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View Full Version : RPG vs. 'Replayability'



pure.Wasted
10-30-2009, 03:12 AM
It's a cold evening and you and a buddy, not in the mood for heading out, are stuck debating the most trivial thing imaginable. As usual. "Did Gabriel Tosh say 'you can't stay cloaked' or 'you guys did good' that time that he was talking to that guy after, you know, that mission?" He has an accent. It's hard to tell.* ;)

The point is, in a campaign with completely isolated chapters -- say, StarCraft, or WC3 -- you can pick and choose any mission in the game, go there, and check out whatever it is you want. Be it one of your favorite moments from the game, something you're having trouble recalling and has come up in an argument, whatever.

StarCraft 2 isn't so easily cut up. There is no campaign screen where you choose what missions you want to play. You choose those missions from inside the campaign itself -- that is, from a console aboard the Hyperion. You can go back and play whatever mission you like, but that doesn't reset your progress to that point and let you continue from scratch... it can't work that way, because that would contradict Blizz's goal of allowing players to replay a mission to unlock new achievements.

Yet those RPG conversations are going to have a lot, if not most, of the game's dramatic confrontations -- the equivalent of SC1's mission briefings, and more. So what's Blizzard to do? Should anything be done? Can anything be done? Is there a way to cherry-pick what moment you'd like to return to in an RPG setting like SC2's, or is this 'problem' just something that comes with the territory?


*Talking of course about this vid right here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmambjRLvC8). Obviously there's some funky sound warping going on that wouldn't be present in the game, but, uh, if I accounted for that, I wouldn't have been able to get in my lame joke!

mgcemir
10-30-2009, 07:30 AM
http://us.blizzard.com/_images/blizzcast/episode11/ss07.jpg

new pic. its where Z fights playboy lady :)

DemolitionSquid
10-30-2009, 10:57 AM
Why is Zeratul being accompanied by a High Templar?


It's a cold evening and you and a buddy, not in the mood for heading out, are stuck debating the most trivial thing imaginable. As usual. "Did Gabriel Tosh say 'you can't stay cloaked' or 'you guys did good' that time that he was talking to that guy after, you know, that mission?" He has an accent. It's hard to tell.* ;)

The point is, in a campaign with completely isolated chapters -- say, StarCraft, or WC3 -- you can pick and choose any mission in the game, go there, and check out whatever it is you want. Be it one of your favorite moments from the game, something you're having trouble recalling and has come up in an argument, whatever.

StarCraft 2 isn't so easily cut up. There is no campaign screen where you choose what missions you want to play. You choose those missions from inside the campaign itself -- that is, from a console aboard the Hyperion. You can go back and play whatever mission you like, but that doesn't reset your progress to that point and let you continue from scratch... it can't work that way, because that would contradict Blizz's goal of allowing players to replay a mission to unlock new achievements.

Yet those RPG conversations are going to have a lot, if not most, of the game's dramatic confrontations -- the equivalent of SC1's mission briefings, and more. So what's Blizzard to do? Should anything be done? Can anything be done? Is there a way to cherry-pick what moment you'd like to return to in an RPG setting like SC2's, or is this 'problem' just something that comes with the territory?


*Talking of course about this vid right here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmambjRLvC8). Obviously there's some funky sound warping going on that wouldn't be present in the game, but, uh, if I accounted for that, I wouldn't have been able to get in my lame joke!

Some RPG's should let you retrace your steps. Others should not. Segmented ones like SC2, with extra tidbits, should. More actiony RPG's like Mass Effect or Dragon Age should not (yay Bioware!). If anything, Bioware's formula proves that PG and "replayability" do not need to be in conflict, but can be merged into something beautiful and enhance eachother.

sandwich_bird
10-30-2009, 12:03 PM
Well they are just gonna do like almost every other game out there and put an unlockable theater where you can watch all those cutscenes... Something along the lines of Resident evil 4-5.

mr. peasant
10-30-2009, 01:16 PM
Why is Zeratul being accompanied by a High Templar?

Wild guess? It might be an in-game flashback of Zeratul and Tassadar. Or, that's the High Templar he picked up in Dark Origin.

Triceron
10-30-2009, 01:16 PM
A mission can easily be set to have 2 settings. With scripted, story-based events, and without. Scripted events in the latter setting would be carried out by generic civilians or military soldiers. Special cut scenes would be absent.

Swap out a character's lines for a generic marine saying the same line and you avoid any sort of conflicts. Most of the goals are generic enough that you don't really think twice about killing a Brutalisk over and over again in the Lava mission.

Sure it's suspension of disbelief, but it never set out to create the perfect linear storyline with this replayable mission option.

Pandonetho
10-30-2009, 07:37 PM
l. "Did Gabriel Tosh say 'you can't stay cloaked' or 'you guys did good' that time that he was talking to that guy after, you know, that mission?"

LOL, that's definitely classic.

Wankey
10-30-2009, 07:54 PM
Wrong thread.

pure.Wasted
10-30-2009, 08:57 PM
Some RPG's should let you retrace your steps. Others should not. Segmented ones like SC2, with extra tidbits, should. More actiony RPG's like Mass Effect or Dragon Age should not (yay Bioware!). If anything, Bioware's formula proves that PG and "replayability" do not need to be in conflict, but can be merged into something beautiful and enhance eachother.

How did they handle it in Mass Effect? I'm afraid I have yet to play it. :(

And yes, yes, I know how much I'm missing out...


Well they are just gonna do like almost every other game out there and put an unlockable theater where you can watch all those cutscenes... Something along the lines of Resident evil 4-5.

Yes, well, most of the game's conversations will NOT take place in unlockable cut-scenes. Which is what I'm wondering about. ;)

DemolitionSquid
10-31-2009, 01:40 PM
How did they handle it in Mass Effect? I'm afraid I have yet to play it. :(

In Mass Effect, you play Commander Shepard every time. But you are given the option of playing as a paragon, a renegade, or anywhere in between. You are also given the choice between 6 different classes. You are given hundreds of choices throughout the game. And then you can choose a love interest. Some paths leave you without certain allies, or even kill them off completely. Some paths give you more options, some less. At any point in the game (outside combat), you can save your progress, and choose a path. You can then save that, reload your first save, choose another path, and live a very different experience. There is one main storyline, with a common ending, but you are free to explore hours worth of extra content in many different ways. And major events in the main story will transfer over into Mass Effect 2. If you kill someone, they're dead. If you let someone live, they may save your ass, or be the ones who kill you. The game is extremely re-playable, but it still has a deep storyline with good continuity.

Dragon Age will be taking this further. There are 12 origins for you to choose, between 3 races and 3 classes.