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Quantum Leaps in RPGs

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the moving-forward dept.


Gamasutra has up an article, giving out 'awards' to titles that made a genre what it is. Today, they have memorable and impactful role-playing games; a top five with five honorable mentions. They're all very worthy titles, but I'm not sure about their placement on the list. None of the Ultima games make the top 5? Really? From the article: "Ultima V - The Ultima series allowed the player a level of freedom found only in a few games today. Through the origins of the series, the game had fits and starts where some ideas worked and others did not. By V, however, the central core of the game was completely worked out and many games today are 3D versions of this ground breaking title: Elder Scrolls comes to mind. Though other games at the time were similar, Bard's Tale for example, they did not have the scope of story and adventure, nor did they encompass so many technologies of the time. -James Edwards, Microsoft"

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at first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16342497)

i initially read this as "Quantum Leap RPG"

Oh Boy! (2, Funny)

JoshDM (741866) | more than 7 years ago | (#16342605)

Would love to play as Sam Beckett or Al Calavicci. Classes are traveller, resident, or hologram representation from the future.

Re:Oh Boy! (1)

nurhussein (864532) | more than 7 years ago | (#16342665)

...so Dr. Beckett finds himself leaping from character to character, putting right what once went wrong, and hoping that his next leap, will be the leap to his home guild.

FF (1)

JRWR (1001828) | more than 7 years ago | (#16342523)

I wonder if Final Fantasy is on that list

Re:FF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16342697)

Funny how none of those games has come close to what money WoW has made, and breakthroughs it's made (as in more then nerds play it) Elder Scrolls? Yea that's great if you want to pay for a 3 grand system. What a joke (and YES WoW is an rpg, just because it's online doesn't mean it shouldn't be on this list).

OFFTOPIC: What's with the gamasutra love? To many damn ads there guys.

Re:FF (4, Insightful)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16342951)

WoW is an excellent MMORPG. But it has done absolutely nothing innovative or interesting for the the RPG genre. MMOs are popular mainly because of their social aspects. The one thing WoW did right was made it so that casual players can level more quickly. This shows future games how to set up their MMO, but does nothing for the RPG genre. Remove the social aspect of WoW and you have a miserable excuse of a game. All you have left is a level grind and extremely boring quests. Their is story in WoW, but you have to dig hard for it...most of it you have to get from external websites. RPGs have evolved in to interactive fiction. Story is the key element and in that WoW fails. It has story, but it lacks a storyteller. It also has not brought anything new mechanicwise. So yeah, WoW has made a lot of money and is an addictive MMORPG but it does not belong anywhere near this list.

Re:FF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16345477)

WoW is an excellent MMORPG?
Well, depends on your definition of an excellent MMORPG I guess ...

Re:FF (3, Insightful)

drsquare (530038) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343153)

Warcraft isn't a role-playing game. It's an adventure game combined with an AOL chatroom. There's as much roleplaying there as there is in tetris.

Warcraft hasn't invented or innovated anything, they've just taken an existing format and dumbed it down for the masses.

And if making the most money is what defines a good game, then we may as well cancel the game industry.

Re:FF (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343433)

As with most critics, you're thinking of Role Playing in a fantasy sense that only exists for very small children. Fantasy roles which don't have any real place in any game. What exactly are the characteristics of the "roles" you want to play? Colorful chat? Try an RP server, oh I'm sorry, what's your SPECIFIC need that isn't being met? Sounds like an irrational nostalgia.

The opportunity to take on the role of a leader, entrepaneur, griefer, respected player, etc. exist within the mechanics of the game. I'm sorry this is not the experience you were EXPECTING to be available, but these are real roles you can play and people do. There's meaningless goals to motivate everyone together (Ony, Rag, Nef, etc) for specific episodes, but are not required. Few paths are restricted by game mechanics but still can work together for the group goals (which equate to communnaly pushing buttons to get to another bigger meaner button). That's innovative enough to let people see what the game is really about...the players. MMORPGs in general are no longer of interest to me as I've SEEN what gamers are when given all the freedom you have in WoW. They arent my people. Thanks blizzard.

Re:FF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16344049)

Yea I guess it's popular to bash WoW like kids bash bands that "sell out" whatever guys grow up. You should ultima and ff made up all those thing in their games? do you think they didn't improve on what others have done in the past? WoW /is/ an rpg, online or not. I'm sorry they managed to do everything those other games couldn't (make real money consistantly with a huge fanbase).

Oh Boy!!!! (1)

docdude316 (836485) | more than 7 years ago | (#16342577)

I can't wait to grid with Sam so I can finally get to lvl 60 and leap into Lee Harvey Oswald!

Oh boy... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16342601)

Ziggy says there's a 93% chance you have to slay thusands of random orcs then rescue the beautiful dragon from the evil princess before you can leap out of here.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16342635)


Just no.

Re:The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion??? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16342807)

Did they even look at Morrowind (Elder Scrolls III)? Oblivion wasn't much of a step forward from that at all. In some ways it was a step back (spoon feeding every little detail of quests rather than actually needing to follow directions, idiotic persuasion minigame, a boring world compared to Morrowind, etc.) Oblivion = Morrowind + new shiny graphics + horses + shitty minigames.

Re:The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion??? (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#16342979)

Oblivion is overrated. I think what really killed it for me was the small size of the game world. I mean, yeah, I guess it's technically pretty big, but it feels very small because you can autotravel to every location and the storyline takes place in those very same locations. So when I finally started doing the main quest, it felt so stupid because I was just visiting the same old areas all over again. There's no sense of adventure or travel, no change of scenery.

There is some cool stuff in Oblivion, and sometimes it was fun to just roam around and do stuff, but I was really disappointed in the story.

