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By the way, I love this quote in the Diablo article linked above:

“Blizzard has been and continues to be a developer-driven company,” the company said. “All of the games we create represent ideas our game developers themselves are passionate about. This is as true for Diablo Immortal as it was for Warcraft: Orcs & Humans..."

I assume the idea represented in the original Warcraft was, "I love Warhammer but we don't own the rights."  :lol:

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About the never-ending debate about Bethesda's engine: look, I can't pretend to know jackshit about video game engines. and I'm confident 95% percent of people who talk about them on the internet know nothing too. I did appreciate the recent Kotaku article about this issue, which argued convincingly (again, to me, who knows jackshit) that all this talk of "new vs. old engine" is pretty misguided. Now, from my layman's perspective there's one thing that always strikes me when people talk about how buggy Bethesda games are compared to other open world games like The Witcher 3 and how awful this is. Most open world games aren't at all interactive. In the Witcher 3, in Dragon Age: Inquisition, in whatever, you can interact with certain set objects, people, and buildings. The world is open, but it's a backdrop with very specific things used in very specific ways. If there's a pot I can pick up, it can go in my inventory and I can sell it, and that's about it. In Bethesda games, I can pick up any object I see. I can add a pot to my inventory, but I can also stick it on someone's head, or drag it to the opposite side of the map and put it in my house. I can talk to NPCs, sure, but I can also kill them, I can also steal their wealth, I can burgle every single thing inside their homes. 

This to me is the charm of Bethesda games. No, their writing has never been as good as Bioware or CD Projekt Red; I'm convinced that people who say that Morrowind has good writing are looking back with serious rose tinted glasses. But their worlds are immersive in a way that no other RPG  or open world game (except for maybe Breath of the Wild, in a different way) can match. That's because their worlds are so interactive, which to me seems like a massive technical challenge, and one that's bound to produce many more bugs than other RPGs, because there's no way playtesters can account for every single way millions of players are going to interact with the world/the way the world will interact with itself. So I cut Bethesda a lot of slack about bugs, and if they choose to not build an entirely new engine from scratch, I'll assume there's a good reason aside from them being lazy, evil game developers like most of the internet seems to think.

All that being said, Fallout 76 looks like crap, or at least totally not for me, and I have no desire to play it. I am enjoying the hell out of Pokemon Let's Go Eevee, though, which is the most charming and purely fun game I've played since Mario Odyssey last year, and which got rid of a lot of the grindy mechanics that prevent me from enjoying Pokemon games.   

Edited by Caligula_K3

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41 minutes ago, briantw said:

By the way, I love this quote in the Diablo article linked above:

“Blizzard has been and continues to be a developer-driven company,” the company said. “All of the games we create represent ideas our game developers themselves are passionate about. This is as true for Diablo Immortal as it was for Warcraft: Orcs & Humans..."

I assume the idea represented in the original Warcraft was, "I love Warhammer but we don't own the rights."  :lol:

Probably because all their developers have phones. They have company phones and personal phones. They're really passionate about their phones.

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12 hours ago, Werthead said:

Excellent work from Jason Schreier on what is going on with Diablo. Basically, Blizzard wrote off Diablo III as a relative failure after Reaper of Souls was finished and started work on a completely new version of Diablo IV that was a Dark Souls clone, since clearly no-one wanted what they were selling with Diablo III. Then the lead dev left, Reaper of Souls sold a bazillion copies and Blizzard were left completely confused over what their audience wanted. Apparently they have retooled the game as Diablo III with a darker aesthetic (more like Diablo II) and that's looking promising so far, but it's taken them about 3 years just to get to that point.

The original version of D3 was absolutely dreadful. I played it for a month when it came out and walked away, and I say that as someone who played D2 for +10 years. When I came back a few years later the game was completely retooled and was an absolute blast. I have no idea what they were think with the awful store idea combined with the nonexistent drop rate.

