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  • Originally posted by Lisbeth_Salander View Post

    It's unfair of me to compare Breath of The Wild with Witcher 3, since Breath of The Wild has kind of bad graphics because of the Nintendo Switch limitations and not because it is a "single open world
    That and it's an unfair comparison because they're not even remotely in the same space when it comes to graphic style.Zelda has a very stylized,cel-shaded (and somewhat minimilistic) aesthetic while The Witcher goes for realism and more detail.A fairer comparison would be with a game like Just Cause 3,unhidered by hardware and stylistically similar.
    Originally posted by Suhiira View Post
    Simple, the smaller the partitions the more each can contain. There is a limit to how much RAM and video texture what memory can contain. While wonders can be done with stuff loading on the fly even then there's a limit before you start stuttering and such (Sakrim, Fallout 4).
    Both Skyrim and Fallout have way smaller worlds and are tens of times more partitioned and less open than the Witcher but still run like crap.The reason why Bethesda's games run poorly is because they are unoptimized buggy messes that are based on an arhaic engine,not because they're more open world and require more resources.They wouldn't use so much resources if Beth took the time to develope them properly and/or make a proper engine.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by SigilFey View Post
      -snip-
      Here's the thing - I loved Skyrim's gameplay, and its dungeons, and its cities, and its bandit camps. The world was super condensed, yes, but because of current tech-to-cost ratios in the gaming industry, I have to ask myself if it would have even been possible for them to reasonable have everything you guys are asking for.

      My point is that while yes, Skyrim would have greatly benefited from a larger open world with more interactivity, more realistically-scaled locations and varied dungeon crawls (Aside from just "kill everyone and loot the boss"), there are sacrifices that would have to be made in other aspects of the game to accomplish such a lofty goal. I think Skyrim was about the best it could be given its time (Remember, it released 6 years ago now, and was working with even older tech than that).

      I also don't think combat should be 1/3 of the game. I think combat should be 3/3 of the game if the player wants, or 3/3 plot-focused quests if they want, and 3/3 quiet exploration if they want. That is the point here. Freedom. In an open world RPG (emphasis on the "role playing" part), the player should be able to take on any role they want. What if they don't want to solve situations through dialogue or exploration? What if they only want to explore, and not fight?

      I'm playing devil's advocate there, though. I understand your point, I'm exaggerating to make one of my own. Personally, I'd be absolutely fine with a 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 split like that. But I'm trying to think about the people who wouldn't be, especially after experiencing what Skyrim has already offered them.

      The best approach would be to try to offer multiple ways through each situation, which is something Skyrim definitely could have been better about. Do I bluff my way past these bandits and snatch their loot by disguising as them? Do I take an alternate, treacherous path that might involve climbing, platforming and non-combat stealth? Do I take the "combat" route (stealth or not) and approach the situation head on?

      I guess my point is that I don't see a need to say "Okay, 1/3 of our dungeons are going to be combat, 1/3 of our dungeons are going to be exploration-based, and 1/3 of our dungeons are going to be dialogue-based".

      Originally posted by Lisbeth_Salander View Post

      It's unfair of me to compare Breath of The Wild with Witcher 3, since Breath of The Wild has kind of bad graphics because of the Nintendo Switch limitations and not because it is a "single open world" game, but I posted the picture anyway to illustrate what this fella said:

      Nintendo Switch sucks by the way, but Breath of The Wild is a great game.

      EDIT: The price of the Nintendo Switch in my country is around 650 dollars. Considering that I can buy PS4, a XBOX ONE or even build a monster PCby that price, why should I instead buy the Switch, Nintendo? There is no reason to buy it.
      I disagree on both counts. Breath of the Wild's graphics are not objectively "bad", they are simply heavily stylized. Were Wind Waker's graphics bad? Because BOTW is essentially a slightly more realistic version of those. Granted, having heavily stylized/cell shaded graphics does come with the side benefit of improved performance on lower-powered systems. If that style just isn't your thing, that's fine, and you're free to think it looks like absolute garbage if you wish. I just don't think it's fair to compare the two.

      For the record, I loved TW3's graphics, too.

      I think the Nintendo Switch is a fine system. It's not my favorite nor my go-to for games that I can get on PC or other platforms, but when I want to take a massive game like Skyrim or BoTW on the train, a long car ride, or just while I'm sitting on the toilet (not that I'd ever do that...ick), I can. That's the whole point. The TV view is... below average, but it's to be expected.

      If a Switch in your country costs 650 dollars, then that's certainly unfortuante, and there is no real reason to buy it over a PC or another console - but you realize for many of us the Switch doesn't cost 650 dollars? I mean, that's a ridiculous price. I got mine for the base price a day after launch (woke up early to stand in line, but still). If you're basing your opinion of the Switch solely on something like the price being out of whack in your specific country, that seems odd to me. But to each their own.

      Last edited by Snowflakez; 07-12-17, 18:38.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Snowflakez View Post


        If a Switch in your country costs 650 dollars, then that's certainly unfortuante, and there is no real reason to buy it over a PC or another console - but you realize for many of us the Switch doesn't cost 650 dollars? I mean, that's a ridiculous price. I got mine for the base price a day after launch (woke up early to stand in line, but still). If you're basing your opinion of the Switch solely on something like the price being out of whack in your specific country, that seems odd to me. But to each their own.
        Base price which in us is around 300 dollars right now is still ridiculous. Come on, add another 100 and you can buy a PS4.