Radiata Stories (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16342661)

Not the best game of all time (though it was lots of fun), but I've never played a game that literally gave every single character in the game - even the ones that you would never ordinarily talk to - a real life. Play it and follow some people around for 24 "hours". Amazing.

weapons? (2, Funny)

erikdotla (609033) | more than 7 years ago | (#16342803)

I was expecting information about a quantum leap in Rocket Propelled Grenade technology.

Re:weapons? (1)

Dorceon (928997) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344295)

A Rocket Propelled Grenade that could make Quantum Leaps would render anti-rocket technology useless. I suspect the technology would be applied to bombs and cruise missiles first. Who needs bunker busters when you can quantum tunnel into the bunker?

This article doesn't even list RPGs (1, Troll)

miscz (888242) | more than 7 years ago | (#16342877)

Final Fantasy or Chrono Trigger are RPGs? It's more like a book with press X to continue. I like those games but I would classify them as jRPGs (which means they are not RPGs at all). And Oblivion being on this list is just atrocious, not only it is step backwards from Morrowind in many aspects but it is also unplayable at this moment because of tons of bugs. I think we should wait a year or two until Bethseda patches Oblivion so that it doesn't make me start the game fifth time because I did something in wrong order (yeah, I really had game screw up 4 times already).

Meh.. (2, Interesting)

JMZero (449047) | more than 7 years ago | (#16342929)

I agree to the extent that I'd put Morrowind on the "quantum leap" list before Oblivion. Oblivion feels like "pretty Morrowind" more than any kind of new thing.

But to Oblivion's credit, I made it through the game without a single hitch or crash (that I remember). I'm not running an amazing machine, but it looked great and played smooth throughout (except a little choppy during one of the last battles). I remember having a storyline order problem or two in Morrowind - but none with Oblivion.

I don't know whether you were unlucky or I was lucky but I thought Oblivion was a great, well-executed game - with very few glitches for such a complicated setup.

Re:Meh.. (1)

stevejs (898791) | more than 7 years ago | (#16349253)

I liked Oblivion, but for my money Morrowind was a much better game. Oblivion is more deserving of the 1 step forward 2 steps back award. Oblivion made some questionable refinements to the gameplay. The value in the series is a sense of experiencing 'my own story with my own character'. The level scaling, radar-like quest marks, and easy fast travel, robbed me of suspension of disbelief. Level scaling bakes in a degree of 'sameness' across the entire world, because everywhere you go the world reacts based off your current abilities. The quest radar makes the 'beaten path' too apparant. I never had a sense of going off the main quest in Morrowind. Going fown side quests and simple random exploration is is eactly what I did, but I never thought of it that way. For me whatever I was doing was the main quest. I had a massive sense of 'going off the main quest' in Oblivion. REALIZING I wasn't on the main quest in Oblivion is a big failure. It cheapened the (I'm sure very expensive to produce) experience of the side quests and rich environment. I always had an overriding sense of how shallow the 'current' side path was rather than the main quest. (Even if it wasn't true ... the sense of shallowness was inescapble, due to the massive cues back to the main path.) It was like the game was constantly suggesting ... why not go back to this main quest path ... that's what you should be doing.

I fully understand why Bestheda put in level scaling, radar-like quest markers, and fast travel. I just think that while it made it more palatible for a wider audience, it did so at the dire expense of the core value in the game.

// warning ... weak spoiler //

To give a concrete example: when I bought the ghost house from the guy in Anvil, I decide to follow him (this is very slow process ... and of little obvious value) but I did it and knew precisely where he went. However what could have been an awesome experience was ruined by 3 things: 1. The mainline quest jumped into my gameplay as we passed Kvaatch ... I actually lost track of him (meaning I failed to follow the guy). I went and completed the mainline quest up to kvatch and restarted the manor quest so I could follow the guy. I finally did follow him to his desination. Later when I went back to Anvil and started down the manor quest I need to talk to the guy again. Unfortunately I wasted time going to where I knew he was. 2. The quest wouldn't advance until I had completed the events that told me the information I already knew. 3. The cool experience of having followed the guy, and known something difficult to discover was not just completely wasted ... it was turned around and made me feel like a moron for going to that length. Following the quest parameters would have taken a couple of minutes max. The extended enjoyable gameplay I had done by 'following my own story' was turned into a punishment for not following the optimized quest path. What had been a truly fun experience in the game was retroactively ruined. Not since the Matix sequels was retroactive damage so complete.

Re:This article doesn't even list RPGs (4, Funny)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343451)

"Final Fantasy or Chrono Trigger are RPGs? It's more like a book with press X to continue. I like those games but I would classify them as jRPGs (which means they are not RPGs at all)."

Your so right! They should list real rpgs like World Of Warcraft.

Re:This article doesn't even list RPGs (1)

miscz (888242) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343655)

Your irony is not very appropriate because I despise MMO games (well, I might play a bit of role-play oriented MUDs from time to time though :)

Story, depth and good mechanics are things that define this genre IMO. They should stick to Fallout, Baldur's Gate, Elder Scrolls, Ultima type of games. There's no place for MMORPG or jRPGs there (well, maybe one of the kind, but not both FF and CT, they are way too similar).

Re:This article doesn't even list RPGs (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343771)

Regardless if you don't like those games, they did provide a lot of influence in the field of CRPGs in general.

Re:This article doesn't even list RPGs (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343883)

Linear RPGs are still RPGs, they just tell you what role you're going to play.

I've been thinking of how to combat the "help, I'm lost and can't find an NPC that knows what the hell I'm supposed to be doing" feeling I get from playing some of the later Wizardry games, as well as the "wtf, both of these choices suck and either way I choose she's going to die so why do I care" feeling I get from some of the linear RPGs, but nothing comes to mind other than a game that ran on rails the first time around, and when you've completed the game, you get the New Game + option that lets you just walk away and wander off to do what you like (plus content "out there" to experience once you've walked away from the main game path).

Re:This article doesn't even list RPGs (1)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343919)

Well, I can see listing both CT and FF.

FF basically created the J-RPG genre and continues to be its flagship.

