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Anyone else sick of "open world" RPGs?



  • keirionkeirion Member UncommonPosts: 51

    So maybe it's just me but I preferred the open world of DA:I to the open world of Skyrim by about 1000%. I'm biased though. I personally thought Skyrim was a terrible game with almost no plot and no character progression. The only 'new' thing it brought to the table was the levelling mechanic which it based off of Quest For Glory (yes the Sierra game from 1989).

    That said, the reason I think I'm not nearly as bothered by the DA:I  maps is because of the party members. If I get bored I can swap out my party members and have somewhat different gameplay and a whole new set of quirky conversations.

    I also agree with you about the GW2 hearts but not the vistas. The vistas are basically points of interest that give you a cool view (completely optional) to watch as well. I think they know the hearts were a bad idea too as they haven't put them in any of the maps they've added since the launch of the game.

    I think the struggle game companies run into is that they have to deal with not very self aware gamers who don't actually know what they want but are constantly very vocal about it anyway. Bioware told a story with ME3 but the players didn't 'like' how the story ended (or didn't understand it) and so the company got a lot of backlash while at the same time Skyrim was getting tons of praise. Is it any wonder they then take elements from Skyrim into their next game?

  • FoomerangFoomerang Member UncommonPosts: 5,619

    Originally posted by StarI

    Originally posted by dreamscaper From the post, it seems like you're sick of poor gameplay design, not open worlds.

    This is where my thoughts went immidiately after reading a few lines...

    Yeah. Im sick of cars. Too many potholes and stop signs.
  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Member EpicPosts: 8,622
    Originally posted by BadSpock
    Originally posted by Nanfoodle
    Not sick of it, just stick of it not being done well =-) Some companies can pull it off and others just dont know how to make that game type work. For me it breaks down to sometimes I want to play a story like Force Unleashed, ToR, or Mass Effect. Other times I want to explore and dig under rocks and crawl in holes I find. 

    I think this ^ is the biggest thing - Nanfoodle is right - a lot of developers really just can't pull it off. 

    Bethesda is very good at it, as is Rockstar in their own way...

    Everyone else?

    Please, Bioware, Square Enix, etc. - stick to what you are good at - characters, story, setting, cinematic presentation.

    And Witcher 3, from all the previews, appears to suffer from DA:I syndrome of 10,000 pointers to useless "content."


    Maybe it's also that the core gameplay, the actual act of fighting and leveling and building a character is so bad in DA:I that it makes it impossible to enjoy the so called "content."

    I mean, I still love Diablo and Destiny, despite their heavy repetition and relatively small(er) quantity and variety of content - the gameplay is so solid and so well presented, I never get sick of it.

    I agree with you on everything but that one point I highlighted. If game companies did that, Blizzard would only be making RTS and we would not have WoW or Hearthstone. I think game companies should always stretch them selves but sad part is if they fail they have still invested money into that product and that means they will try to market it to earn back or make a profit. I think this is where we gamers are getting burned. Seeing companies like Blizzard scrap a project like Titan over releasing something they didnt want on their name sake, I wish more companies would think along that lines but I dont see it happening.

  • nbtscannbtscan Member UncommonPosts: 862

    I'm quite the opposite.  I grew up with JRPGs so I'm used to having some overall direction in a game.  I've tried other western RPGs such as Skyrim and I just can't get into them because I feel lost.

    DA:I was one of the more recent WRPGs I was able to enjoy because it has an overarching story with side quests.  I also read the dialogue for every character option, and the game gives great replay value (at least once) since you can pick different dialogue options and see different reactions.

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 6,267

    You're not alone. "Open World RPG" seems to be the catch phrase of the decade.

    As a genre, it is "ok" (purposely not capitalized). But seldom are they done very well. I agree that many of the stories are mediocre, not great. They can be fun, but usually feel like a "chore" after awhile. In single player games, this is especially bad where they are supposed to shine.

