing is dumbing down the game.

It's funny how people decry essential NPCs, but not a word is said about "Key Required" locked doors and other inaccessible areas, even though they exist for the same reason; so that the player doesn't f*** up quests by jumping the gun. Things get hairy when I decide to just up and kill Ancano the moment I meet him; it's a lot of work rewriting the entire questline or coming up with a bunch of back door type solutions, just to give the player the freedom to kill anyone that looks at them the wrong way. .


The "Key Required" example doesn't need to be said because every example of protection doesn't need to be given. Just because folks don't say anything about "key Required" doesn't mean they agree with it. The freedom to kill everyone was never there. The protection was in the repercussions/consequences. In this instance, making them unkillable only ensures that they can't be killed by gamers who are treating the game like GTA.

Sure, I could just fail the entire questline, but the repercussions of that aren't immediate, and don't necessarily have anything to do with Ancano, other than giving me a reason to go to Labyrinthian or whatever. At least now when I kill an NPC, I know that their importance doesn't extend past their own meager existence.


This is an example of them holding your hand. The repercussions shouldn't be handed to you on a plate. The fear that you might muck something up by killing everyone you see is also the protection...it was all that was needed in old TES to keep people from, once again, treating the game like GTA. You just admitted that by them allowing you to kill people, you know there is no real problem killing them, a luxury you didn't have in old TES.

And then you've got other encounters, like dragon attacks. Essential NPCs seemed like a fine solution, since it already solves the above problem, it's already something Bethesda does, and it prevents things happening that screw the player, and are out of the player's control. Sure, they could make all NPCs essential except by the player's hands, but doesn't that just enforce the "world revolves around the player" feeling that isn't so warmly received? Hell, in this case it almost seems like we need more essential NPCs, with how they love to go barefisted against dragons and vampires. It wouldn't be as much of a problem if merchants and the like were actually replaced like they talked about pre-release.


Now here is where we actually agree. The fact that they have dangerous Dragons flying around is reason enough to have NPC's protected from death. I've had arguments before and openly expressed that this alone is reason enough to have protected/essential NPC's. However, some of the stuff you were saying in previous paragraphs is indicative of how people misconstrue old TES players' arguments for killable NPC's. We weren't just running around killing everyone. You couldn't do it because of the consequences/repercussions and that was enough.
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#122Akito_KinomotoPosted 2/8/2013 10:13:29 AM
The way people are implying casualization/dumbing-down as a bad thing makes me glad they aren't formally recognized video game critics. Success of the author/developer's goal is the first thing to look for because otherwise I would criticize Dynasty Warriors 7 for being too easy. If it's a matter of staying true to the spirit of the series I would ask people to view it from an objective lens. What we're accustomed to VS what is newly introduced doesn't make the latter inherently bad.

And since I know people are going to jump on me for accusing them of thinking that casualization/dumbing-down is bad when they never did, no, you might not have directly equated it with being bad. But when has casualization/dumbing-down not been cited as a flaw toward a game as indicated by the reviewer's word choice or tone? Or rather it has been the intent to put down a game when using those terms most of the time.

Finally, if criticism wasn't the intent of those using the terms, I would now point out that typing "the game changed" saves time. Why bother typing out casualization/dumbing-down again?

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#123MorvoniPosted 2/8/2013 11:39:08 AM(edited)
^ Because simply saying the game changed doesn't describe what happened to it. Changed...changed how? Changed for the worse? Changed to make it more casual? Changed to make it harder? Changed to make it more challenging?

Which one does the game changed mean?

Casualization is not a bad thing if the goal was more profitability (a good thing). Everyone understands the need for a company to make money and succeed, so use of the word casualization is not negative in that respect if you just give people credit as to being intelligent.

Casualization is also the word used to describe making a game more appealing to the masses. But by which method did you acheive that? In this case by dumbing it down/streamlining it. I'm not sure I understand why you argue with people for taking the time to be more descriptiive with how they feel. We aren't media Critics here and aren't bound by the necessity to try and remain neutral and unbiased. We are gamers.

As I said before, I'm more partial to old TES, so I'm going to use the word Dumbing Down. A gamer that is more partial to Skyrim is going to use the word Streamlined. But as I've shown, they can essentially describe the same change but offer different perspectives of that change. I only gave a few examples, but you can apply both Dumbing Down and Streamlined to any number of the changes made.
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#124WheezinEdPosted 2/8/2013 2:27:14 PM
From: Akito_Kinomoto | #122
The way people are implying casualization/dumbing-down as a bad thing makes me glad they aren't formally recognized video game critics. Success of the author/developer's goal is the first thing to look for because otherwise I would criticize Dynasty Warriors 7 for being too easy. If it's a matter of staying true to the spirit of the series I would ask people to view it from an objective lens. What we're accustomed to VS what is newly introduced doesn't make the latter inherently bad.

No one has said otherwise. There is no such thing as objective criticism. Developer goals should only be considered in a macro sense and those goals should be the subject of criticism, not the fulcrum for analysis.
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#125kamahl25Posted 2/8/2013 2:35:55 PM
WheezinEd posted...
From: GriffRoberts | #119
Things get hairy when I decide to just up and kill Ancano the moment I meet him; it's a lot of work rewriting the entire questline or coming up with a bunch of back door type solutions, just to give the player the freedom to kill anyone that looks at them the wrong way.

