• mox@lemmy.sdf.org
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    188
    arrow-down
    4
    ·
    1 month ago

    I hope they’re using this time to learn lessons from their Starfield flop and gather the talent and budget needed to improve upon Skyrim. A modern engine probably wouldn’t hurt.

    However, my expectations are very low at this point.

    • catloaf@lemm.ee
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      138
      arrow-down
      6
      ·
      1 month ago

      They haven’t learned from Oblivion, Skyrim, or Fallout 4. Probably others.

      Or really, they learned they can just keep releasing games on a hacked-up Morrowind engine, and make huge piles of money. So that’s what they’ll keep doing.

      • neidu2@feddit.nl
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        67
        arrow-down
        4
        ·
        1 month ago

        Yup. ES6 is going to sell like condoms on an STD themed swinger convension no matter how many bugs are going around.

        And the saddest part is that too many have learned nothing about AAA titles, and will preorder the game, making the game a massive financial success even before releasing anything of quality.

          • ripcord@lemmy.world
            link
            fedilink
            English
            arrow-up
            9
            ·
            1 month ago

            What does that have to do with the comment you replied to?

            Also why would it be annoying if people say a good game is a good game and it is warranted?

            It’s like people on this thread have some pathological need to complain about SOMETHING.

            • tegs_terry@feddit.uk
              link
              fedilink
              English
              arrow-up
              4
              ·
              1 month ago

              I think Elder Scrolls is one of those properties whose biggest detractors are its fanbase. Runescape is exactly the same, and it’s totally bizarre.

          • andros_rex@lemmy.world
            link
            fedilink
            English
            arrow-up
            5
            ·
            1 month ago

            The nostalgia boner is that it was a very unique game, and nothing has come out quite like it since. It’s not even like Daggerfall or Arena. For someone looking for that experience, Oblivion and Skyrim were massive disappointments.

            Going from a volcano that is spewing flesh mutating disease while riding giant bugs around to Tolkienesque Medieval Fantasy Landscape #3045 gave me whiplash. (The Shivering Isles and Knights of the Nine save the package though.) And losing the ability to kill whoever I want? Spears???

            Skyrim is better. It mangles what could have been a good story by retconning lore and making Alduin into big evil bad, just as Oblivion was about basically Satan invading the world. Morrowind’s villain may not be right, but his motives are 100% understandable and he has a good point. (In Oblivion: why would you join a cult dedicated to killing everyone for no reason?)

            As a Morrowboomer, I’m willing to accept the series changed, but there just hasn’t been something to replace what I hoped for ES4. They don’t make games with that vibe anymore. The closest thing I’ve had to scratching that itch would be Planescape Torment, Pathologic, or Zeno Clash.

    • ampersandrew@lemmy.world
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      60
      ·
      1 month ago

      The budget for Starfield was twice that of Baldur’s Gate 3. Throwing more money at it isn’t going to do a lot if they’re allocating it poorly.

      • mox@lemmy.sdf.org
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        12
        arrow-down
        1
        ·
        edit-2
        1 month ago

        I’m not suggesting that a big budget alone is sufficient to make a good game.

        However, enough budget to keep the team employed (note the many gaming industry layoffs lately) and appropriate budgeting (in terms of both money and time) affect things like code, art, and writing quality. It’s kind of important.

        • ampersandrew@lemmy.world
          link
          fedilink
          English
          arrow-up
          15
          ·
          1 month ago

          I think it’s going to require the people making the most high-level decisions to come to the realization that their old way of doing things is outdated. I don’t have faith that they’ll come to those conclusions.

          • mox@lemmy.sdf.org
            link
            fedilink
            English
            arrow-up
            5
            arrow-down
            1
            ·
            1 month ago

            I don’t have faith that they’ll come to those conclusions.

            Sadly, I don’t have much faith in them either. (Hence my low expectations.)

            I can still hope, though. Elder Scrolls has enough fans and lore that there’s certainly potential for a great new game.

            • wizardbeard@lemmy.dbzer0.com
              link
              fedilink
              English
              arrow-up
              7
              ·
              1 month ago

              lore

              Friendly reminder that the original “loremaster” of Elder Scrolls left Bethesda before they released Elder Scrolls Online, and they replaced him with someone who has apparently been making pretty questionable decisions with ESO lore.

