Tired of Elves

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Alec Meer from the collective blog about PC gaming Rock,Paper Shotgun writes a few messages to Bethsoft:

I’m tired of elves. Bored of orcs. Sick to the stomach of paladins, mages, rogues and especially of men with long hair, rippling muscles and mysterious destinies. Give me big, dirty roleplaying in an exciting new setting or give me death. Give me Fallout mamalovin’ 3.

There’s no other game next year I’m quite as excited about. Bethesda! Bethesda! Listen to me. Don’t. Screw. This. Up. You make a beautiful game engine and you understand the importance of non-linearity, moral dilemma and experimental side-quests, but going on Oblivion, you’re not so hot at these things:

– Quality voice acting
– NPC faces that don’t look like a footprint in some custard
– Compelling characters and core narratives

And that’s enough to mean I don’t quite trust you yet with a game that desperately needs all of the above if it’s to work. Prove me wrong, please prove me wrong.

You can read the rest here.

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10 thoughts on “Tired of Elves

  1. I am lying, yes, and being sarcastic. And I do enjoy Morrowind but I didn’t mod it. I mod Oblivion, back when I thought I liked it… Back when I thought it was a good RPG… Back when I said Diablo had role-play.

    Yup, I admit it, and I have no shame in doing so. I have changed, and I have this one thing on my side when dealing with people that think like I did. I was one of [i]them[/i], I know how they think, their logics and their fears, their weak points, their tactics. I know [i]them[/i]… I still haven’t found a way to use that to my advantage in conversations though…

    Anyway, Morrowind is great, and Oblivion was great while I was blinded by the graphics, right until the point where I had to start LARPing and pretending I was role-playing. When it reached that point, I just lost all interest and, with the whole thing about Bethesda raping Fallout, I just got pissed off and banned from their forums, uninstalled Oblivion and put the case in the shelf where it has been ever since, gathering dust and spiderwebs. The sense of novelty was great, exploring the world and dungeons and landscapes, even more when I had been looking forward to the game for so long. It lasted around 100 hours of gameplay, doing quests and killing monsters. I loved the search for mods, and doing them, I loved discussing mod ideas and drawing levels on the paper, I even drawn an entire port city, complete with underground caves and a hidden fortress in the forest. It was great while that sense of novelty lasted, then I just lost all interest. I am not the only one.

    Oh well, and since I enjoy writing in a foreign language, and since probably nobody is reading this anymore, I will keep on for a short while. What I really wanted to say is that this guy is dumb stupid mindless fanboy, but since that may be considered offensive by some, including him (not that I care), I didn’t and just chose to say “I love oblivion”, because that’s clearly an outright lie. I don’t, I don’t love oblivion at all. Clumsy combat, sluggish HUD, stupid AI, bad graphics* (which Fallout 3 will probably share), uninteresting stupidly huge world, no choice or consequence (even though I firstly thought it had *gasp* ), dumbed down character custumizing (Morrowind is way better, except for the face, of course), bad level design in general, and completely inconsistent game design for a RPG. The design decisions Oblivion has are used in FPSs, not RPGs (well, maybe rougue-likes, which I despise). Dungeon linearity is used in FPS’s. Bosses and chests placed in wierd artificial places (a treasure chest in the boss’ room at the very end of the dungeon), level scaling (because that’s what most FPS do, you don’t get to kill weak enemies at later enemies), twitch combat (so freakingly full of exploitable weak spots you wouldn’t believe. EVERY fight you fight in the toughest difficulty level must be fought using exploits, such as shooting from above – since enemies can’t jump [OMFG] – or trapping them in a log or something, because they won’t figure out a way to run away because they are being helplessly beaten to death by my long sword which is cutting their nose over and over until they die.), uninteresting, I mean VOID characters that work just like Klamath’s newsboard, stupid unrealistic items (gold shield?! Ahahah), not to mention their fancy Final Fatansyish appearance, immersion-breaking mechanics (such as ever-still daedric “invasion” – they just stand there for god’s sake!) and, last but not the least, insultingly intrusive hand-holding because little Willy couldn’t find Caius on his TV while playing More of Wind in his Xbox… So, all things said and done (to use a cliche), at the end of the day and stuff like that, it’s only natural, for me, at least, to expect them to rape Fallout just the same way they raped Elder Scrolls. Morrowind didn’t have much choice and consequence, so it’s expectable of Oblivion not to have it either, and I don’t doubt Fallout 3 will have it, but all the other things, all the other things they CHANGED in Elder Scrolls, it’s reasonable to expect them to change them too in Fallout. And our fears, my fears which I had and have for a long time already, since before they said the first things about the game, those fears, most of them at least, are being proven true, and I’m loosing any last bit of hope I could have had…