Sure, I could just fail the entire questline, but the repercussions of that aren't immediate, and don't necessarily have anything to do with Ancano, other than giving me a reason to go to Labyrinthian or whatever. At least now when I kill an NPC, I know that their importance doesn't extend past their own meager existence.


OH NO! There are unforeseen consequences to recklessly killing people! What terrible game design!


I think he was mostly talking about the programming not having to watch his actions
#126GriffRobertsPosted 2/8/2013 3:02:05 PM
From: Morvoni | #121
Making the game easier so that it appeals to a bigger audience is also casualization


But why is the game easier? Is Morrowind harder because it's old school and hardcore to the max? Or is it because of frustrating game mechanics and a really steep learning curve? Hell, look at all the reasons Daggerfall's difficult: Pointlessly labyrinthine dungeons, convoluted interface, and straight up broken gameplay.

I think Skyrim's only easier as a result of improved gameplay mechanics, especially in combat. Compared to Oblivion, it can be easier and harder at times, now that they've treated the ridiculous level scaling problem.
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#127Kant_Remoob_EhtPosted 2/8/2013 6:19:55 PM
GriffRoberts posted...
From: Morvoni | #121
Making the game easier so that it appeals to a bigger audience is also casualization


But why is the game easier? Is Morrowind harder because it's old school and hardcore to the max? Or is it because of frustrating game mechanics and a really steep learning curve? Hell, look at all the reasons Daggerfall's difficult: Pointlessly labyrinthine dungeons, convoluted interface, and straight up broken gameplay.

I think Skyrim's only easier as a result of improved gameplay mechanics, especially in combat. Compared to Oblivion, it can be easier and harder at times, now that they've treated the ridiculous level scaling problem.


Overly Labyrinth like dungeons? I would rather like having those.
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#128JohnRyan1228Posted 2/8/2013 6:24:23 PM
GriffRoberts posted...
From: Morvoni | #121
Making the game easier so that it appeals to a bigger audience is also casualization


But why is the game easier? Is Morrowind harder because it's old school and hardcore to the max? Or is it because of frustrating game mechanics and a really steep learning curve? Hell, look at all the reasons Daggerfall's difficult: Pointlessly labyrinthine dungeons, convoluted interface, and straight up broken gameplay.

I think Skyrim's only easier as a result of improved gameplay mechanics, especially in combat. Compared to Oblivion, it can be easier and harder at times, now that they've treated the ridiculous level scaling problem.


This is actually a decent point. But still I would be happy with a steeper learning curve
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#129Kant_Remoob_EhtPosted 2/8/2013 6:29:27 PM
JohnRyan1228 posted...
GriffRoberts posted...
From: Morvoni | #121
Making the game easier so that it appeals to a bigger audience is also casualization


But why is the game easier? Is Morrowind harder because it's old school and hardcore to the max? Or is it because of frustrating game mechanics and a really steep learning curve? Hell, look at all the reasons Daggerfall's difficult: Pointlessly labyrinthine dungeons, convoluted interface, and straight up broken gameplay.

I think Skyrim's only easier as a result of improved gameplay mechanics, especially in combat. Compared to Oblivion, it can be easier and harder at times, now that they've treated the ridiculous level scaling problem.


This is actually a decent point. But still I would be happy with a steeper learning curve


Do any recent games have a steepish learning curve that doesn't really hold your hand?
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GT: Boomer and Tank
Pretty darn confident..... I don't want to have to wait till the Microendony XBOXS 4ii comes out another 15 years later....
#130zeroboboPosted 2/8/2013 6:29:50 PM
Kant_Remoob_Eht posted...
turn_based posted...
Kant_Remoob_Eht posted...
I honestly hope bethesda doesn't take the streamlining hammer to fallout 4.


I guess you haven't played 3 yet, eh?

:1


Fallout 3? I've played it and NV. They kept most of the general things, SPECIAL system, perks, traits (with NV at least). Though they did limit some things, it still felt like it had some sense of rpgness to it. I will ignore the limited map size compared to the older fallout games mainly due to how the map system was set up with them (the old ones that is).

But I wonder if fallout 4 would go back to being a perspective view game. Mainly with how awkward it seems like to use VATS in first person.


yes having a horribly imbalanced SPECIAL system kinda defeats the purpose. using guns? why the hell do you have a strength higher than 6? melee character get rid of that perception you dont need it. agility and intelligence are SUPER AWESOME. charisma? why bother! they honestly should have ditched the SPECIAL system as its well, bad int he new games, it was great in 1&2 as there were consquences for having super low stats.

in fallout 4 if they keep the SPECIAL system, i REALLY hope theres SEVERE consquences to having any stat being super low.
most people had a 1 charisma in FO3/ NV cus well it was utterly pointless. it should severely limit your dialogue options and make peaceful solutions to quests impossible with a 1 charisma. with a 1 charisma you shouldnt be able to talk your way out of a paper bag.

you're talking about dumbed down and you think FO3 and NV did it right? PLEASE. im offended.
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