        "In twenty-seventy or so. Tenements on fire. Blazing through endless nights."

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Snowflakez View Post
          I also don't think combat should be 1/3 of the game. I think combat should be 3/3 of the game if the player wants, or 3/3 plot-focused quests if they want, and 3/3 quiet exploration if they want. That is the point here. Freedom. In an open world RPG (emphasis on the "role playing" part), the player should be able to take on any role they want. What if they don't want to solve situations through dialogue or exploration? What if they only want to explore, and not fight?
          Not sure I agree with your premise. Freedom is not the point of all cRPGs. It certainly is for sandbox cRPGs. Narrative based RPGs however are more linear in design and are not primarily about freedom, but rather the story. Also dungeon crawlers are arguably cRPGs still where all of the choices and consequences are made through the design of the character and the combat consequences thereof. Each is a different style of cRPG ... and the sandbox style is the only one that gives primacy to freedom. Trying to make a game both 100% narrative and 100% freedom is IMO how Mass Effect: Andromeda ended up being less impactful than the more focused narrative games Bioware did in the past.

          Now ideally a developer should provide narrative, freedom & gameplay within the game. But in my opinion they should focus on 1 of these elements first (preferably narrative for my personal tastes). Then the other parts serve to support the primary focus. There should still be lots of narrative and lots of freedom and lots of combat opportunities too accommodate different players' tastes ... but I do think a game with vision in what it wants to be normally ends up being a higher quality product in the end.

          As they said in their recent tweet "When thinking CP2077, think nothing less than TW3 - huge, single player, open world, story driven RPG." I expect Cyberpunk will end up being a narrative focused game with freedom and gameplay serving very large support roles to the story ... like TW3. Just a hunch ... but I think it's the best educated guess given the information we have at this time.
          Read the Forum Regulations! This color means I am posting in my capacity as a moderator. Otherwise, feel free to ignore my random musings. Check out The Wild Hunt & The Forlorn Hope!

          Comment


          • after Mass Effect Andromeda, i don't like open world anymore, that open world is empty dull and lifeless

            if cp207 is open world, i hope it is alive and full of content like in w3

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Snowflakez View Post
              Here's the thing - I loved Skyrim's gameplay, and its dungeons, and its cities, and its bandit camps. The world was super condensed, yes, but because of current tech-to-cost ratios in the gaming industry, I have to ask myself if it would have even been possible for them to reasonable have everything you guys are asking for... there are sacrifices that would have to be made in other aspects of the game to accomplish such a lofty goal...
              I think we've had the technology for nearly a decade or more. Daggerfall already did it, and Arena technically did it before that. What they were missing was a reason to explore those "wilderness" areas. They were literally just...empty. It wouldn't require any new technology to pull the larger areas off, just re-imagining the way the areas of the world would work.


              Originally posted by Snowflakez View Post
              I also don't think combat should be 1/3 of the game. I think combat should be 3/3 of the game if the player wants, or 3/3 plot-focused quests if they want, and 3/3 quiet exploration if they want. That is the point here. Freedom. In an open world RPG (emphasis on the "role playing" part), the player should be able to take on any role they want. What if they don't want to solve situations through dialogue or exploration? What if they only want to explore, and not fight?

              I'm playing devil's advocate there, though. I understand your point, I'm exaggerating to make one of my own. Personally, I'd be absolutely fine with a 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 split like that. But I'm trying to think about the people who wouldn't be, especially after experiencing what Skyrim has already offered them...The best approach would be to try to offer multiple ways through each situation...
              Ha-ha-ha... You're right. I wasn't very clear with the "1/3" example. Of course, the player should be able to go looking for trouble and find it -- every time -- if they wish. What I meant was, the game should leave me options to get around it; not keep cramming combat down my throat.

              So, simple example: wolves. Wolves don't hunt people, move toward people, or go near people-related things. Wolves actively avoid people. So, let me encounter wolves doing wolf things. A pack travelling along their hunting trail. One spies me, its head and ears come up, then it lowers them and slinks away followed by the other 8 wolves in its pack. If I chase them, they'll run. But if I corner them...or wander into their home territory...they'll growl and ward me off. If i press it...they'll attack viciously. Like real wolves. And so forth, with every aspect of the world. Why do I need to encounter "bandits" every time I travel that road? Why not encounter a bunch of miners walking home after a long day's work? How about a merchant and his wagon on the way to market? A little kid who got lost and can't find the way home? Another band of adventurers off to explore the world? A small pack of wolves that scurries quickly across the road to go hunt sheep on a nearby farm?

              That way, when I encounter "bandits", I'm not fully expecting it, and the experience carries some element of surprise and tension. (Or I can mug the miners, kill the merchant's guards and rob him, scare the snot out of the kid, walk off nearly overloaded with fresh wolf-hides, and receive a warm welcome from the other bandits that happen to appear further down the road.)


