#1  
Old 01-20-2010, 08:51 PM
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Default My Concern (Titan Quest Syndrome)

I just want to start this correctly by saying that it is incredibly awesome to have been linked here by my friends - this game is definitively something I will be purchasing as a donator (what an odd sentence) and am looking forward to with the giddiness of a child faced with a huge box with his name on it near x-mas, and it's just about the right size to be a game console box.

My concern isn't about the game itself being awesome, but about replayability. It basically comes down to what myself and my friends have dubbed "Titan Quest Syndrome" : a game that is great to play through the first time, decent the second, and the third you know where to go, what to do, what monsters will pop up where, and oh here's that skeleton pile that comes out of the ground.

Truly, it's a lack of procedurally generated content.

Striking a balance between the wonderful, lush overworld that is remarkably put together, and dungeon tilesets that randomize on each playthrough. It's something that D2 does that keeps people coming back, that prevents me from piling into Titan Quest every few days and murdering hordes of enemies.

It's somewhat exacerbated by the fact that 2/3rds of the game is a playthrough of the first 1/3rd, so by the time you've cleared a whole playthrough (an impressive chunk of time, of course!) and are ready to set your second character up and try a new mix of classes, and wham. Not just nostalgia, but an absolute mental understanding of what this dungeon is going to look like, what mobs are in it and where, and what they're going to do.

Are there any plans to do procedurally generated content for the dungeons, or anywhere? Not that the original TQ/TQIT wasn't awesome overall, but its re-playability suffers from that hangnail (and the difficulty settings, but there are mods for that ;-) and you state you're going to scale them up better this time, which is awesome of you.) for repeated playthroughs, and its what keeps me changing back to games like Diablo 2, Stone Soup, and Torchlight, even though as a game, I like TQ much better - its just a game I have played in the same way over and over. This isn't the difference between a donation and a non-donation, as I said, TQ was the superior game of the group from a first-play through standpoint due to skills, interaction, and sending monsters flying through the air. But it does have some effect on how much of a donation I feel willing to make, especially knowing that you guys will have DLC/expansion content later, too.
  #2  
Old 01-20-2010, 08:59 PM
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Borderlands also is a great example of Titan Quest Syndrome.

The game is beautiful, rich, deep and immerse... but nothing changes from the first play through other than perhaps character skills, and making your way through the same areas on a slightly higher difficulty looses something.

Diablo kept key areas hand crafted and randomly generated its dungeons, I always thought something similar for Titan Quest would have given that game as rabid a fan base as Diablo. Beautiful hand crafted exteriors, with randomized Interior/Dungeon tiles.

It would be really great to see Grim Dawn with some procedurally generated content, so that higher difficulty's felt like a progression of the game, rather than a rehash of the same old same old.

Titan Quest was awesome, that game should have been far more commercially successful than it was and I agree that more randomization would be a means of increasing any ARPG's staying power.
  #3  
Old 01-20-2010, 09:02 PM
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This seems to be about personal taste, for the most part. When it comes to terrain and main story, i agree with you on replayability; you know everything everywhere after a few runs and if that's what floats your boat, then the game is going to get old really fast unless it has randomized terrain as you mentioned.

TQ:IT, for me, however has stopped being just about running it through a long time ago. It changed from sightseeing to testing every possible build, when that was done it was time to get creative and make specialized builds. Which, of course, didn't always make it through...

Nowadays it's about gear, i'm on a holy mission to collect everything there is in the game. No doubt it's 'Mission Impossible' in a reasonable amount of time, considering Grim Dawn and Diablo 3 are at the end of the tunnel. Also, having a friend to play with co-op spices things up a lot. Not to mention mods such as Uber, Underlord, XmaX etc. I haven't even touched those for the most part, yet.

But it sure keeps *me* occupied!
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Void(null) View Post
It would be really great to see Grim Dawn with some procedurally generated content, so that higher difficulty's felt like a progression of the game, rather than a rehash of the same old same old.
This could actually work, to have the higher difficulties spawn some random dungeons and environments in addition to "bonus" bosses like TQ had the Manticore and so on.
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:12 PM
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Its about striking a balance.

Too much procedurally generated content and a game feels... robotic, lacking any form of character or soul.

Too much hand crafting and the areas while stunning, suffer from being more familiar and predictable with each successive play-through, and with an ARPG where the standard is to play-through the same world content at least 3 times with each character then it can all get a bit samey.

Even after hundreds of hours playing Titan Quest, I can fire it up and have fun. But I know every Dungeon, every map, every monster spawn... yet if I fire up Diablo while the game is familiar its always going to be a little different each time I play it.

Like I said, Tristram was always the same, boss levels were always the same, but the path through the winding corridors to those landmarks still kept that sense of newness, and made slogging through the game on higher difficulties feel far less repetitive.
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:00 PM
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TQ was as close to perfect as I have seen. The ultimate re-playability would come from an editor that could be used by many to make maps/proxies/quests in a way that did not require degrees in 3 diverse programs and the patience of a million saints.

My opinion is that TQ was better than TL for many reasons and the static world was one of them. But if all the great masteries mods for TQ also had new maps and all these things were mix and match to create even more different mods, well, I probably would have lost my job by now, but that would be the best game ever.

So for me, work on GD and get the company solid. Then continue making games and continue developing and RELEASING the toolset. Eventually, you as a company will have a rock solid, easy to craft with toolset and a modder-base that keeps your games kicking in between releases.

/END DREAM
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:55 AM
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You can see what a versatile toolset can achieve by looking at Morrowind and Oblivion. I'm not talking about the games, but what their fanbase is doing / have done for them.

Insane amount of plugins.
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Old 01-21-2010, 07:09 AM
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Part of me would be really satisfied/happy with a statement that they were going to do an infinite randomgen dungeon, or as DLC down the line. I honestly don't know if the engine supports random/procedural content though.
  Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #9  
Old 01-21-2010, 08:31 AM
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I've tried to hold off talking about randomized content until I could make a more definitive statement on what we'll include. However, I see this is a hot topic that won't die down.

I can't tell you that we'll have randomized dungeons but... we are working on it. Whether or not that makes it into the initial release, we are also designing the above ground world in such a way that there will be much more variety in content between each play-through than there was in TQ. We actually built tools that would allow us to randomize certain above ground elements in TQ but they came about too late in the project for us to really utilize them. The types of things you can expect to see are more variation in the appearance of enemy camps, heroes, loot, and quests.

Other things are in the works. Whether we will ship with them or not, I just don't know yet but they will make their way in eventually.
  #10  
Old 01-21-2010, 08:37 AM
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Randomization is a sort of important topic, it does help a game's ability to hold interest, a lot, and actually, not having much randomization (at least on initial release) would make the idea for even greater loot-table distribution much more desirable. Obviously this is off the thread's topic. I just wanted to point it out.

So, I'm glade to see this being done though, at least to an extent. ^_^
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