CT was unique in that you could replay the game to get different endings - something not seen in other games of the time where you either "won" or "lost".

Also, if by your definition, RPGs are defined by story, depth and mechanics, why eliminate J-RPGs since, by their structure, they tend to have very elaborate stories even if they sacrifice the openess and freedom you see in other games.

Re:This article doesn't even list RPGs (2, Insightful)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345779)

I think part of the difficulty arises from the differences between what we call RPGs in Pen&Paper, and RPGs in Computer/Video games.

Role playing in Pen&Paper evolved from wargaming, as people developed an interest in playing specific heros (inspired directly by the works of J. R R. Tolkien) rather than armies. What are called "RPGs" on computers are an outgrowth of Adventure games, they attempted to model the experience of Pen&Paper roleplaying by adding stats and combat to interactive stories told through computers. This, especially in the pre-Compuserve/BBS days missed the social aspect that was seen as critical to Pen&Papers RPGs by purists, and there is a continuing resistance amongst die-hard P&P RPG players to the association of the genres. JRPGs are an even more strange beast, as they evolved being designed by people who had never played D&D in the first place (which is almost unheard of for american cRPG designers), Japanese developers having only played japanese copies of D&D (which is what Anime like Lodoss War is loosely based on, it seems like an odd parody of D&D stereotypes because it is, reflected by another culture through language barriers both ways) at most. The focus on Consoles, rather than PCs had other significant impacts on their development, which can be seen by comparing, say the Original Final Fantasy on NES, with Ultima V on the Apple II.

The difficulty for purists is that all of these different branches (P&P RPG, Adventure Games, cRPGs, jRPGs) evolved over time with varying degrees of intermingling. And now the last ten years have brought MMO type cRPGs into the mainstream, further complicating things (they have social interaction, but relatively little roleplaying where do they fit in?) The question of what a "true" role-playing game is quite difficult to answer now. P&P is the oldest, by 6-8 years, followed by cRPGs , jRPGs, and finally MMORPGs. In reality I think these are all pretty distinct genres, and are probably played (even if by the same person) for different reasons. Each provides a substantially different experience. I think that lumping them all together under the same label is a mistake, in much the same way as an inexperienced bookseller might lump Sci-fi/fantasy/horror/other together dispite definate, if not immediately obvious, differences. One of our problems in this subculture is its evolution with an astonishing lack of criticism (by which I mean criticism in the literary sense) which I think it both desperatly needs, and deserves.

Re:This article doesn't even list RPGs (1)

Nanpa (971527) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345771)

Chronotrigger had story, depth in spades, and simply a different system of mechanics. I can tell you right now those sprites had more meaning than Morrowind and Oblivion put together

Re:This article doesn't even list RPGs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16346343)

I think the point is that much of the catagory lacks in some way of the RPG acronym. There is no involvement in the development of the characters in Final Fantasy - they evolve, you evolve into them - and consequently they make for very believable characters (for video games) because their entire plot, their personality etc - are all predestined. Where as, there are games like World of Warcraft, which is also considered an RPG, but the player has total control over who their character is, and as such the characters lack dimension because not everyone cares so much - not only that but many just play to play, and make (let alone play) a role. This is not true of all MMO's, older ones generally had many people who actually Role-Played, and EverQuest II (I'm subscribed to it and WoW right now) still has roleplayers I find. Also Vanguard seems to be the next big haven for roleplayers - but I'm pretty sure I've never met a roleplayer in WoW after playing my way to 60, raiding a bit, and working the grind to Grand Marshal (didn't finish, game got boring) - no roleplayers.

Can we tighten the definition though? Not really, theoritically you could roleplay in WoW, you'd probably just succeed in confusing the crap out of people - but you could do it - and because it has that possiblity it potentially was a Roleplaying game by design - but certainly there's no roles being played in practice.

On the other hand, if you exclude the need to develop your own persona for it to be a roleplaying game (a common conception) the Final Fantasy line definitely has roles, which are definitely played (by force, because you can't deviate from your role if you tried).

I don't think we can tighten the definition at all from what it is and the games it currently encompasses.

Re:This article doesn't even list RPGs (2, Insightful)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343887)

J-RPGs are RPGs in the sense that your characters gain levels to improve their stats and can also wear/wield equipment to make them fight more effectively. The fighting systems are also based on the old paper&pencil RPGs, suitably automated of course, but it still comes down to the good old fashioned D&D style fight - "I hit the orc", "The orc swings at me - misses" type of combat.

I agree that J-RPGs tend to be more like "stories on rails" with fixed characters, pre-set dialog, a pre-set story, heavily scripted events, and long non-interactive cutscenes. This does take the "R" out of the traditional RPG. A more accurate description would probably be something like "Adventure Combat Stories".

The overall experience of a J-RPG is somewhat like a movie or novel mixed with various mini-games (the fighting system being key among these.)

Anyways, if you're looking at computer RPGs that follow the paper&pencil style of RPG in that there is actual "role playing" on your part, with a fairly flexible and open-ended storyline then there's been very very few games that can be called RPGs at all. In fact, given that criteria, I might even consider The Sims to be a sort of RPG, since you can create your own characters, "level them up", and make up little stories for them to perform.

Re:This article doesn't even list RPGs (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346717)

J-RPGs are RPGs in the sense that your characters gain levels to improve their stats and can also wear/wield equipment to make them fight more effectively.

I think this is a fascinating view of roleplaying, especially since it makes Super Mario 2 a role-playing game - you could find funny mushrooms that gave your character more maximum health points. And with Warp zones, you could change your path considerably. You could even find and carry items around - only one at the time, but still.

Shake in your boots, D&D :).

I agree that J-RPGs tend to be more like "stories on rails" with fixed characters, pre-set dialog, a pre-set story, heavily scripted events, and long non-interactive cutscenes.