              Originally posted by Lisbeth_Salander View Post
              Base price which in us is around 300 dollars right now is still ridiculous. Come on, add another 100 and you can buy a PS4.
              Agreed that the pricing for the switch is very cheeky. Especially considering the woefully shallow selection of games. I was tempted to pick one up, initially, but I wanted to see how things developed. Now...well... (But I will eventually get something to play Breath of the Wild on. Sooner or later. Personally, I love that type of graphical style.)
              Last edited by SigilFey; 07-12-17, 21:42.
              People always ask me, "What's in the box?" I get the question a lot. "Come on -- what's in the box!?" I won't tell them...but I'll tell you. Go on.
              You can see what's IN THE BOX!!!

              Comment


              • Originally posted by SigilFey View Post

                Ha-ha-ha... You're right. I wasn't very clear with the "1/3" example. Of course, the player should be able to go looking for trouble and find it -- every time -- if they wish. What I meant was, the game should leave me options to get around it; not keep cramming combat down my throat.
                Like I said, I was just exaggerating to prove a point. I figured you didn't mean that literally. :P It seems we are largely in agreement - all of the stuff you mention is stuff I too would love to see! Just one sticking point.

                Yes, it's technically possible to have a world like Daggerfall and Arena (I've only played the former) today, but don't you think Bethesda would have done that by now if there wasn't some limiting factor in place (time or budget constraints) preventing them from doing so? You don't think Bethesda would love to brag about their "massive open world filled with stuff to do" and actually mean it for once?

                I'm sure they'd love to give all of their animals realistic AI (though mods have fixed the wolf problem) and have lots of fun, believable stuff for the player to stumble upon, like the things you suggest. But all of that takes time and money. Time and money that must now be diverted from other aspects of the game, for better or for worse.

                Could you clarify what you mean by "reworking the world" to fit this sort of thing? For instance, assuming Skyrim was achieved with the maximum budget Bethesda could possibly allot, what would you have them spend less time on to divert towards the world stuff?

                In other words, in Skyrim's current state, what would we not have if it was instead developed the way you suggest? This is not a leading question, I'm genuinely curious.

                Originally posted by Lisbeth_Salander View Post

                Base price which in us is around 300 dollars right now is still ridiculous. Come on, add another 100 and you can buy a PS4.
                Hmm... I don't agree, but that's OK. To be clear, I'm not a Nintendo fanboy. The Switch is the only platform of theirs I've purchased in the past decade or so, aside from a used 3DS some time ago.

                I think a new console at $300 is perfectly fair, being that -- as you said -- other new consoles cost $400. I think the $100 cheaper price point about makes up for the hardware decrease.

                Of course the game selection is limited right now, the system hasn't been out for years and years like the PS4 and Xbox One have. But Nintendo is throwing up a lot of excellent originals and ports, and they'll only continue to do so in the future. They are embracing third-party developers more than ever before, now, too.

                That said, nobody should be buying a Switch as just a "gaming console". If you just want a game to play the latest major AAA titles on, skip the Switch, naturally. But that's not why most people buy the Switch - they buy it because they want Nintendo's games, most of which are really, really damn good lately. Third party developers finally getting on board is a pleasant side effect.

                Give the Switch the same chance everyone has given the PS4 and Xbox One. You can still hate it, but I for one am going to withhold judgement until its had some real time to breathe and mature.


                Originally posted by Rawls View Post
                -snip-
                We are talking about Skyrim, not narrative-driven RPGs. It would be quite ridiculous for anyone to expect CDPR to have Skyrim levels of freedom on top of excellent story and RPG mechanics. I agree that freedom is not the point of all CRPGs, nor should it be. I've played many RPGs other than Skyrim and TW3 and enjoyed them in their own right, for what they are.

                But if a series touts player freedom as a major selling feature (As is the case with Elder Scrolls), that should remain the case - in my opinion. I'm sure some would be happy with a total reinvention of the franchise (and perhaps even say it's the "only way it'll survive"), but I would disagree.

                If TW3 suddenly turned into Skyrim-type RPG with total freedom, I'd be a bit miffed, and vice versa.
                Last edited by Snowflakez; 07-12-17, 22:09.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Snowflakez View Post
                  ...but don't you think Bethesda would have done that by now if there wasn't some limiting factor in place (time or budget constraints) preventing them from doing so? You don't think Bethesda would love to brag about their "massive open world filled with stuff to do" and actually mean it for once? ...I'm sure they'd love to give all of their animals realistic AI (though mods have fixed the wolf problem) and have lots of fun, believable stuff for the player to stumble upon, like the things you suggest. But all of that takes time and money. Time and money that must now be diverted from other aspects of the game, for better or for worse.
                  I don't think so for two particular reasons. I can't claim to know this, but here's my assessment after watching the evolution from Arena to FO4:

                  1.) They decided to milk the Gamebryo / Creation Engine for all it's worth, and / or the original programmers (besides Howard) are long gone and they don't want to risk digging into the nitty-gritty code and trying to fix things at this point, potentially destroying what is (more or less) working.

                  2.) The company's leadership has a particular vision on what the games should be, and they, perhaps unintentionally, funnel every single development process down the same path every time. Habits.

