Author Topic: Is open-world too open?

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MeshGearFox

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Re: Is open-world too open?
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2015, 10:36:12 PM »
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Fei

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Re: Is open-world too open?
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2015, 10:42:11 PM »
- Just Cause 2 is too open in the sense that you can get a helicopter early on and take out everything from a safe distance. The game gives you other options for causing destruction but they're not really that efficient comparatively. It gets boring at this point because it's basically a "solved" game.

- My issue with Just Cause 2 speaks more to my issue about open-world games. You need some kind of constraints on /what/ you can do to force you to make interesting decisions. If you don't have those constraints, you'll quickly find a single perfect strategy and just go with that all the time.

This is basically what happened to me when I found the difficulty slider in Oblivion... The game started getting hard, and I tried harder, but then realized I can just slide the difficulty down at any time with such convenience that struggling appropriately felt pointless.  I stopped playing soon afterwards.

I get lost in Skyrim every time I play so I've never gotten anywhere.  I loved Fallout 3 and especially New Vegas for having a higher density of things to do in a smaller space.  Witcher 3 was good too.  GTAV has fun within reach at all times too.  

Basically I don't like Skyrim.  I do not enjoy wandering for miles, unsure if I'm going to find anything, let alone something that won't kill me quickly.  Oblivion was great until the difficulty slider, but Skyrim never hooked me.

mecharobot

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Re: Is open-world too open?
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2015, 12:40:03 AM »
Yeah, the difficulty scaling is garbage in Oblivion and Skyrim. It's not like these games actually have much in terms of strategic combat or finesse so you end up pouding common enemies that are now massive meatshields and highway bandits that don full Daedric gear. That's not quite what I expect an RPG to be. I mean at the very least after 60 hours you should be able to wipe out generic shite within seconds (without doing some cheat). In Oblivion I eventually just got a 60 seconds invisibility spell and never fought again.

Alisha

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Re: Is open-world too open?
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2015, 03:49:11 AM »
the first time i played halflife i kept wondering when the first stage would end. i miss levels.

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Hathen

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Re: Is open-world too open?
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2015, 09:28:57 AM »
The general gist of the TES quest debate was not with the writing, but the technical execution. Mainly, in Morrowind you don't follow the big arrow pointing to the next destination, but you read it up with the stuff that should be done and use stuff inside the actual gameworld to find your destination (mostly signs and NPC dialogue, in some cases the landscape). Sure you can turn the arrow off in Skyrim, but the quest menu is actually shit so you don't really get anywhere doing that. It might seem menial, but a lot feel like it gave the game more immersion, which I think is not a too far'fetched of an idea.

Oh yeah, I can agree with this for the most part. I do agree they should bring back a better journal since Skyrim's was pretty terrible, but I don't really have a problem with the quest pointer itself (in Bethesda's case it's pretty much required since Oblivion depending on what kind of quest it is since NPCs have a "life" so to speak).

Yeah, the difficulty scaling is garbage in Oblivion and Skyrim. It's not like these games actually have much in terms of strategic combat or finesse so you end up pouding common enemies that are now massive meatshields and highway bandits that don full Daedric gear. That's not quite what I expect an RPG to be. I mean at the very least after 60 hours you should be able to wipe out generic shite within seconds (without doing some cheat). In Oblivion I eventually just got a 60 seconds invisibility spell and never fought again.

Oblivion and Skyrim basically were polar opposites in terms of why level scaling is just one of those "sounds good but is probably impossible to implement well" things.

In Oblivion, unless you leveled your character perfectly (which really broke immersion because you'd spend the whole time counting how much of x skill you leveled) you'd end up spending several minutes fighting random goblins and shit because they had gigantic health bars at high levels. The "bandits in daedric armor" thing was here.

In Skyrim, for the most part I found the level scaling to be a huge improvement over Oblivion, but I have to assume that's only because they removed so many variables from the game so the game was easier to balance (No attributes being the biggest one). I found the game laughably easy start to finish, but I personally never ran into the issue where I was swinging a sword for god knows how long on a single rat because it had leveled up with me. They also got rid of the bandits in Daedric Armor thing (I think they put some kind of weird lock on it so bandits would only come in Ebony at the highest so Daedric would "feel" rare like it used to- I kinda liked how in Morrowind there was basically only one set of the stuff in the whole game though).