This is true of every computer game, because computers aren't capable of inventing story as they go. In fact, based on what few DM books I've read, I'd say that it's true of P&P RPGs as well, since all of those books were full of tips on how to keep people in the predetermined path and nullify all their attempts to leave it.

This does take the "R" out of the traditional RPG.

No it doesn't. An actor playing Romeo is following a premade script. Does that mean that he has no role ?

Re:This article doesn't even list RPGs (1)

wolfing (1007041) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347789)

What are you talking about?
RPG is nothing more than a game in which you control one or more characters, with characters having stats and skills, and the success of the character's actions depend on those stats/skills (as opposed as your skill).
Final Fantasy is completely an RPG, I haven't played Chrono Trigger so can't say about that one. The presence or not of long cutscenes doesn't have anything to do with a game being RPG or not.
About Oblivion, I played it 2 times full with 2 completely different characters (first a mage, then an archer/assassin). I didn't find any game-stopping bugs. I only found two bugs that were fixed after with just an exit and load. One of the best RPGs I've ever played, along with Suikoden 3 and Gladius.

Re:This article doesn't even list RPGs (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#16351445)

Actually I would add Gothic2 to the list instead of oblivion, but given the fact that the weird control scheme and being non japanese or us really gave a bad press in the US you probably will never see the gothic series in a us based top 10 article, while the Bethestha people openly stated they had a serious look at Gothic and were so impressed that they learned a lot from them and took a lot of elements from them. Gothic is especially part two to 3d rpgs what Ultima 7 was to 2d rpgs.

Ranking games like this is pointless (4, Insightful)

DoctaWatson (38667) | more than 7 years ago | (#16342881)

Why is it that every time we talk about the influence of groundbreaking games (and films too, I suppose), more often than not they're shoehorned into some sort of subjective pecking order?

You'll never see "Top 10 Paintings of the Rennaisance", but that hasn't kept art critics and historians from debating their merits and influence through the years.

Every game on that list, and quite a few others, deserves to be there. But why waste time quibbling about rank? When you make lists like this, people are bound to concentrate more on a game's place rather than the content of the criticism or praise. These games stand on their own as great works, or they wouldn't be there at all.

It all reminds me of those silly GameFAQ's character battles.

And, for my money, Daggerfall and Morrowind deserve to be on there every bit as much as Oblivion. Not to mention NetHack and Diablo.

Re:Ranking games like this is pointless (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16343793)

And, for my money, Daggerfall and Morrowind deserve to be on there

You do realize that by groundbreaking they dont mean opening up cracks and falling through, right?

heh (1)

DoctaWatson (38667) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345757)

that's pretty good.

Morrowind and Daggerfall both had their share of showstopping bugs, but that didn't stop them from being incredible games. The same can be said for Fallout and much of the Ultima series.

Gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet and whatnot.

Half-life?? (1)

geekster (87252) | more than 7 years ago | (#16342883)

For some reason the second last page has a wrong link. The 1st place really goes to Fallout [gamasutra.com] and not Half-Life.

Re:Half-life?? (1)

piper-noiter (772438) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344245)

Soo the best RPG is in fact not an RPG but the best FPS... Makes sense to me. ;) Thanks though for the heads up. Fallout rightfully wins. No contest.

You get the same error if you use the previous button. Looks like they've got a nasty scripting error.

I can only agree on the Choices (2, Insightful)

CharonX (522492) | more than 7 years ago | (#16342899)

Starting with place #5 Chrono Trigger:
It was definitly one of the most entertaining while also groundbreaking games of its time - the time-battle system, the combination of techniques for the battles, dozends of possible endings, countless sidequests and the ability to avoid battles (having to take on the 415th Generic Enemy you wipe away easily is a major turn-off). Shame with Chrono Cross though (it still was a great game, if only the story-makers had not decided to "hey let's kill off everything CT players hold dear and piss on their graves")
For #4
System Shock 2 and Deus Ex. Both game stand synonymous for a new Genre - true first person action role playing games - not FPSs that got added an "roleplaying" system as if as an afterthought, but both sides - action and roleplaying - made as one, from one yarn. The multiple solution & multiple ending ability in Deus Ex gives it a slight advantage over SS2, but I would have been happy to see either on this spot.
For #3
Oblivion - is it the new quantum leap or just a propagation from the old. Perhaps a bit of both. I had some qualms regarding the difficulty of the game (scaling the power of enemies according to your level is nice, but please make sure their power niveau fits the setting - a level 1 character that gets beaten up by City Guards, but that can become champion of the arena - and thus best fighter in the world - just because the arena opponents are also pitiful weak hurts both the sense of accomplishment and suspension of disbelieve), but still the direction is the right one - RPGs become even more open-ended and lifelike, and Oblivion is pointing that direction.
#2 Planescape Torment
What can I say. A perfect story, told in a perfect way. Be who and what you want - literally; waking up without memories gives you that freedom. Truely one of the best RPG ever made. #1 Fallout
Words fail me. Fallout has it all (though PS:T still wins in the story department).

Re:I can only agree on the Choices (1)

aphxtwn (702841) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343843)

I thought Ultima Underworld was the first true first-person-perspective action RPG.

Re:I can only agree on the Choices (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344083)

Um... what about Dungeon Master... and, even further back, Wizardry?

Re:I can only agree on the Choices (1)

aphxtwn (702841) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344141)

Those were 1st person perspective, but I think the original comment was talking about 1st person like we would see in a shooter. I recall in ultima having to aim spells at targets.

Re:I can only agree on the Choices (2, Informative)

Jorelli (1009279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345385)

Enemy scaling due to character level was bad because the enemies respawned very easily once you hit a loading screen, which are EVERYWHERE in oblivion. I played this game for a while and got a pretty strong character going simply by sidequesting. When I went back to the main quest it was actually impossible because it was scaled so poorly. None of the NPC's could survive to help me for more than a second when they were supposed to fight along side me.