 

And ways, cyber Monday is on the morrow and I must decide if I want to buy an Xbox or a PS4. The sale on the games are just too good right now (it's 2 for 1 at Best Buy). 

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13 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

The original version of D3 was absolutely dreadful. I played it for a month when it came out and walked away, and I say that as someone who played D2 for +10 years. When I came back a few years later the game was completely retooled and was an absolute blast. I have no idea what they were think with the awful store idea combined with the nonexistent drop rate.

 

And ways, cyber Monday is on the morrow and I must decide if I want to buy an Xbox or a PS4. The sale on the games are just too good right now (it's 2 for 1 at Best Buy). 

I bough Diablo III on release and then it took three more days before I was actually able to log in to the game. I think I played through the campaign once or twice before I put it away and has not touched it since.

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I picked up whatever that last xcom expansion was.  And finally chipped in 5 bucks for Shen's Last Gift.  About 5 months in and havent seen anything from the latter yet. 

But I was cracking up when i had the kill the Advent general mission.  Said General was inspecting the Advent Burger packing plant.  Great map idea.  Just wish they had an option to take some home for Tygan.

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23 minutes ago, GallowKnight said:

I bough Diablo III on release and then it took three more days before I was actually able to log in to the game. I think I played through the campaign once or twice before I put it away and has not touched it since.

It's so much better now, but you need the expansion pack. 

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14 hours ago, Werthead said:

It's a multiplayer RPG with no story and no NPCs, which is...weird.

I don't think this is true. There are NPCs in the game.

Spoiler

NPCs are robots, not human. And the main npcs have their own quirks and personalities etc like a main human npc would. The robot-only npc is a still a fucking terrible idea though, since you do all these quests for humans (who are dead, but left notes on their computers....) who were clearly alive after the war but somehow all died before the vault opened. So many holes in the damn story, it's outright offensive.

Quote

There's far too much shooting and dumb-ass moronic griefing and not enough story or characters to make the game work as an RPG but the shooting mechanics and the effective removal of VATS have made the combat too awful to work as a shooter. To quote Ron Swanson, it's half-assing two things rather than full-assing one thing.

If another player shoots you but you don't shoot back, you take significantly less damage from PvP (and the other player gets a bounty on their head), so players had to be super creative to grief. The main case i've seen is where someone planted shit tonne of mines around the starter area to blow up noobs, or snipe cars to blow them up while other players are next to cars. To which i can't help but chuckle and admire the creativity. Plus, dying in Fallout 76 is pretty forgiving.

It seems to be a pretty standard shooter so not sure what makes it an awful as a shooter. There are builds that makes the VATS shine, but the default VATS is worse than the other fallout games, that bit is true. But once you make the commitment to play VATS combat and spec appropriately, it is devastatingly good!

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5 hours ago, briantw said:

By the way, I love this quote in the Diablo article linked above:

“Blizzard has been and continues to be a developer-driven company,” the company said. “All of the games we create represent ideas our game developers themselves are passionate about. This is as true for Diablo Immortal as it was for Warcraft: Orcs & Humans..."

I assume the idea represented in the original Warcraft was, "I love Warhammer but we don't own the rights."  :lol:

Yup. They actually wanted to make a Warhammer game but GW wouldn't even talk to them, so they made a non-copyright-infringing cover version and did their own thing. GW, needless to say, have regretted this ever since.

Quote

 

About the never-ending debate about Bethesda's engine: look, I can't pretend to know jackshit about video game engines. and I'm confident 95% percent of people who talk about them on the internet know nothing too. I did appreciate the recent Kotaku article about this issue, which argued convincingly (again, to me, who knows jackshit) that all this talk of "new vs. old engine" is pretty misguided. Now, from my layman's perspective there's one thing that always strikes me when people talk about how buggy Bethesda games are compared to other open world games like The Witcher 3 and how awful this is. Most open world games aren't at all interactive. In the Witcher 3, in Dragon Age: Inquisition, in whatever, you can interact with certain set objects, people, and buildings. The world is open, but it's a backdrop with very specific things used in very specific ways. If there's a pot I can pick up, it can go in my inventory and I can sell it, and that's about it. In Bethesda games, I can pick up any object I see. I can add a pot to my inventory, but I can also stick it on someone's head, or drag it to the opposite side of the map and put it in my house. I can talk to NPCs, sure, but I can also kill them, I can also steal their wealth, I can burgle every single thing inside their homes. 