              I mean, they always have the out of dragon breaks rewriting reality/making multiple conflicting timelines simultaneously canon (see the events of daggerfall as referenced in later games) to handwave away retcons, but overusing that just means that no lore actually matters.

              • mox@lemmy.sdf.org
                link
                fedilink
                English
                arrow-up
                7
                ·
                1 month ago

                I think of it as a pool from which to draw and connect story elements, rather than rigid canon. If good writers were given the chance, I think they would find plenty of material to work with.

          • variants@possumpat.io
            link
            fedilink
            English
            arrow-up
            2
            ·
            1 month ago

            at the end of the day they are going to make the game they want, whether we like it or not, microsoft is now involved as well so who knows how that is going to affect them with their decisions

              • azertyfun@sh.itjust.works
                link
                fedilink
                English
                arrow-up
                4
                ·
                edit-2
                1 month ago

                I think that is the most controversial take I have read in my entire life.

                What good has Microsoft done for Mojang/Minecraft? They kneecapped development by splitting the codebase and tying most features to their ability to run on mobile hardware, slowed development to an absolute crawl to increase long-term revenue (these motherfuckers openly develop three new features for minecon every year, then delete two of those for no reason other than “we can”), turned the console/mobile versions into garbage microtransaction boxes, started policing private speech in private servers hosted on private hardware, turned the mod-supporting version of the game into a second-class citizen, basically made for-profit private servers illegal, etc.

                Minecraft was a great game that stood on its own merit when Microsoft bought it. Everything they did only brought it down, and the few good features the game has gained since then were long overdue and done despite Microsoft’s meddling.

      • TachyonTele@lemm.ee
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        6
        arrow-down
        3
        ·
        1 month ago

        The real number is Morrowind had something like 10-20 writers that worked on it. Modern Bethesda games have 1.

        • ampersandrew@lemmy.world
          link
          fedilink
          English
          arrow-up
          10
          ·
          1 month ago

          I think I counted 6 quest designers in Starfield, which was a spot in the credits I was specifically looking for given how many quests they had and how many of them would have been better off not even existing. You can’t talk about having 1000 planets and then make quests that aren’t interesting to populate them.

          • TachyonTele@lemm.ee
            link
            fedilink
            English
            arrow-up
            7
            arrow-down
            3
            ·
            edit-2
            1 month ago

            There’s a recent video that adds all of that up. Starfield had some crazy low number of quests, I think 50ish, and Morrowind had like 300+.

            And of course Starfield has an astronomical number of devs on it.

            • ampersandrew@lemmy.world
              link
              fedilink
              English
              arrow-up
              8
              ·
              edit-2
              1 month ago

              There are more than 50 quests unless you’re getting creative with how you count. There are over a dozen in each major faction, and those ones are mostly okay, but the ones I really take issue with are the nothing quests that aren’t part of any faction; the ones that basically just have you go to a location and then report back. Those are awful. There should be zero quests in there that the quest designers themselves aren’t excited about. Even the bounties that you pick up for a given faction that have you go to a place and kill an enemy mob should be more exciting than what I’ve already described in this sentence.

                • IronKrill@lemmy.ca
                  link
                  fedilink
                  English
                  arrow-up
                  11
                  arrow-down
                  2
                  ·
                  1 month ago

                  Perhaps “you’re right”, “you’re wrong and also short, here’s why”, or even “I don’t know”. These would all be things you could tell them and a better response.

            • fartsparkles@sh.itjust.works
              link
              fedilink
              English
              arrow-up
              3
              arrow-down
              1
              ·
              1 month ago

              Starfield has more quests than Skyrim (both somewhere around 200 or so quests). Morrowind definitely felt like it was twice as much as those.

      • olafurp@lemmy.world
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        2
        ·
        1 month ago

        It’s a tricky balancing act. They need to recover the investment as early as possible to pay less in capital costs but doing that will mean that later on when the product is sub-par it will cause problems and extra work.

        Since the engine, game logic, art, story, testing is so heavily coupled together changing the engine a little bit could cause a month of work down the line.

        I think personally the best way is to start by making an engine or taking one off the shelf and then write a mini version of the game with shit art that has a lot of bugs.