Also, Oblivion has very bad art. The graphics are very sharp, but the art is very bad and unoriginal. The characters look horrible. That cheeta guy is stupid. However, I will give credit where credit is due; the buildings look beautiful in that game and the architecture is interesting. The forests looked pretty nice too, as did a lot of the animals in the game. But the fact of the matter is you play a humanoid and all the NPC's that you interact with are humanoid and they all look like doodoo. (lolz doodoo)

Another thing I hate about Oblivion was the amount of mana spells cost compared to how much damage they did. I tried to make a character that was focussed on spell casting with some blade skill in order to get myself out of trouble when I have to. After playing the game for a couple of days, spamming my spells for no reason got their skills to max and they were still weaker than my sword. I verymuch dislike how easy it was to abuse the skill leveling system. Since it was so easy I couldn't stop myself from sneaking into a wall by leaving the controller with a weight on it to get sneak skill while I made myself dinner, or spamming summon spells then doing an hour of rest time.

Auto travel is bad because it makes the world small. Auto wait is bad because it makes time-based challenges......not challenging. "Do this, then come back tomorrow". Normally this took some time management. Not anymore. Anytime you fought something and you were about to go into another room it was easier to just wait an hour than to heal yourself because the heals were so weak and your mana would run out so fast.

It was just a very bad game. (...imo)

Re:I can only agree on the Choices (1)

bobdylan (30598) | more than 7 years ago | (#16349845)

Since it was so easy I couldn't stop myself from sneaking into a wall by leaving the controller with a weight on it to get sneak skill while I made myself dinner, or spamming summon spells then doing an hour of rest time.

Auto travel is bad because it makes the world small. Auto wait is bad because it makes time-based challenges......not challenging.

You didn't have to do any one of those things. You could have just played the game without thinking about min-maxing the levelling system or using the auto travel when you could have ridden a horse.

There is a difference between having the ability to do something and actually doing it. Oblivion can be played many ways.

Re:I can only agree on the Choices (1)

Jorelli (1009279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16350547)

You're right. Nobody twisted my arm to auto travel. However, the locations you needed to get to were so far away that not auto travelling was so ridiculous. Half of the quests involved going to locations spread out all over the game's world rather than putting the large travel distances in between quests. Having to travel long distances was so frequently employed that NOT autotravelling would have made the game even more boring. In my opinion, travelling long distances shouldn't be over used like it was in Oblivion. I mean, think about joining the mage guild. Travel to every city in the game? How many games seriously employ tactics like this?

Outside of quests, the combat system was very very very very very very very very very boring. Very. Hacking and slashing in that game got old really fast. There were how many melee hits available to you? Clearly not enough. I thought RPG's involved strategically picking which moves to use, not just holding up your shield and waiting for your turn to swing your weapon.

Oh and glass armor? Are you serious? Not only does it look stupid but it makes no sense.

Weapon magical effects are charged and have to be recharged? Yea...cause I really want to have to change weapons in mid battle to accomodate what I need and maybe swing that magical weapon twice for its effect and then switch back. I find it hard to be emersed in the game when the most effective tactics are so outrageous.

FF7 ftw (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16343009)

And the ~***GRAND PRIZE***~ goes to....

Final Fantasy 7 ::Reasons::
1-The charactors are more recognised than anyone else... better known than even Mario, or Yoshi or any other game charactor. In Asia, they are heroes!

2-Advent Children - How many games in general get full length movies created by their fanbase and sold by the millions internationally? not many!

3-i have yet to see any game with such an Epic storyline and a truly end-of-the-world climactic finale

this could go on, but seeing as how i'm still at work, i better get off before i get caught :-P Though i have no doubt there will be tons of ppl to back me up!

Re:FF7 ftw (2, Insightful)

joystickgenie (913297) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343901)

Honestly I am a huge Final Fantasy fan and Final Fantasy 7 is actually my favorite out of the series, but I agree that 7 should not have been put on the list.

This list was talking about quantum leaps in the genera, recognizing games from breaking the mold and jumping into the unknown. Final fantasy 7 did not do that. It was a very polished game, the story was detailed and with enough plot twists to keep it entertaining, it had excellent mechanics and is one of my and many other's favorite games of all time.

But the vast majority of the game was pretty derivative of the genera. The character progressions were pretty close to pervious jRPGs, the game mechanics were classic final fantasy and nothing revolutionary. FF7 didn't change the RPG genera, it made it popular get recognition and is high on the list of quality RPGs but the general it self wasn't changed by it.

Definately out of order (1, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343035)

None of the winners really seem to belong on the list. The honorable mentions are probably better candidates than anything on the winners list.

Of course EQ is really given credit that belongs to Sierra's "The Realm" (which is still kept around by loyal players to this day). EQ basically latched onto this idea and made it run in 3D. The realm did have a much more fully developed social system and economy than EQ but it was hardly a social experiment. It contains a fully developed magic and combat system, dozens of magical items and spells, several races, and PVP.

If the realm were revamped with a modern graphics system and revamped idea of PVP that allowed for large scale combat then it would probably the best MMORPG today.

Re:Definately out of order (1)

Shiptar (792005) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347581)

Saying EQ had PvP is a pretty big stretch. PvPers in EQ were the bastard child customers. No regard to balance, how changes in the game would affect PvP servers, and large encounters were tuned to need every race/class so to do any PvE content, you had to be a cross teamer. Rumour has it that all changed with the later Zeks, but Tallon Vallon and Rallos suffered from the problems above. It was fun, but it still couldn't compare to any MUD that had a dedicated playerbase and dev team. I also don't know Realm. I was rather young when SIerra had it's Shadows of Yserbius online version, Realm was before that?

Re:Definately out of order (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 7 years ago | (#16351535)

"Saying EQ had PvP is a pretty big stretch."

Actually I was saying that Realm had PvP.

"I was rather young when SIerra had it's Shadows of Yserbius online version, Realm was before that?"