 

You can do all of that in The Witcher 3 as well, though. And in Bethesda games you absolutely can't kill most NPCs. They're listed as mission-critical so are invulnerable to you hurting them. The only one which does allow you to do that is New Vegas, which wasn't made by Bethesda Game Studios.

The reasons offered by Bethesda for not going with a new engine are not unpersuasive. They argue they have a mature content pipeline and their asset creation system is quite fast and the policy of having 3 games constantly in development at any one time (typically one in either release mode or post-release/DLC mode, one in full development and one in early pre-development) allows them to keep the full studio employed without the massive lay-offs between each game. Allegedly their crunch is also modest compared to other studios. One of their arguments is that adding a new engine would throw all of that up in the air and cause problems as they adapted to it. A new engine would also be based around a lot of middleware and most of the modern middleware locks the design behind closed files, so modding would become much more limited and much more difficult.

Most of that is bollocks, though. Having a mature engine doesn't always help you: Red Dead Redemption 2 is the fourth game developed on the RAGE Engine and it still took Rockstar forever to make it. In addition, patching up and keeping an old engine running can become more time-consuming and difficult than developing a new engine from scratch. According to modders, there's code in Fallout 76 files which has been there since Morrowind, as a dev (probably long since having left the company) clearly found a way of doing something to make the engine work and now when anyone messes with it the game stops working, so they've just left it in place for 16 years (yay, coding!) even as they've changed the rendering module (twice, from the sound of it) and swapped different lighting solutions in and out.

It is also moronic in 2018 that you can't look into buildings from the outside, or have to be loaded into a different cell to go inside buildings. That's ridiculous and seriously damages immersion. The AI in Bethesda's games is also awful and needs retooling in a way that GameBryo/Creation does not permit (modders who've tried can't get the AI to do much, it's all basic "Run towards enemy and shoot/hit them, maybe run away if you take 50% damage" stuff).

Dragon Age 3 and Mass Effect 4 both have pretty bad engines as well, it's worth noting. Not in terms of looks, but Frostbite is an FPS engine that was never designed to be used for RPGs and BioWare had to hack it to pieces to get it to work with their games and the results were severely suboptimal.

Quote

 

 This to me is the charm of Bethesda games. No, their writing has never been as good as Bioware or CD Projekt Red; I'm convinced that people who say that Morrowind has good writing are looking back with serious rose tinted glasses. But their worlds are immersive in a way that no other RPG  or open world game (except for maybe Breath of the Wild, in a different way) can match. That's because their worlds are so interactive, which to me seems like a massive technical challenge, and one that's bound to produce many more bugs than other RPGs, because there's no way playtesters can account for every single way millions of players are going to interact with the world/the way the world will interact with itself. So I cut Bethesda a lot of slack about bugs, and if they choose to not build an entirely new engine from scratch, I'll assume there's a good reason aside from them being lazy, evil game developers like most of the internet seems to think.

 

I don't think Bethesda are evil or lazy. On the contrary, they're actually pushing these massive open-world RPGs out at a reasonable clip given their complexity, and there are economic and creative arguments for their methodology. But I think it's beyond any reasonable argument that their games are clunky and buggy with severe issues which they constantly leave fans to sort out. Fallout 76 is a brand new game that looks worse than most 2012 video games, and you stack it next to the Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay video and it's like there's 15 years between them, not 1 or 2.

I'd also say I don't think people praise the writing of Morrowind so much (although it was probably a bit tighter) but more the art style and weird, alien atmosphere, which none of their games have matched since.