                  When it comes to whether they would incorporate more realistic encounters, more realistic AI behaviors, etc. -- it's done easily enough, and in most mods that add these things, it's not even necessary to add scripts. I can edit the behavior of wolves in Skyrim by editing one page of properties in the CK. The result will be wolves that stand off and growl at me for 20 seconds before attacking between levels 1-10, and they'll flee instead of attack if the player is level 11+. I can also tweak a few settings, and the wolves will only attack if there are 3 or more present. But they will still hunt deer normally. Why it's not done this way is to satisfy the vast majority of players (sales-wise) that will basically run around with their finger on attack button. It takes about 2 hours to replace a random-encounter leveled list with a handful of unique scnearios (even involving dialogue!) that are not combat-related. So why would Bethesda waste time on it? When the modding community picks up the CK to make it more "realistic", all the familiar tools are still pretty much in the same place. Everybody's happy. And, fair enough.

                  I will admit that it's a marriage of business-meets-quality that has worked for a long while, but I think TES:O and FO4 were a bit of a wake-up call that this "quick and simple" methodology is getting a little long-in-the-tooth, and overall player expectations have changed. (Although, I will say now, just like with FO4, if the next big release uses any variation of Gamebryo / Creation Engine, I will not purchase it until most of the wrinkles are ironed out. Read: The Unofficial Patch starts reporting that the major issues are resolved.)


                  Originally posted by Snowflakez View Post
                  Could you clarify what you mean by "reworking the world" to fit this sort of thing? For instance, assuming Skyrim was achieved with the maximum budget Bethesda could possibly allot, what would you have them spend less time on to divert towards the world stuff?
                  In other words, in Skyrim's current state, what would we not have if it was instead developed the way you suggest? This is not a leading question, I'm genuinely curious.
                  Here's my vision for open world, re-imagining 'Skyrim':


                  And the only reason I don't target something like TW3, Dragon Age, or GTA is because the differences would actually be more subtle between this idea and the way those titles already work.

                  "The City of Whiterun" would be a single, enormous map. Say, 3-5 square miles on a side. The city itself occupies the center, and is about 1 square mile. (The rest of the world is unloaded from RAM. All those resources that are being used to keep track of what's going on in Solitude and Windhelm are no longer needed, and can be devoted to Whiterun City itself.) We now have an Assassin's creed style of city. Whiterun is hundreds of buildings...thousands of NPCs wandering around. All the named NPCs are still about, but the rest are "extras" that create a sense of scale and bustle. They can still be interactive, they simply won't be plot-critical.

                  Now, all that open space / filler housing... We utilize the wonders of procedural generation. (Keeping in mind that "procedural" does not mean "random".) I simply utilize a procedural process to generate a realistic landscape using a specific algorithm, then go through and touch some areas up to make them special (add some rare plants and reagents to specific, logical places, ensure wildlife is distributed realistically, create a few vampire lairs or bandit hidey-holes). These elements would also be somewhat exclusive -- a landscape with a selection of flora and fauna that cannot be found anywhere else in the game. "Random" house interiors can be be built from a selection of templates, and then similar algorithms can populate them with furniture and clutter according to settings (how wealthy the district is, what race / faction the owner is, etc.) Again, I swoop through and add some unique touches, and of course, unique shops, taverns, palaces, landmarks etc. can still be uniquely hand-crafted. Once I'm happy with the results, I save the area, and all of the data will be permanent. (I use some randomization to create it, but the final result is persistent.)

                  Players can now seamlessly explore the whole area. Squeeze through crowds of people in the market. Dragonsreach castle would literally sit at the peak of a gigantic hill, overlooking a sprawling capital city. The area around it would be plains. Vast, open distances to explore. 1:1 scale for that focused area. Aside from that, it's regular Bethesda gameplay. If I want to travel away, I either rent a cart / fast-travel, or I ride along the miles of road to an edge of the map, and my character "rides off into the distance" (similar to Assassin's Creed again).

                  Overland travel would work similar to the old Fallout 1 and 2 games. Some, cool, interactive map that compresses the passage of time as I travel, and I may discover "points of interest" along the way. And it would now take realistic amounts of game time to travel. So a journey from Whiterun to Solitude would take a month-and-a-half, not 9 hours at a jog. Seasons could come back! For example, say, 4 days out from Riverwood, I stumble on Bleak Falls Barrow. A new, 1:1 scale map will load. A true mountain, with twisting and winding trails. If I don't have directions, I'll need to pick my way up. I might have to deal with a few bandits hiding out in an old abandoned watchtower...and i would look down at the tiny cluster of lights that represented 50 or so buildings comprising Riverwood, the size of a postage stamp, far below. 15 or 20 minutes later, little less than halfway up this mountainside, I come upon a ledge nearly 500 yards across. Built into the towering cliffs is a sweeping awning, carved from the living rock. And just barely noticeable behind one of the enormous pillars is the glow of a campfire.

                  And so forth. So individual areas with plenty of unique wilderness to explore that creates a more epic scale and sense of place. I can easily "fast-travel" between any discovered areas, and I can choose whether I wish to arrive in-town or on the edge of a map. I also think it's needed to begin representing battles in a...not silly...way. Since the game only has that, particular area loaded (and given the wonders of 64-bit processing), we can now reasonably calculate thousands of soldiers fighting on the field, or through the twisting streets of a city, while hundreds of civilians run for shelter or form bucket chains to put out fires.