No. Shadows appears to have an earlier release date but it is only a graphical mud. Realm is not just a mud with pictures on top, it is an actual MMORPG.

If there was something before Realm I don't know of it, and Realm continues to operate (with about 300 simultaneous players at peak) so it is definately the longest lived.

Where's Phantasy Star? (1)

DeepCerulean (741098) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343053)

Those were some of the best RPGs back in the day

Re:Where's Phantasy Star? (2, Insightful)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344787)

Phantasy Star was a good series, but I'm wondering where Arcanum is. It took the RPG genre and turned it on its pointy ear.

No classes - you had stats, gained skill points to invest in whatever field you wanted (both tech and magical), and your skills determined how tech or magic you were (the more tech you are, the less magic works around you and the more magic you are, the less tech works around you to the point of having a good chance of technical weapons missing you completely)

Your tech/magic rating, race, background, and alignment rating also affected how people responded to you.

The ability to not only purchase, but create tools, weapons, and even steam driven robots.

Having to actually find locations on your own by exploring on the map if you can't find someone to point them out on your map.

The ability to basically forget your main quest for pretty much as long as you want and wander around foing side quests if you so desire. It really is a fun game to just roam around in.

And, last, but most certainly not least, you have to love any game in which you can play a pickpocketing, fireball slinging half-elf who packs an elephant gun. =]

Oblivion? how much did bethesda pay them? (1)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343149)

oblivion just came out and although it looks pretty it's nowhere near any of the other entries in terms of gameplay or greatness (not to mention the ridiculous level scaling and object scaling system, that changes the loot and everything depending on your level, basically destroying any sense of immersion you might have in the game world).

absurd (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343967)

I think Oblivion definitely should get the nod because you can do virtually anything in that game...and I do mean anything. My roommate stole a horse...[snip idiotic story]
Elder Scrolls Oblivion -- not only is it the best RPG, but also is one of the best games ever.
Oblivion has made the biggest quantam leap ever for an RPG. There has never been such a significant advance in gaming in one game. End of story.

Good job of aggregating hyperbolic praise of a game that represents, if anything, a step backwards from Daggerfall in terms of gameplay. Oblivion is fun, sure, and the myriad linear, lead-you-by-the-nose quests are highly polished, but there's no way in the world it deserves to be put on such a lofty pedestal. I haven't seen such a gap between the squealing reviews and the game itself since Half-Life 2.

Wrong NWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16343259)

Should have listed the original (1991) version of Neverwinter Nights [wikipedia.org] instead. First multiplayer RPG with graphics. It was an online version of the AD&D gold box games. Supported up to 500 simultaneous players. Pretty short game, but great community and an incredibly fun PVP environment...


Planescape: Torment (2, Insightful)

mcvos (645701) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343383)

Who cares about Ultima? As long as Planescape: Torment is in a well-deserved second place, I don't care about anything else. Torment was the first and still only computer game that actually feels like a RPG. Excellent storytelling and excellent writing on top of that, but the most important thing is that you actually roleplay an interesting character, instead of just an empty set of stats and weapons who's mainly exploring other people's lives. If that's not a leap forward in CRPGs, I don't know what is.

Still, pen & paper RPGs are better.

Ultima (1)

neostorm (462848) | more than 7 years ago | (#16350145)

Ultima, 4 in particular, was and still is one of the only RPGs to allow you to role-play. The entire game's plot was based around how the player interacted with every NPC and encounter in the world, and the choices they made. Entirely. You could not beat the game unless you played a role that relied on verbal and moral interaction, instead of just combat and clicking through a few different dialogue trees (you could click any selection in dialogue in Planescape and still beat the game with at least one of the endings). Planescape is one of my favorite games of all time, but don't sell Ultima short. NO GAME has yet done what Ultima 4 did, by putting the player character in an outwards-looking-in perspective, and no game has come close to the continuity and cohesiveness of the Ultima 7 world, just to name two ground breaking points of the series.

Something is missing (2, Insightful)

Nachtfalke (160) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343525)

How can there be a list of RPGs, and not one page mentions Wizardry?

If there's one thing I would like to see more of, it's Wizardry 8-style party RPGs. I don't think they even make those anymore... *sniff*

Re:Something is missing (1)

jesdynf (42915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344535)

There's always Suikoden.

"Hey, Bob, you know what this game really needs?"

"What's that, Tim?"

"Everybody in Illinois."

"That's a great idea. You get started on the art, Jake will call the Census Bureau, and I'll work on the dopey side-quests."

Is this list off or am I out of touch (1)

japhmi (225606) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343621)

I have only heard about 3/5 of the top 5, yet I knew all of the honorable mentions. Am i just old?

Wizardry? (1)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343837)

I'm shocked, shocked to find that game not mentioned here! This is the 1981 classic that started them all. You can't look at a tactical battle menu or a party status display or even the screen layout of almost any CRPG without seeing the legacy of Wizardry. Even Dragon Warrior's trademark slimes have precedent here. Wizardry combat [mobygames.com]

The Longest Journey (1)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 7 years ago | (#16343875)

stands out in my mind as an RPG I played the HECK out of repeatedly.

Re:The Longest Journey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16344477)

Uh, dude, learn the difference between RPG and Adventure already.

Wow- I actually agree with most of this (2, Insightful)

edremy (36408) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344033)

Fallout and Planetscape Torment absolutely deserve #1 and #2, although I'd personally reverse them. They are the two best *R* *P* Gs out there- you get to play an actual character who you learn to care about, not just a bundle of stats that has to kill 945 kobolds to get the next level. You get to make real choices that determine outcomes, and you don't have to simply kill everything in your path to win. I note both of them are placed in worlds quite different than the usual Tolkein-derived Elf-and-Orc fest

Deus Ex and Oblivion are close: it should be System Shock 2 and Morrowind instead, but I can see why they chose the ones they did

The only significant omission IMHO is Wizardry. There are so many firsts in that game it's scary- I think most people forget how lame 99% of all Apple games were.