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2 hours ago, The Winged Shadow said:

I don't think this is true. There are NPCs in the game.

  Reveal hidden contents

NPCs are robots, not human. And the main npcs have their own quirks and personalities etc like a main human npc would. The robot-only npc is a still a fucking terrible idea though, since you do all these quests for humans (who are dead, but left notes on their computers....) who were clearly alive after the war but somehow all died before the vault opened. So many holes in the damn story, it's outright offensive.

If another player shoots you but you don't shoot back, you take significantly less damage from PvP (and the other player gets a bounty on their head), so players had to be super creative to grief. 

The PvP is broken though, if someone shoots me, I can walk right up to them and take a shotgun to their face, causing them significantly more damage than they did to me. I can choose when to take the engagement and then cause a lot of damage, when my enemy has barely touched me. I think they need to significantly rework the pvp. 

It's unfortunate because I was pretty close to getting the game, but man, it's been panned pretty universally. 

 

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3 hours ago, Raja said:

The PvP is broken though, if someone shoots me, I can walk right up to them and take a shotgun to their face, causing them significantly more damage than they did to me. I can choose when to take the engagement and then cause a lot of damage, when my enemy has barely touched me. I think they need to significantly rework the pvp. 

It's unfortunate because I was pretty close to getting the game, but man, it's been panned pretty universally. 

 

There is also a bug with PVP scaling above level 50 which makes high level character non-viable for PVP. You stop getting special points at level 50 and you can have a more or less optimized character at that point. However the damage scaling mechanic seems to become exponential at some point and a level 20 character can one-shot a level 100 character in power armor with the weakest weapon possible while the max. level weapon of the level 100 character does next to no damage to a naked low level character.

Edited by Wolfgang I

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On 11/23/2018 at 8:03 PM, Werthead said:

 

You can do all of that in The Witcher 3 as well, though. And in Bethesda games you absolutely can't kill most NPCs. They're listed as mission-critical so are invulnerable to you hurting them. The only one which does allow you to do that is New Vegas, which wasn't made by Bethesda Game Studios.

 

 

You make a lot of good points in your post; god knows I'd like to play a recent Bethesda game where I don't need to load everytime I enter a building, and I miss some of the free-roaming that Morrowind allowed, with cities being out in the open world. But you can't do all this in the Witcher 3 by any means. It's been a while, so I loaded up the game to confirm: most objects can only be interacted with in very specific ways. Most of the cities are essentially backdrops, and many of the npcs as well. You can't attack civilians; you can attack guards, but as soon as you're out of sight they'll completely forget about you and your attack. Now, it's true that Bethesda games have gotten more restrictive over who you can kill or not kill to avoid messing with quests; I miss the days of Morrowind where you just got a message saying "you've screwed over the world, might want to reload." But it's definitely not true that you can't kill most NPCs; only ones that are heavily involved in a guild or main quest tend to be considered mission critical.

But really, the killing this is just one aspect of this - god knows I don't tend to have mass murder playthroughs of these games. There is just a ton more "unscripted" events happening in these worlds than in the Witcher 3, and a lot more ways players can interact with the world and have unique content. In Skyrim, I've had insane adventures where in the middle of a quest escorting an NPC, I've gotten attacked by giants, bandits, giant spiders, and bears, who are fighting me as they fight each other; and then a dragon comes out of nowhere and we all band together to eliminate the common threat. There's a lot more room for bugs to appear here then in a heavily scripted Witcher 3 quest, or in one of many identical bandit camps that CD Projekt Red put around the map.

As for graphics- sure, most Bethesda games aren't going to be as beautiful as Cyberpunk. I don't care about this myself, since to me game graphics hit a point of excellence around 2010, and what tends to make the difference to me is good art design. I know I'm in the minority here, and I play all my games on a laptop with a terrible graphics card or the Switch. But replaying through Skyrim recently, I was struck by how beautiful the game still looks. 