        At the same time making models with hitboxes that all have the same physical properties otherwise, dialog content and recordings and all other content that can be done separately.

        Once that is fun to play then you can start working creating a slightly bigger system with a single short storyline to have a cohesive experience and will have the genaral feel of the game.

        Once everything above is done setting up a closed beta is the way to go. Take some feedback, add features and redo the small story to be more fun.

        Then once everything is a fun experience but people just want more you do the whole everything.

        • Chriszz@lemmy.world
          link
          fedilink
          English
          arrow-up
          2
          ·
          1 month ago

          While you’ve made some valid points, keep in mind this isn’t a startup, it’s a massive studio

    • DarkThoughts@fedia.io
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      29
      ·
      1 month ago

      A modern engine probably wouldn’t hurt.

      If it does not have similar levels of moddability then it will absolutely hurt.

      • mox@lemmy.sdf.org
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        8
        arrow-down
        2
        ·
        1 month ago

        I think it’s safe to assume they know that and would bear it in mind when choosing or building an engine. Their games are famous for modding, after all.

        • DarkThoughts@fedia.io
          link
          fedilink
          arrow-up
          5
          arrow-down
          1
          ·
          1 month ago

          That’s a years if not decade+ long project though, including major investments of time and money that you could pour into actual games. You can’t just stomp a new game engine out of the ground, especially not with how complex video games in of itself have become, and if you want it to be as moddable as their current one.

          • mox@lemmy.sdf.org
            link
            fedilink
            English
            arrow-up
            4
            arrow-down
            3
            ·
            edit-2
            1 month ago

            That’s a years if not decade+ long project though

            Yep.

            You can’t just stomp a new game engine out of the ground

            I don’t know what you mean by that, but creating new game engines and migrating from one to another have both been done before.

            Is either of those tasks fast or cheap? Of course not.
            Are they worthwhile? Sometimes.
            Are they possible? Absolutely.

            especially not […] if you want it to be as moddable as their current one.

            Well, I can understand why you might assume that if you don’t have a lot of experience in software development, but it’s just not true. Making an engine that allows for very moddable games is mainly about planning for it during the design, and either building good tools for the game data or publishing the specs so other people can. It’s not arcane magic.

            (And for what it’s worth, while Creation Engine is quite moddable, it has enormous room for improvement in that area. Actually working with it can be a very frustrating experience.)

          • TachyonTele@lemm.ee
            link
            fedilink
            English
            arrow-up
            4
            arrow-down
            6
            ·
            edit-2
            1 month ago

            They already built their new engine. That’s what Starfield is using.

            • DarkThoughts@fedia.io
              link
              fedilink
              arrow-up
              10
              arrow-down
              3
              ·
              1 month ago

              lol, no. Starfield is still using the creation engine, which is based on gamebryo, which they’re using since Morrowind.

              • TachyonTele@lemm.ee
                link
                fedilink
                English
                arrow-up
                3
                arrow-down
                4
                ·
                1 month ago

                Correct. And they made a new version for Starfield. That’s all they’re going to use. Anyone that thinks they’ll ever switch engines is daydreaming.

                • WraithGear@lemmy.world
                  link
                  fedilink
                  English
                  arrow-up
                  6
                  ·
                  1 month ago

                  It would be nice if the game speed and physics interaction were not tied to a inconsistent variable such as frame rate. And it seems that the more they pile on the gambryo engine the less receptive to modding it gets. But i can also accept that the cracks in the games that grow over time may not be the engine, but Bethesda prioritizing MVP centric development over hammering out the problems. Modders are carrying an auful lot of load to even get the games running.

      • CaptPretentious@lemmy.world
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        2
        ·
        1 month ago

        I think we’re only ever see a new engine once Todd is no longer part of the company. Because the quote him out of context ‘it just works’

    • b000rg@midwest.social
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      15
      arrow-down
      3
      ·
      1 month ago

      I’m replaying Starfield, and on my second playthrough, I’m noticing the depth they put into this game. Sometimes a single dialogue line you said days ago will have an effect on NPC attitudes through an entire side story. I’m not going to argue that it’s not a regurgitation of their lame formula they’ve milked for the past 15+ years, but they do need to reevaluate where their money/dev time goes to.