FPS? (1)

rpillala (583965) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344215)

9-2 were roleplaying games and then number one is a first person shooter?

How does that work? I guess at least they had the decency to name Torment as the number 1 RPG.

Incorrect use of quantum (1)

jfeldt (967756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16344285)

Am I the only one that can't stand it when people use "quantum" to mean big when in fact it implies discrete (since it refers to indivisible things)? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum [wikipedia.org]

Jeez. It makes me clench up my fist every time.

Re:Incorrect use of quantum (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345115)

I think it comes from the fact that the discovery of quantum mechanics turned was a major shift from classical physics. It was a major leap forward, even though the subject of the leap was very tiny.

Re:Incorrect use of quantum (1)

jfeldt (967756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345697)

Interesting take. I always figured that if someone was going to misunderstand the term, they would think of the small, due to Quantum Mechanics/Field Theory. If it was due to the large leap in physics, why not start saying large changes are not only quantum but "Superstring". "Superstring Leaps in RPGs" makes as much sense to me as "Quantum Leaps..." Having a BS and MS in Physics makes me overly sensitive, to be sure.

Re:Incorrect use of quantum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16348127)

I see your point, but I think the phrase "quantum leap" usually has a meaning closer to "paradigm shift" than "large step" in colloquial use. In this case, it refers to games which radically redefined the boundaries of what RPGs can and ought to do. Thus, the "discrete" boundaries established in earlier games are bypassed by new works, as when Fallout arrived with the majority of its gameplay residing in side-quests, rather than in advancing the main story (save the world from the Master).

Re:Incorrect use of quantum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16352721)

Merriam-Webster begs to differ:

Main Entry: 2quantum
Function: adjective

Article misses its own point a little (4, Insightful)

Jerf (17166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345137)

If the point is about quantum leaps, the article was a bit careless.

Planescape: Torment is awesome, but it's probably, technically, redundant to Fallout. Fallout was the first (IIRC) Black Isle-style RPG, which are notable for being RPGs in the old sense, and it's Fallout that made the quantum leap; P:T and Baldur's Gates et al "merely" polished that leap. That opens up a slot.

Many people are mentioning System Shock 2, which I'd point out isn't that different from System Shock 1, which itself is clearly descended from Ultima Underworld, which is what should get the nod on that line. Also, interestingly, all from the same company (more or less; SS2 was developed by Looking Glass offshoot Irrational Games and Looking Glass and published by Electronic Arts [wikipedia.org].

Oblivion simple doesn't belong. Morrowind may. I'm striking it because I've seen many games like that before and I'm taking the "quantum leap" idea at its word. I'll replace it with Ultima 4, for introducing the idea that RPGs can be more than brutal slaughtering, something still underrated today. All main-stream Ultimas are from Origin.

Dues Ex I can't speak to, never played it, so I'll defer to the article and leave it up there.

And finally, while I don't know whether I'd pick Chrono Trigger per se, but surely "the first significant JRPG" deserves a mention. However, the problem here is that there really were no quantum leaps, it has been a very smooth evolution. (Final Fantasy I is half Ultima-pre-IV and half Bard's Tale, for instance, not a quantum leap.) I've never played FF7, but one may make the argument that if you're going to try to tell a cinematic, linear story (which has it's place, although I wish they had something we could all agree to call them other than RPG), it is a quantum leap to be able to have cinematics and full motion video.

I note with interest that in all four cases where I changed something, all the relevant choices came from the same company. There's Black Isle RPGs, Origin RPGs, Looking Glass (first-person action) RPGs, and (weakest of all/most competition) Square RPGs.

Maybe consolidation isn't the best thing for the industry after all.

(OK, no "maybe".)

Re:Article misses its own point a little (1)

Johnny Adnams (1010507) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345979)

Entirely agree on System Shock - the sequel was competently done (although the frequent breaking of weapons drove me to distraction). Many of the later levels simply felt like a run from A-B in a half-life style (all other entrances and exits conveniently blocked by debris). The original system shock did a phenomenal job of creating a living-breathing space station, with believable areas and rooms. It felt like you'd dropped into a nightmare set on a space station, not like a specially designed obstacle course for your character.

Re:Article misses its own point a little (1)

SenorCitizen (750632) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346657)

Many people are mentioning System Shock 2, which I'd point out isn't that different from System Shock 1, which itself is clearly descended from Ultima Underworld, which is what should get the nod on that line

But shouldn't that prize then go to Dungeon Master? UUW owes a lot to that Amiga/Atari classic...

Re:Article misses its own point a little (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16348997)

If we are talking about leaps in RPG gaming, Strife comes to mind instead of Deus Ex (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strife). It was the first game I played that combined FPS with RPG elements, allowing the player to make choices that affected the ending. It was a game I really enjoyed, but I think it may have been overlooked considering it still used the Doom engine when Quake was released.

Well... (2, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345513)

I read the beginning of the article, and didn't notice anyone saying COMPUTER RPGs.

"Which role playing game over the entire history of the genre do you think has made the biggest 'quantum leap', and why?"

I'm going to go with Dungeons and Dragons for $100, Chuck.

Re:Well... (1)

arthurh3535 (447288) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347645)

In dice RPGs, it starts with Basic D&D and then becomes fairly evolutionary over the next couple of versions.

I'd say that the d6 system from the guys who did the old Star Wars game was probably one of the best "breakthroughs" or "revolutionary" in RPGs, then White Wolfs d10 World of Darkness system. Gurps would be another one, but I personally detest it.

And then finally, the d20 version of D&D again (at the end of the list and begining) because the current system is quite an advancement and with its "open" licensing scheme was probably the smartest thing Wizards/TSR ever did.

I'll send a few boos and jeers to Paladium for the most ripped off evolutionary system that needs a fucking second version like you wouldn't believe.

