Originally Posted by loganclaws
Funny, for me, Bethesda makes the worst open world RPGs. I hope CDPR follows Pirhana Bytes and does the following:
Alright, I get that there are some aspects to open world RPGs that people like and can identify with, but there are reasons behind all of it. Part of what make Skyrim great is how accessible it all is, how you can just hop in and save the world and don't need to understand anything before it. I'll engage this in detail and give the pros and cons to each of these.
- No quest markers, the world building should be distinguishable enough for the player to the point where NPCs can give a description to the player of where to go and the player can explore on his own without having to follow a marker. The player should be able to buy maps and guide himself in the world with landmarks and sign posts.
I don't think I've ever played a game where I HAD to follow quest markers or had the option to turn those markers off. If anything, quest markers are a powerful player tool for determining priorities and direction, and can help a player lost or a player who wants to revisit a quest he left in favor of more interesting quests get back on their feet and go where they need.
- Improve the atrocious UI of the witcher 2. I think Witcher 1 had a great UI they should either revert back to that or make it even simpler, like Gothic 2 for example.
While the UI in 2 definitely needed some streamlining, bring it back to 1's level wouldn't really fit with the kind of inventory system they put into place. In order to streamline the UI, they must also streamline the systems to a certain extent. Skyrim does this by a clean sub-menu based inventory setup. I certainly prefer the PC's SkyUI mod, but its in the same spirit.
- No random loot, everything should be hand placed.
While hand-placed loot might sometimes FEEL more personal and immersive, it also makes the world boringly predictable. Sure, having fifty iron swords of enervating which you'll never use is kind of obnoxious, but random loot also has to do with the little things: money, crafting materials, consumables, junk. By having a random loot system where hand-placed loot doesn't mean anything, you can get players the items they need in volume easily without having to regulate scarcity manually. Basically, it's easier and provides the same outcome. The issue is choosing where that random loot goes and where you handpick your loot.
- No level scaling, already confirmed.
I always hear people rag on level scaling, and I never understand it. Level scaling prevents punishing players for exploring new, mysterious areas. The previous Witcher titles managed scaling by making sure players were at a certain combat effectiveness before throwing harder creatures at them via linear story progression, but in an open world system, you don't have that ability short locking areas until you get a certain power. However, if you do that, you risk the player not ever going there again anyway. Similarly, if you make a dungeon that the player has early game access to, but is meant to be completed by late level players, they're going to give up and quit because they think the game is too hard. Level scaling allows the player to access all the content he can possibly find through exploration without punishing him for poking his nose into places the developers may not have "intended" earlier on. No matter how "unrealistic" it may be, it provides a positive outcome and enables most of the open-world aspects we take for granted in games like Skyrim.
- Ability to scale the world vertically, similar to gothic 2 or thief. Climbing is always a fun way to find hidden locations.
Yes, climbing is fun, as long as you have control over it and it's not too slow. See the Assassin's Creed climbing mechanics. There are occasionally new ways to approach and explore the same vertical thing. However, you also need good climbing mechanics to do this. Once again, see AC. The question becomes more "can the developers implement such a system in a practical and satisfying way." If the answer is no, then I would rather they do not.
- Improved combat system with no button mashing.
No matter what you do, you're going to have button mashing in games. The trick is to not make button mashing ineffective, but rather inefficient. I'd say that while you can spam attack buttons in the Witcher games and even TES, They're rarely the best way to go about combat. If you're button mashing in TW1, you're either doing it wrong or trying to dodge. If you're button mashing in TW2, then you're not getting the most you can out of your combat abilities, simple as that.
This is of course assuming you're not talking about QTEs. If it is about the QTEs, yeah, I'm with you. Fuck those things.
- Skills should be unique and never percentage increases; Sneak, Back stab, evading roll, sign upgrade that changes the behavior of a sign are good examples. Bad examples: 10% increase to weapon damage, 50% chance increase to lockpick a chest, 20% to block more damage.
While you might like the idea of having unique abilities for every skill/perk, choosing to increase the effectiveness of a skill or ability is an active effort to specialize. If you choose to use one of your finite skill points for your sword over a sign, you're making an active choice to depend on your sword more often. Certainly, all abilities should scale up with level, but you're going to focus on improving some abilities over others no matter what, so perks that improve the effectiveness of some things over others are certainly an important aspect of any RPG. Hell, character builds are a whole part of the game. Conditional power-ups are highly contextual and of questionable use unless a player really knows how to use them. For example, I didn't ever bother upgrading the evading roll because the distance it covered was just fine for me, but being rather sword heavy, I chose sword ability upgrades so that I didn't have to depend on signs and potions when going into battle if I could help it.
You will notice that all the above points are either missing from Bethesda rpgs or in the case of the bad examples, all are present.
That's completely false. Perks in Fallout games are at least half-way unique and interesting, and perks in Skryrim fall in the same gambit. I've just explained why random loot and level scaling are useful design decisions, and I don't think I've ever button mashed in Skyrim either. I agree with CDPR that Skyrim and Fallout don't give the idea that you're actually doing anything with consequences, and that Skyrim in particular depends on alot of very generic quests to give the players something to do in the world, but the complaints here, while understandable, I'm not sure are warranted within their contexts.
That said, I hope CDPR succeeds and gives Bethesda something hard to think about for the next Elder Scrolls game. It would be refreshing for a story where you feel like you have some impact. I mean, you know, you DO kill a God at the end of Skyrim's main quest after all.