    Many "Open World RPGs" have released lately. I have not been that interested in any of them, Skyrim being the last one I bought (2 months after release). I do agree that KotOR was a great series and NOT open world, though you could choose which planets to go to in any order. I have not played the Mass Effect series yet. There is something to be said about playing a character through a carefully scripted story that is good, sans "Open World." :D

    Of course, good/bad writing is subjective. I have enjoyed some stories in games that others have not and vice versa :)

    One thing I do get a kick out of, from other players, is their "judgement" of these games as to the criteria of: "If I can completely skip the whole game and do what I want, it is superb." I know many players feel this way and more power to them, but my own brain can not help but think, "Why pay $60 for a game you're not even going to play?" I can do much more in my own imagination (for free) if that is the experience I am looking for :)

    I do not know if I would say I am "sick" of them yet, but they (as a video game genre) no longer get me wanting to buy them left and right as they used to. I am certainly "sick" of players' reactions to them: "Open World RPG? AWESOME!" or their insistence that almost every player needs to play them.

    No, you're not alone :)

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.

  • AoriAori Member EpicPosts: 4,180
    If I'm going to play a single player RPG it'll be a JRPG. I was never one to enjoy playing in a "sandbox" by myself.
  • Viper482Viper482 Member EpicPosts: 3,136
    Originally posted by BadSpock

    I'm really quite over this whole "open world" RPG thing.

    It just ends up being repetitive, grind heavy "quests" that are light on story and heavy on boring.

    Dragon Age: Inquisition. Borderlands. Witcher 3 looks like it is going to suffer from the same mess. Dozens of little blah all over the map/screen pointing you towards more useless garbage.Bleh.

    The last one I really enjoyed was Skyrim - but Skyrim had (I think) a good main story that kept you engaged and you didn't feel bad skipping out on most of the side stuff - as most of it wasn't thrown in your face like it is in DA:I.


    You know what were good Bioware RPGs? KOTOR, Mass Effect 1-3.

    Story. Characters. Plot. Start to finish. Repeatable.

    Hell, I think DIABLO 3 is a better RPG than DA:I because it doesn't bog itself down with pointless side garbage - even if the story is predictable and very standard-fair fantasy - it is focused.

    In the MMO space, I think GW2 made a HUGE mistake, for example, by putting the vistas and heart quests on the map, and then making them required for world completion %.

    Just leave them out there, in the wild, to FIND as we EXPLORE, and focus your directed gameplay on the main plot lines, characters, and events.

    If your core gameplay is fun, as it is in like Destiny, Diablo, or the Mass Effect series, I'll play the same missions/levels over and over again as different characters/builds/moral choices etc.

    Don't bog me down with useless side content that means absolutely nothing - it is NOT satisfying gameplay to me.

    I don't know, maybe I'm the only one. 

    Nope, I like to be able to get off the rails any time I want.

    Did you go to Disney as a kid? Remember riding the rides and wanting to jump off and go explore the world you were being driven through on the rail? Maybe you didn't....

    And I don't know why some here think this is a fad...a "catch phrase"? lol. Some of the most popular RPG's have always come in the form of open world being the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series, Two Worlds, Gothic, etc. This going back into the 90's. So why you think this is some passing fad is baffling to me.

    Most criticized part of the Witcher series? Great story but too linear. There you go.

    Make MMORPG's Great Again!
  • PepeqPepeq Member UncommonPosts: 1,977

    It is possible that you are not the target audience they are seeking.


    Games follow trends... trends that sell... they may not be the trends you wish to follow.


    As with the demise of Massively... you can mourn it's loss or you can accept the fact that the market is changing.  


    They don't make games for me, I didn't grow up with a cell phone in my hand... those are the people they are marketing for.

  • AericynAericyn Member UncommonPosts: 394

    I think there is plenty of room for both kinds. I can enjoy Dragon Age: Inquisition or Diablo III.

    I don't think they should stop making either one just because part of the audience is getting burned out. That usually isn't the fault of the developer, but the player. Now of course this is assuming the developer is building a good foundation, aesthetic, with compelling game play, Mass Effect for example as mentioned.

    I think we are seeing many new games try to be everything, and a generalist will never beat a specialist in the specialist's field.

  • UproarUproar Member UncommonPosts: 521
    Originally posted by DMKano

    My favorite games are open world with no quests, some don't even have NPCs.

    I am big fan of "blank canvas" games where players create the story.

    To me quests and "story" is a huge downside as they are sponfed dev-dictated content that only limits a player freedom and creativity.

    Having some hidden objectives here and there - sure thing but set characters with a set story, its always cheesy and trite to some degree - especially in MMOs where it turns out every player is "the chosen one who saved the world" - /facepalm

    I say no thanks.