As for old code from Morrowind... I again no jackshit about how any of this works, or why that's necessarily a bad thing. But here's the article from Kotaku I mentioned by Jason Schreier, one of, to my mind, the most trustworthy video game writers out there, and I mainly buy what he's selling.   

 https://kotaku.com/the-controversy-over-bethesdas-game-engine-is-misguided-1830435351   

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I dropped Diablo 3 permanently once I became a proper Path of Exile junkie. Every league I tell myself I'm gonna skip this one, and spend more time elsewhere, and every league is amazing and addictive as hell. Super excited for the next league starting the 6th, loads of new and old conrtent to enjoy.

It's just so much more complex and rewarding than D3 ever was, and the development company is bar none my favorite in the industry.

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5 hours ago, Argonath Diver said:

I dropped Diablo 3 permanently once I became a proper Path of Exile junkie. Every league I tell myself I'm gonna skip this one, and spend more time elsewhere, and every league is amazing and addictive as hell. Super excited for the next league starting the 6th, loads of new and old conrtent to enjoy.

It's just so much more complex and rewarding than D3 ever was, and the development company is bar none my favorite in the industry.

I downloaded it and played for a couple hours, but honestly didn’t see anything special about it. :dunno: 

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On 11/23/2018 at 11:26 AM, Werthead said:

Excellent work from Jason Schreier on what is going on with Diablo. Basically, Blizzard wrote off Diablo III as a relative failure after Reaper of Souls was finished and started work on a completely new version of Diablo IV that was a Dark Souls clone, since clearly no-one wanted what they were selling with Diablo III. Then the lead dev left, Reaper of Souls sold a bazillion copies and Blizzard were left completely confused over what their audience wanted. Apparently they have retooled the game as Diablo III with a darker aesthetic (more like Diablo II) and that's looking promising so far, but it's taken them about 3 years just to get to that point.

I agree that despite box sales, the first iteration of Diablo 3 was selling a game that no one wanted. Reaper of Souls was a slight return to sanity, but one that was too little too late. And none of that saved its absolutely abysmal story that shifted from gothic horror fantasy to epic fantasy superheroes. However, I doubt that merely slapping a coat of trendy Dark Souls horror onto Diablo can work following Diablo 3's trainwreck of a story. The franchise would almost need a reboot instead of a sequel.

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21 hours ago, Caligula_K3 said:

As for old code from Morrowind... I again no jackshit about how any of this works, or why that's necessarily a bad thing. But here's the article from Kotaku I mentioned by Jason Schreier, one of, to my mind, the most trustworthy video game writers out there, and I mainly buy what he's selling.   

 https://kotaku.com/the-controversy-over-bethesdas-game-engine-is-misguided-1830435351   

Schreier means well and his inside contacts in the business are absolutely second to none, but on this particular battle he is incorrect and his arguments are not strong.

It's true most engines change, even when they are the same engine, but the way they change is very significant. RAGE has powered six games (Table TennisGrand Theft Auto IVRed Dead Redemption, - albeit heavily altered - Max Payne 3Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2) but it has been fundamentally changed and customised from one game to the next. Similarly, not only has Unreal Engine been completely revamped from version to version (Schreier's claim that Unreal Engine 4 is the same engine as Unreal Engine 1 is disingenuous in the extreme; there is a descent of ideas, but the engine was completely rewritten each time, same for id Tech) but it's also very heavily customised from one game to the next.

In the Bethesda case, their engine started off as off-the-shelf middleware called GameBryo. They used it for MorrowindOblivion, Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. For Skyrim they renamed it the Creation Engine and continued to use it for Fallout 4 and Fallout 76. However, the change of name was a bit of bait-and-switch. The engine codebase is still exactly the same as GameBryo. It's true they've swapped out the renderer and lighting systems, but those are fairly straightforward to do anyway (it's how amateur modders can completely revamp those systems in earlier games and make Fallout 3 look almost as spectacular in terms of environment as Skyrim and Fallout 4, despite a major shift in the rendering and lighting code).