                  What we lose is a seamless world. I also don't think it's reasonable to think that "clutter" could be done with the same care (ecxept for hand-crafted areas). NPCs would not all be unique personalities, but it wouldn't stop unique NPCs from existing. There would be more load times, but considering Beth games load every time you transition between interior cells, I don't think people would really notice or care, as long as individual areas were expansive enough.

                  So, a few additional load times, some relatively faceless NPCs, and fewer cabbages on each shelf in the average kitchen. In exchange, we get sprawling, bustling cities, harbors with fleets of ships docked at a time, miles of true wilderness to explore, a real sense of scale and distance, possibly seasonal changes, and battles involving hundreds or perhaps thousands of units. It would also help to improve the economy of the game. As certain resources could now only be obtained in exclusive areas, it wouldn't be hard to create a more organic "market" in the game with believably fluctuating prices.

                  Also, just because my mind is now on it, the major difference between this and the way, say, Dragon Age: Inquisition works right now would be the feeling of each area. DA:I still uses a strong level of compression in each of its overland areas. While the variety is wonderful, there's still no one spot that ever feels like it's out in the wilds. You're always two football fields away from the nearest camp / village / cottage / castle in every map. I'd like a 4 square mile area of forest that appears on my map not because there's a cave leading to the God of the Werehamsters...but because it's a really great spot to hunt deer. That's it. Prime hunting spot. But I'll still need to spend 10 minutes of real time actually hunting before I find one. So, it's an approach that's mostly focused on creating a feeling of place. A subtle but impactful change, I think.
                  People always ask me, "What's in the box?" I get the question a lot. "Come on -- what's in the box!?" I won't tell them...but I'll tell you. Go on.
                  You can see what's IN THE BOX!!!

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by SigilFey View Post

                    I will admit that it's a marriage of business-meets-quality that has worked for a long while, but I think TES:O and FO4 were a bit of a wake-up call that this "quick and simple" methodology is getting a little long-in-the-tooth, and overall player expectations have changed. (Although, I will say now, just like with FO4, if the next big release uses any variation of Gamebryo / Creation Engine, I will not purchase it until most of the wrinkles are ironed out. Read: The Unofficial Patch starts reporting that the major issues are resolved.)
                    I see, thanks for clarifying. I do agree that it's likely that there's some element of a "comfort zone" here - if it ain't broke (From a business/sales perspective), don't fix it. If FO4 does end up being a "wake up call", as you said, all the better. Bethesda's games are definitely in need of a new engine at this point, no matter how difficult it might be - I mean, look at CDPR. They have basically literally started from scratch again with CP2077, if YongYea's video is anything to go by - and that's after only really creating one open world RPG. Bethesda has created several!

                    That said, it's funny, but I've never had serious issues with the Creation/Gamebryo engine. I certainly don't doubt that others have and would never argue against Bethesda creating a new engine, but aside from a handful of bugged quests and the occasional weird AI moment, nothing ever bothered me too much. I probably just got really lucky, or learned to get used to the issues, though.

                    Originally posted by SigilFey View Post

                    Here's my vision for open world, re-imagining 'Skyrim':


                    And the only reason I don't target something like TW3, Dragon Age, or GTA is because the differences would actually be more subtle between this idea and the way those titles already work.

                    "The City of Whiterun" would be a single, enormous map. Say, 3-5 square miles on a side. The city itself occupies the center, and is about 1 square mile. (The rest of the world is unloaded from RAM. All those resources that are being used to keep track of what's going on in Solitude and Windhelm are no longer needed, and can be devoted to Whiterun City itself.) We now have an Assassin's creed style of city. Whiterun is hundreds of buildings...thousands of NPCs wandering around. All the named NPCs are still about, but the rest are "extras" that create a sense of scale and bustle. They can still be interactive, they simply won't be plot-critical.

                    Now, all that open space / filler housing... We utilize the wonders of procedural generation. (Keeping in mind that "procedural" does not mean "random".) I simply utilize a procedural process to generate a realistic landscape using a specific algorithm, then go through and touch some areas up to make them special (add some rare plants and reagents to specific, logical places, ensure wildlife is distributed realistically, create a few vampire lairs or bandit hidey-holes). These elements would also be somewhat exclusive -- a landscape with a selection of flora and fauna that cannot be found anywhere else in the game. "Random" house interiors can be be built from a selection of templates, and then similar algorithms can populate them with furniture and clutter according to settings (how wealthy the district is, what race / faction the owner is, etc.) Again, I swoop through and add some unique touches, and of course, unique shops, taverns, palaces, landmarks etc. can still be uniquely hand-crafted. Once I'm happy with the results, I save the area, and all of the data will be permanent. (I use some randomization to create it, but the final result is persistent.)

                    Players can now seamlessly explore the whole area. Squeeze through crowds of people in the market. Dragonsreach castle would literally sit at the peak of a gigantic hill, overlooking a sprawling capital city. The area around it would be plains. Vast, open distances to explore. 1:1 scale for that focused area. Aside from that, it's regular Bethesda gameplay. If I want to travel away, I either rent a cart / fast-travel, or I ride along the miles of road to an edge of the map, and my character "rides off into the distance" (similar to Assassin's Creed again).