    They say hypocritical things like “I’m sorry you didn’t find Oblivion to your liking” (which they clearly aren’t because they already have my hard earned money in their pockets, otherwise they wouldn’t act like they do) or “I hope you give Fallout 3 a chance”, and that’s ok. They can talk all they want, just like me, but as long as they don’t pay attention to my pleadings, I’m not giving any of their games a chance to be any good, even if they had any…

    * No shadows? Oblivion had shadows in its early stages of development, and it looked freakingly awesome, but they cut them out because 360 couldn’t handle them without going boink.

    P.S.: Cheers for long nay-saying posts that nobody reads 😛 I love them.

  2. I can’t believe no one ever made a sequel to Planescape: Torment. I’d say that is the #2 RPG I played after Fallout. Fallout, Torment, and the Baldur’s Gate series are all superior to Oblivion. I attribute the lack of games such as these to the rise of the FPS, which convinced devs that all players want to play all games from a first person perspective.
    Hey devs, go make a first person Tetris, great idea! We can watch the colorful blocks falling all around us from a first person perspective! Great freakin’ idea!
    Anyway, I am not buying any more FPS games, too freaking many already.

  3. Ah a new Planescape…

    Well Morbus I got this message to you:

    Gabriel: So let me get this straight — Morbus got tired of Oblivion after 100 HOURS and only then did he decide it was the worst game ever made, and Bethesda the devil? Too funny. I bet the Beth devs would have a laugh over that one. “Oh gee sorry you only got 100 hours of enjoyment out of the game, why don’t you go play Bioshock for 8?”

    So what do you have to say to this?

  4. Gabriel: So let me get this straight — Morbus got tired of Oblivion after 100 HOURS and only then did he decide it was the worst game ever made, and Bethesda the devil? Too funny. I bet the Beth devs would have a laugh over that one. “Oh gee sorry you only got 100 hours of enjoyment out of the game, why don’t you go play Bioshock for 8?”

    What? It’s hardly surprising that a game as vast as Oblivion and with a sandbox structure takes longer to explore and appreciate – and subsequently allow for an opinion to be formed – than a shorter, linear game such as Bioshock. One game can only be fully gauged at about 75 – 100 hours, another at 8. Where’s the surprise? Most of the flaws of Oblivion were neglected by reviewers who played the game under 10 hours, while most reviewers who played Bioshock all the way through its 8-10 hours were quick to bring up disapointment.

    It doesn’t get any easier to understand than this, unless you’re some corporate tool whose only argument is appeal to ridicule over a falacious premise.

  5. I disagree with that statement. You can’t figure out if you like something or not sooner than 75-100 hours? It’s not as if the gameplay mechanics suddenly changed after playing the game for 100 hours. How it plays in the beginning is how it plays in the end- nothing changes. I think I’ve played enough games in my life to figure out if I like the way a game plays rather quickly, *especially* if it doesn’t introduce new mechanics along the way.

    Spending 100 hours on a game you decided you didn’t like at the 100th hour? Please.

  6. Yes, God forbid different people have different ways of evaluating or enjoying a game. Aren’t you late for today’s Two Minutes Hate?

  7. So what do you have to say to this?

    I have to say that not everyone has a lot of money, and spending 50€ on that game really made me [i]want[/i] to like the game. Besides, the time I spent playing it wasn’t as much important as the things I [i]learned[/i] during that time. And I didn’t enjoy my 100 hours of gameplay. I did enjoy some of those hours, but not all of them… I’d not stop if I had enjoyed them all right?

    Anyway, I’ve got my reasons. And everyone should be able to redeem, even after so many hours of gameplay.

    I did enjoy searching for mods, and I’d do it all over again always. It’s really fun for me, but when a game becomes more fun when trying to mod it than when playing, it is only obvious that the game sucks… Either that or the game is not a RPG.

    You can’t figure out if you like something or not sooner than 75-100 hours?

    I couldn’t, no. You know? There are a lot of people that, even after 500h+ of gameplay they still don’t figure out what’s wrong with it. Because, for those poeple, there’s nothing wrong with the game, because their expectations and standards are just that low. I guess I standards rose?

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