It really shouldn't be that complicated to create a character and level up.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16347695)

Dice RPGs? I can think of a few "dice RPGs" that don't use dice. Amber, Nobilis, and Dread (the one from Tilting At Windmills) come to mind immediately. Maybe you should come up with a more accurate term for the gemre? "Finally..." What about what current indie games Like Burning Wheel and Burning Empires are doing to the genre?

Re:Well... (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 7 years ago | (#16350169)

what i think is the best thing about d20 is that if you know the system (or how dice are played out) it makes for great short hand

Chances of a "Successful Encounter" with that "lawful good" female
4d20 roll with +5 for each of
1 clean clothes /body (both true)
2 good clothes
3 being able to hold a conversation
4 epic wallet of cash
must roll 30 no criticals no saving throw on response
Now Players what are your chances?? (oh btw you can apply any wis or luck bonuses you have)

They call that a Quantum Leap Awards ??? (1)

Dexenian (1010477) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345533)

I've played almsot all the games listed and more, my comment is that even though I agree on games such as Chrono Trigger and FF4 been innovative and good design, since they are the first wave to include some nice interaction in the game, such class change, or time travel, dynamic turn base, with really good story line (MUSIC TOO!!!), and alright graphics for that age. But in awarding such type of game it would be equally valid to place the game Secret of Mana for SNES too. Though my second favorite is Breth of Fire II. Anyhow, though I agreed on some titles, but I totally disagree on having games such as Neverwinter Nights, Obliving, and Everquest on the award list because Neverwinter Night even thoug has many great features such as mule and started early, but this game didn't come out until 3 years after its promissed release date, by then so many good 3D games have alraedy came out, rendering NWN out of date. For everquest, even though its one of the first full 3D MP_RPG, but the first version graphics are so bad that its hardly interesting to play, the real success of full 3D RPG would have to goto the beta phase of Phatasy Star Online, which was out way ealier I think. As to Obliving, its alright to fit into a good RPG section, but what makes it so different from Boulder's Gates and other similar games? What really made a impact on the MMP_RPG game world would be DIABLO II. I am sure every online rpg gammer must've came across that game sometimes in their life, and if they ever played it, there will be no doubt of hooking on it back then. If I would place a game award for Quantum Leap in 3D or semi 3D world, it would surely be Diablo 2 or (if World of WarCraft is valid) to be top nominees. Feel free to critic on my views... But be honest, their ratings are pretty terrible... right?

Re:They call that a Quantum Leap Awards ??? (1)

Dexenian (1010477) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345557)

Doh! What happened to all the format? Anyhow, I'll use HTML next time... that was my first post, sorry for the inconvinence.

I guess slash-dot need alot of design improvements.

Even at the sigh-up page it's not according to standards nor obvious, with many places violating the Neilsen's Heuristics.

Oblivion??? (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345809)

Daggerfall was a quantum leap with enormous world and huge freedom.

Morrowind was a quantum leap with enormous highly detailed world and even more freedom.

Oblivion was just a sequel with better graphics, some freedom added in a few places and lots of it removed in others. And role-playing elements cut more than by half, comparing to Morrowind.

Oblivion as third? (2, Insightful)

soccerisgod (585710) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346049)

Fallout and PS:T are well-placed, but I'd have probably put at least one of the Ultimas or possibly the series as a whole on #1. While I've never been that much of an Ultima player (I played mostly 7, 8 and 9 and more recently started to play the excellent Ultima V mod for Dungeon Siege) I admire and appreciate it for being everything I want in an RPG. It's a wide, open world where you can do what you want. What you do has an actual impact on the game world - choice and consequence. You have your great dialog, too. Maybe not as excellent as PS:T, but as good as you can get with branched keyword dialog systems. Also love the fact that you have to keep track of your quests and things like that yourself in the earlier parts of the series.

And what does Oblivion have? A shallow plot, a tiny amount of new lore, idiotic dialog, hand-holding at all times, no politics at all; not between individuals and not between factions. Nothing. Morrowind was 10x the RPG Oblivion is, and that's not even mentioning Daggerfall. Oblivion is the coffin in which TES will be buried. It may be a good action game, but it stinks as an RPG.

It's a new RPG (1)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346889)

In this game you play the role of an electron. The game will feature ground breaking new features such as:
- You never see your character, you just see an out of focus misty blob. This is to simulate Heisenberg's principle of uncertainty
- Sometimes your character will be able to go through solid walls due to tunnel effect.
- The scenario will look suspiciously like a madman's vision of atoms and crystaline structures
- The caracter will spend most of it's time buzzing around the same place (atom) and will only be able to go somewhere else after being hit by photons with the right amount of energy.

This is scheduled to ship right after Duke Nukem Forever.

Et tu Zonk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16347731)

"Impactful"? "IMPACTFUL"?! What the hell is that? Have you ever heard anyone other than a drooling marketing idiot use that word? Are these games as painful as wisdom teeth? As painful as getting crushed by a linebacker? This place is going to hell in a handbasket.

Google, Please Define Quantam (1)

SilentOneNCW (943611) | more than 7 years ago | (#16350799)

Google, please define Quantam...

1. The smallest physically realizable unit of something.
2. The smallest discrete amount of any quantity (plural: quanta)
3. The smallest 'unit' of energy. A quantum of light is called a photon.

Explain to me again why people use a word that is defined as the smallest difference to describe what they think are big changes?

Re:Google, Please Define Quantam (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#16351481)

Actually I would not have put UUW2 into the list, but instead the original UUW, first it came out earlier than Wolf 3d secondly it was the way better game, UUW to UUW2 was what System Shock was compared to System Shock2.

It's because of that #$%^ television show (1)

DanTheLewis (742271) | more than 7 years ago | (#16352225)

Us quantum particles get no respect since Scott Bakula made his first trip through the magical world of time.

-- Muon #2876101789465197026590175892316895
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