                    Overland travel would work similar to the old Fallout 1 and 2 games. Some, cool, interactive map that compresses the passage of time as I travel, and I may discover "points of interest" along the way. And it would now take realistic amounts of game time to travel. So a journey from Whiterun to Solitude would take a month-and-a-half, not 9 hours at a jog. Seasons could come back! For example, say, 4 days out from Riverwood, I stumble on Bleak Falls Barrow. A new, 1:1 scale map will load. A true mountain, with twisting and winding trails. If I don't have directions, I'll need to pick my way up. I might have to deal with a few bandits hiding out in an old abandoned watchtower...and i would look down at the tiny cluster of lights that represented 50 or so buildings comprising Riverwood, the size of a postage stamp, far below. 15 or 20 minutes later, little less than halfway up this mountainside, I come upon a ledge nearly 500 yards across. Built into the towering cliffs is a sweeping awning, carved from the living rock. And just barely noticeable behind one of the enormous pillars is the glow of a campfire.

                    And so forth. So individual areas with plenty of unique wilderness to explore that creates a more epic scale and sense of place. I can easily "fast-travel" between any discovered areas, and I can choose whether I wish to arrive in-town or on the edge of a map. I also think it's needed to begin representing battles in a...not silly...way. Since the game only has that, particular area loaded (and given the wonders of 64-bit processing), we can now reasonably calculate thousands of soldiers fighting on the field, or through the twisting streets of a city, while hundreds of civilians run for shelter or form bucket chains to put out fires.

                    What we lose is a seamless world. I also don't think it's reasonable to think that "clutter" could be done with the same care (ecxept for hand-crafted areas). NPCs would not all be unique personalities, but it wouldn't stop unique NPCs from existing. There would be more load times, but considering Beth games load every time you transition between interior cells, I don't think people would really notice or care, as long as individual areas were expansive enough.

                    So, a few additional load times, some relatively faceless NPCs, and fewer cabbages on each shelf in the average kitchen. In exchange, we get sprawling, bustling cities, harbors with fleets of ships docked at a time, miles of true wilderness to explore, a real sense of scale and distance, possibly seasonal changes, and battles involving hundreds or perhaps thousands of units. It would also help to improve the economy of the game. As certain resources could now only be obtained in exclusive areas, it wouldn't be hard to create a more organic "market" in the game with believably fluctuating prices.

                    Also, just because my mind is now on it, the major difference between this and the way, say, Dragon Age: Inquisition works right now would be the feeling of each area. DA:I still uses a strong level of compression in each of its overland areas. While the variety is wonderful, there's still no one spot that ever feels like it's out in the wilds. You're always two football fields away from the nearest camp / village / cottage / castle in every map. I'd like a 4 square mile area of forest that appears on my map not because there's a cave leading to the God of the Werehamsters...but because it's a really great spot to hunt deer. That's it. Prime hunting spot. But I'll still need to spend 10 minutes of real time actually hunting before I find one. So, it's an approach that's mostly focused on creating a feeling of place. A subtle but impactful change, I think.
                    That would be so cool! I'd be down for something like that.

                    I actually started typing two paragraphs addressing concerns about house interiors and NPC schedules, but upon re-rereading, it seems you already came up with a solution for that (not every house needs to have a unique interior, but they are persistent).

                    Just one concern - would NPCs themselves be persistent, too, or randomly generated every time you enter the city? I don't care about them not having personality, but it would be jarring to find a house full of valuables, run out of space, nip down a nearby alley to stash them in a barrel and come back only to find the house now belongs to someone else.

                    But other than that, this idea sounds pretty good to me. I don't know if we'll every get an RPG that does it quite this way (which is unfortunate), but maybe we'll get something similar in the near future. It does make me really curious as to how CDPR plans to handle a sprawling city in terms of scale.

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                    • Originally posted by Snowflakez View Post
                      Just one concern - would NPCs themselves be persistent, too, or randomly generated every time you enter the city?
                      Honestly, I think it would be easier for them to be persistent, with specific AI packages, just like now. Only, and "AI package" would no longer consist of unique class and skill stats, etc. Rather, it would be something like 3 different looping tasks or idles for morning/day/nighttime periods. In the event of dragon attack, run for XYZ building. In the event of siege, joing XYZ bucket line.

                      I imagine having each NPC assigned ahead of time would take the load off the system, instead of trying to randomly populate the area every time it loaded. So, yeah, every NPC would have their own name and home and bed to sleep in, but they would not be interactive like they are in present Beth games (only special NPCs would have dialogue trees and quests). But their could be AI packages that randomly attach to nearby NPCs.

                      One idea that butterflies around in my head is the player character wandering into a city later in the game (after they gained some measure of fame). People would whisper as s/he passed: "Isn't that...?" / "Naw. What would bring them here?" / "I think it is!" / "Thought they'd be taller..." Then, a kid would come up and just say. "My da says you're the Dragonborn." You could affirm it, and he'd start asking questions. Soon a few more kids would start following, a little girl asking if you could shout at her brother. Minutes later the player is walking with a throng of kids following along...completely helpless to do anything about it. Guards have to arrive and shoo the kids away to save you. Or you could make scary face / cast a spell that startles them. The kids scream and run off, then squeal with laughter and come rushing back...