However, the principle weaknesses of the engine remain place. The engine is cell-based and has memory limitations originally developed with the original X-Box in mind. Ramping up the memory limitations to account for the much greater memory available on the XB1 and PS4 (and modern PCs) simply doesn't work very well. Witness the issues the engine had on PS3 in particular, where loading times exponentially increased the bigger your save files got. These are things that actually can't be easily changed. The engine is fundamentally incapable of doing or handling things on modern PCs or consoles.

They could custom-design a similar engine rooted in similar principles, but customise it much more for modern systems. This is how Valve developed Source: they took the GoldSrc Engine from Half-Life (itself a heavily-customised version of the Quake v1 Engine) and revamped it from basic principles whilst maintaining its fundamentals (which is how they were able to rebuild Half-Life in the Source Engine). It wouldn't necessarily take that long or be that expensive either, especially for Bethesda.

The idea "games can't be good-looking if they're open world" has been completely blown out of the water by The Witcher 3Cyberpunk 2077GTA5 and Red Dead Redemption 2 (among others). Even The Elder Scrolls Online - which was developed by Bethesda's sister-studio with a custom engine! - looks better whilst running a Bethesda-esque aesthetic.

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16 hours ago, Rhom said:

I downloaded it and played for a couple hours, but honestly didn’t see anything special about it. :dunno: 

It's certainly not for everyone, but I'm always drawn back to the extraordinary complexity you can get to once you feel how all the systems on your character building interact, and then how many different end-game goals you can make. I consistently see a new meme build go up that uses a variety of items, skill and support gems, passive and ascendancy trees, pantheon buffs, flask use and mechanical skill that completely baffles me. It's fucking great for guys like me that spent a million hours in D2 making crazy builds with random items. I put probably 2k hours into D3, sure, but I haven't logged on in years and am content never to again. There is literally nothing left about it I find appealing. PoE keeps pumping out ridiculously satisfying new content and systems every 3 months. Hell, there are now 6 completely independent systems of crafting a white item into a rare one now. 

My exact subset of gamer is precisely what this game is shooting for, so I am obviously going to be biased. I wish I could quit it and go play the beautiful cinematic PS4 games most people play now, but I get bored in an hour, and go back to crunching numbers in Path of Building (a 3rd party app that lets you map out your entire character's many facets and gear, some guys spend more time tinkering in it than they do actually killing monsters). Red Dead Redemtion 2 is like a fantastic dram of whiskey, that I enjoy, put down, and walk back into my PoE crack den to mainline heroin with an IV for 3 days. I'd probably be a better person if I'd never re-tried it for about the 3rd time and finally plunged into its unending depths. (current league name joke)

Edited by Argonath Diver

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On 11/25/2018 at 10:45 PM, Argonath Diver said:

I dropped Diablo 3 permanently once I became a proper Path of Exile junkie. Every league I tell myself I'm gonna skip this one, and spend more time elsewhere, and every league is amazing and addictive as hell. Super excited for the next league starting the 6th, loads of new and old conrtent to enjoy.

It's just so much more complex and rewarding than D3 ever was, and the development company is bar none my favorite in the industry.

 

I JUST downloaded Path of Exile. I like it. I can't believe it's free. I suppose at some point there will be a reason to spend money, but I've read the game is absolutely packed--even if you spend no money. But this game is fun. I also got Sacred Gold, and I like that a lot. I guess I wish I could find any of the Diablo games on Steam...

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2 hours ago, Simon Steele said:

 

I JUST downloaded Path of Exile. I like it. I can't believe it's free. I suppose at some point there will be a reason to spend money, but I've read the game is absolutely packed--even if you spend no money. But this game is fun. I also got Sacred Gold, and I like that a lot. I guess I wish I could find any of the Diablo games on Steam...

Have you tried Grim Dawn or Torchlight 2? I've had a lot of fun with both. 

Reading this thread it sounds like I need to give PoE another shot...

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