The massive modding community for Skyrim really deserves a lot of credit for how much they did for the game. Enjoyed my vanilla playthrough when I first played the game, but now I don't think I can play Skyrim without at least like 10 gameplay mods or something.

Dincrest

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Re: Is open-world too open?
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2015, 10:29:46 AM »
Although not an "open world" game by today's definition, I felt the same kinds of stuggles playing SaGa Frontier back in the PSX era.  Each of its 7 paths ran the spectrum from the best to the worst aspects of a non-linear RPG set in a complex world.  Some storylines had clear objectives but didn't lead you by the neck to do them in a set order.  Some had more vague plot direction, but there was still direction.  Then there's Lute's quest where you're just dumped in the middle of a big bad world to do whatever you want.  Inadvertently, you could encounter Lute's final boss in 10 minutes. 
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MeshGearFox

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Re: Is open-world too open?
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2015, 10:50:32 AM »
the first time i played halflife i kept wondering when the first stage would end. i miss levels.

Half-life had separate levels, the transitions between them were just smooth and you COULD backtrack through the first few if you wanted to, and then the first level in particular was just kind of big. It was totally linear though -- it's not like Quake 2 or Hexen where you had hubbed areas -- and the level structure got more "traditional" after the first quarter of the game anyway.

Although there was never really any productive reason to backtrack when you could from what I remember and if you were backtracking it meant you got lost, the game didn't have a ton of secrets, and except for a few points I thiiiink the structure within individual levels tended to be extremely linear to the point where you were basically just going in whatever direction "forward" was, engaging in a set piece, then proceeding onward, so the actual level designs were pretty simple and not as exploration-based as Doom or Quake's, the setpieces tended to involve encountering an ambush of some sort, dying, and then reloading so you can deal with the ambush because you know it's there now, and

uh

I take a lot of issues with Half-life's design honestly, but that's more for that other topic.

Although not an "open world" game by today's definition, I felt the same kinds of stuggles playing SaGa Frontier back in the PSX era.  Each of its 7 paths ran the spectrum from the best to the worst aspects of a non-linear RPG set in a complex world.  Some storylines had clear objectives but didn't lead you by the neck to do them in a set order.  Some had more vague plot direction, but there was still direction.  Then there's Lute's quest where you're just dumped in the middle of a big bad world to do whatever you want.  Inadvertently, you could encounter Lute's final boss in 10 minutes.  

I was thinking about this recently.

SGF had a lot of cut story content that would've made some of the plot direction in it clearer, but at the same time I think I would've liked it less if said content HAD been in there. It would've killed a lot of the weird otherness the game had.

I had some counterpoint to this -- another game/movie/book that I encountered recently that over-expositioned stuff and ended up a lot less interesting for it, although I don't remember what it was.

Oh except for Fuse's thing being cut. I really wish Fuse's thing HAD been in there, because Fuse is my secondary waifu after MaCha (Mr. Chair isn't really waifu territory. Sorry, SO4 fans!!!!!)
« Last Edit: September 06, 2015, 11:10:52 AM by MeshGearFox »
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Dincrest

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Re: Is open-world too open?
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2015, 04:13:11 PM »
In terms of books over-expositioning, I think part of it depends on the author.  Several fantasy authors brain-dump everything about a location or creature the moment you encounter it, which can kill immersion.  Others dont have enough exposition and you're left scratching your head.  And there's one author I've been reading lately who initially seems to lack exposition at times, but the necessary exposition happens much later on (sometimes in a future book).  It's kinda "controlled chaos" but not, since it doesn't feel chaotic.

As for SaGa Frontier, it truly had a unique world.  It was good-weird and unlike any other RPG world I've encountered.
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Towns Car Marty

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Re: Is open-world too open?
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2015, 09:49:27 AM »
I really liked how a big part of SaGa Frontier was Kowloon Walled City (mistranslated as Koorong, a corruption of the pinyin transliteration). I like all games that include KWC, but SaGa Frontier's was really something special. The music and graphics were just perfect, and the game's general vagueness led to some interesting moments. Just what is going on in Dr. Nusakan's clinic on a daily basis?! Just endlessly fascinated me as a kid.

So much happening in that one town! So many quests! So many mysteries! A little open-world hub of its own.

And then weird places like the Bio-Lab. From what I understand, a large sidequest revolving around that location was dummied-out of the game, but the dungeon remained. It made the final contextless version very creepy. And you save Cotton! How on earth is he a cop? Does Fuse even understand him?
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 10:16:42 AM by Towns Car Marty »