                      Originally posted by Rawls View Post
                      Freedom is not the point of all cRPGs. It certainly is for sandbox cRPGs. Narrative based RPGs however are more linear in design and are not primarily about freedom, but rather the story. Also dungeon crawlers are arguably cRPGs still where all of the choices and consequences are made through the design of the character and the combat consequences thereof. Each is a different style of cRPG ... and the sandbox style is the only one that gives primacy to freedom.
                      Originally posted by Snowflakez View Post
                      We are talking about Skyrim, not narrative-driven RPGs. It would be quite ridiculous for anyone to expect CDPR to have Skyrim levels of freedom on top of excellent story and RPG mechanics.
                      While a game designed around a narrative experience will probably provide a better narrative, I really don't think Bethesda-like games are in any way limited. I think it's simply that they don't put a lot of effort into the writing. Characters simply tell instead of show, while much could be delivered more effectively in fewer words, and much could be told through visuals alone. It's just become an accepted norm for RPGs to say, "Follow the floating quest marker to the next exposition fountain." (And I very much appreciate games from CDPR, Bioware, Obsidian, Spiderweb, etc. that go the extra mile with storytelling and word crafting.)
                      People always ask me, "What's in the box?" I get the question a lot. "Come on -- what's in the box!?" I won't tell them...but I'll tell you. Go on.
                      You can see what's IN THE BOX!!!

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                      • Originally posted by SigilFey View Post
                        1.) They decided to milk the Gamebryo / Creation Engine for all it's worth, and / or the original programmers (besides Howard) are long gone and they don't want to risk digging into the nitty-gritty code and trying to fix things at this point, potentially destroying what is (more or less) working.

                        2.) The company's leadership has a particular vision on what the games should be, and they, perhaps unintentionally, funnel every single development process down the same path every time. Habits.
                        As your example with the wolves shows (the flexibility and ease of editing the rules of their behavior), the engine does actually have its advantages, at least when it comes to this type of world simulation or sandbox game. I think if it was scrapped in TES 6, it would be necessary because of a move towards a more movie-like approach (and possibly fixed protagonist), similarly to The Witcher 3, as the cutscenes and animations are perhaps the most outdated aspect of FO4. But it makes sense since the market demand is shifting in that direction. Also, chances are modding support would have to be cut down or removed, similarly to what happened with the REDkit, since modern AAA engines and their tools are less friendly to hobbyist game development, they have many dependencies on proprietary middleware, and are designed with the workflow of a large company in mind, so the tools are now much more complex and difficult to learn.

                        Although assuming the engine is indeed replaced, the question is what would the new engine be, perhaps another version of id Tech, since major publishers seem to prefer in-house engines nowadays, rather than licensing something like Unreal. A completely new and all around improved engine that is released with full support for modding would be ideal, but it would require a lot of work, and if I recall correctly BGS only have about 100 employees. So, realistically, something may need to be sacrificed, be it modding, interactivity, or whatever else, most likely what is deemed least important to the success of the game.

                        "The City of Whiterun" would be a single, enormous map. Say, 3-5 square miles on a side. The city itself occupies the center, and is about 1 square mile. (The rest of the world is unloaded from RAM. All those resources that are being used to keep track of what's going on in Solitude and Windhelm are no longer needed, and can be devoted to Whiterun City itself.)
                        That would be a huge city, actually, Novigrad in TW3 is probably not even one square mile. On this map, a diagonal line from the NW corner to SE would be very roughly 10 km, I think.

                        Originally posted by Snowflakez View Post
                        Just one concern - would NPCs themselves be persistent, too, or randomly generated every time you enter the city? I don't care about them not having personality, but it would be jarring to find a house full of valuables, run out of space, nip down a nearby alley to stash them in a barrel and come back only to find the house now belongs to someone else.
                        Random non-interactable civilians on the streets do not really need to be persistent, they can even be deleted (forgotten altogether) once they are outside a certain radius and no longer visible, while new random NPCs pop in to keep the total number constant at something like 50-100. This can be explained with them coming from or going into the numerous buildings the player cannot enter. But there is not a lot of information that needs to be stored about a single NPC if they are essentially walking props, so the memory and save file size cost of remembering even a few thousand can be made reasonably low. It is more a matter of CPU usage to manage them efficiently and only actually simulate (with AI, physics and animations) a small number around the player's location. Or it can be done in a mixed way, pedestrians are not persistent, but NPCs inside buildings are remembered.
                        Last edited by sv3672; 08-12-17, 21:02.

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                        • Originally posted by sv3672 View Post
                          Random non-interactable civilians on the streets do not really need to be persistent, they can even be deleted (forgotten altogether) once they are outside a certain radius and no longer visible, while new random NPCs pop in to keep the total number constant at something like 50-100. This can be explained with them coming from or going into the numerous buildings the player cannot enter. But there is not a lot of information that needs to be stored about a single NPC if they are essentially walking props, so the memory and save file size cost of remembering even a few thousand can be made reasonably low. It is more a matter of CPU usage to manage them efficiently and only actually simulate (with AI, physics and animations) a small number around the player's location. Or it can be done in a mixed way, pedestrians are not persistent, but NPCs inside buildings are remembered.
                          Well, in this case, you'd probably be able to "interact" with them in that you press E on them and they give some random line of dialogue.

                          Additionally, all houses (In his suggestion) would be enterable, just procedurally generated, but persistent.

                          One key thing is the AI's daily schedule. This is a huge part of Bethesda RPGs. It's not super in-depth, but they have jobs, they relax at the inn, sleep/eat at home, etc. - this is all important stuff. The game indeed only needs to process stuff in a certain visible radius around the player, but it's still something to consider. Working in existing elements of Bethesda games into this new hypothetical system would go a long way towards making the environments more believable and fun.

                          Set dressing NPCs (NPCs without schedules or homes) are fine in games like Assassin's Creed, but they are less effective in a Bethesda rpg, for the reasons I've stated (having enterable houses, for example).

                          One solution would be to build off of what you suggested at the end - not only are pedestrians inside buildings remembered, but they have AI. They go to the inn, you can see them around town, etc (again only if they are in a certain radius). We could say at least 1 NPC for each accessible building (Which would be most of them, probably), but you can still have plenty of "ignorable" NPCs just milling about the city that are not remembered, and don't have AI schedules.

                          Or we could just stick to what Sigil suggested regarding the looping day/night tasks and cycles and go from there.

                          One thing that could be really neat is having player-activated AI/personality packages.

                          So, let's say there's marriage in the game again. The player sees an NPC he/she is interested in (I know, I know, we're getting dangerously close to dating sim here), and if approached with, say, an Amulet of Mara (or whatever the equivalent would be), that NPC suddenly takes on a random personality, and maybe has a "radiant" side quest for the player to win their favor.

                          Just an idea. There would have to be limitations in place to prevent players from walking around to every NPC in the city and doing that. And this doesn't just have to apply to marriage/romance.
                          Last edited by Snowflakez; 08-12-17, 21:10.

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                          • Originally posted by Snowflakez View Post
                            Well, in this case, you'd probably be able to "interact" with them in that you press E on them and they give some random line of dialogue.
                            True, but this is not something that needs to be permanently remembered and kept track of as part of each NPC's state, and is only temporarily relevant to the smaller number that is actively simulated around the player.

                            Generating random houses with unique interiors for each playthrough may be more difficult than making them a fixed part of the game data (hand placed or randomly generated by the developers), depending on their complexity. However, players generally do not pay too much attention to the persistence of "small" items like random low value loot in containers, dishes, etc., so those can be forgotten and respawned fairly quickly.
                            Last edited by sv3672; 08-12-17, 21:49.

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                            • Originally posted by Snowflakez View Post
                              Hmm... I don't agree, but that's OK. To be clear, I'm not a Nintendo fanboy. The Switch is the only platform of theirs I've purchased in the past decade or so, aside from a used 3DS some time ago.
                              I think a new console at $300 is perfectly fair, being that -- as you said -- other new consoles cost $400. I think the $100 cheaper price point about makes up for the hardware decrease.
                              Of course the game selection is limited right now, the system hasn't been out for years and years like the PS4 and Xbox One have. But Nintendo is throwing up a lot of excellent originals and ports, and they'll only continue to do so in the future. They are embracing third-party developers more than ever before, now, too.
                              That said, nobody should be buying a Switch as just a "gaming console". If you just want a game to play the latest major AAA titles on, skip the Switch, naturally. But that's not why most people buy the Switch - they buy it because they want Nintendo's games, most of which are really, really damn good lately. Third party developers finally getting on board is a pleasant side effect.
                              Give the Switch the same chance everyone has given the PS4 and Xbox One. You can still hate it, but I for one am going to withhold judgement until its had some real time to breathe and mature.
                              Maybe Switch worths 300 dollars, since the majority of the industry doens't make games with quality like Nintendo does.

                              Originally posted by Mefris View Post
                              That and it's an unfair comparison because they're not even remotely in the same space when it comes to graphic style.Zelda has a very stylized,cel-shaded (and somewhat minimilistic) aesthetic while The Witcher goes for realism and more detail.A fairer comparison would be with a game like Just Cause 3,unhidered by hardware and stylistically similar.
                              Funny thing is that I consider Breath of the Wild superior to Witcher 3 because of its combat and world interactions.
                              "In twenty-seventy or so. Tenements on fire. Blazing through endless nights."

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                              • Originally posted by Lisbeth_Salander View Post

                                Maybe Switch worths 300 dollars, since the majority of the industry doens't make games with quality like Nintendo does.



                                Funny thing is that I consider Breath of the Wild superior to Witcher 3 because of its combat and world interactions.
                                BoTW is a very good game. Unfortunately, it didn't quite hook me like the Witcher 3 did, but I think that's more related to the setting (I prefer more grounded fantasy) than the quality of the game.

                                I think BoTW's dungeons also turned me off to it. They didn't feel unique at all. I would have gladly taken a standard, themed Zelda dungeon with a super unique boss than the "hey look guise our dungeon liek walks around and stuff". But hey, not every design decision is going to be good to every player.
                                Last edited by Snowflakez; 09-12-17, 02:31.

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