    MMOs that have quests and story as an "optional" content that can be largely bypassed are fine, the ones that force it on players though - ugh.

    As far as single player games though - it doesn't bother me as story and characters can be done really well there - as in Dragon Age Origins for example (IMO still the beat DA game)


    You post a lot.  But your like -- is not the like of most.  But seems like a lot of game companies are going to try your idea.  I think I see a lot of bankruptcies coming personally.  Good news is blank can be filled in later.  I expect many will use the open world to sell a framework.  Then do a bait and switch once that fails.


  • LoregabaLoregaba Member UncommonPosts: 19

    Problem isnt with open world concept, the problem is with repetition and lack of diversity. None of the game you mentioned I consider open world. In my opinion, if you want to have a game with great replay value, it has to be a real open world game and with a great story driven rpg. Not one or the other, but both well thought and well made.

    The problem with most of the game today is the lack of creativity. Most of them are too generic and the same ingredients mixed up over and over. And it's quite logical in a capitalist world. Look around a bit and you could say the same about the music industry, the movie industry, etc...

    Once a story like tolkien's Lords of the rings comes out, thousands of replica will follow.

  • superconductingsuperconducting Member UncommonPosts: 871
    Originally posted by BadSpock

    Give the player too much control, too much freedom, well the story usually suffers because the developer doesn't have the control to deliver on a great story.

    I mean, I get the whole open world RPG thing - great, it's the new "hip" way to make an RPG.

    But EVERY damn game?


    Devs design open world-- "There's too much freedom! Not enough direction! The main story is lacking!"

    Devs design total themepark-- "There's too much handholding! It's too linear! I can't take being on rails this much!"


    Damned if you do, damned if you don't

  • JDis25JDis25 Member RarePosts: 1,351

    DA:I didn't fall short for me due to the open world, but rather because there was so much busywork that wasn't enjoyable. The combat was really fun but seemed like 10% of the game to me. The rest was sorting through inventory, upgrading gear, switching loadouts and replacing gear on my squad.


    It was just too much, plus it had so many generic quests. Skyrim and Fallout are great open world games because you feel like everything you do is important and busywork is there but at least kept to a minimum.


    Open world is still much preferable to linear. I can't see the advantages of Linear in any way actually, except MAYBE giving you a more streamlined experience.

    Now Playing: Bless / Summoners War
    Looking forward to: Crowfall / Lost Ark / Black Desert Mobile
  • azzamasinazzamasin Member UncommonPosts: 3,103
    I think your confusing open world with Quest Centric design.  The two are diametrically opposite of one another.

    Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

    Subscription Gaming, especially MMO gaming is a Cash grab bigger then the most P2W cash shop!

    Bring Back Exploration and lengthy progression times. RPG's have always been about the Journey not the destination!!!


  • Joseph_KerrJoseph_Kerr Member RarePosts: 1,113
    No, who in the world would be sick of open world RPG's? That's like not wanting milk with your cereal.
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 14,434

    I think I agree with what the OP is getting at but I wouldn't use the phrase "open world" to describe it. I'd put it like this:


    If we're going to have a story-driven RPG, I would much rather have a longer well-written main story than a main story + a whole bunch of extra busy work sprinkled all over the countryside. 


    And I feel pretty well the same way about crafting in MMOs: I'd much rather spend weeks crafting one sword that will always stay with me and level than 15 minutes crafting swords over and over again every couple of levels.


    I guess I don't really care for the grind, I just want to get on with the main thing I'm there to do and do that thing for a long time.

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  • ScorchienScorchien Member LegendaryPosts: 7,377

      Pretty simple logic Spock .... Dont Play Them .....


      Some people like them , some like both .. some like beets .. i dont, so i dont eat them ..

      no what else i dont do , piss on a public forum that i am doing something to myself i dont like that others may enjoy ...weird huh

  • FdzzaiglFdzzaigl Member UncommonPosts: 2,433

    No,  most developers simply still need to learn how to handle their storytelling and pacing in an open world.

    If they get that right, open world will always be superior to a linear design imo. The world is a character in itself in those games, in corridor games it's nothing but a setpiece.

    The fact that some games got it wrong doesn't mean that developers shouldn't keep trying to get it right.

    I also disagree with your analysis of recent releases, the biggest issue in those games is simply that players have been so brainwashed by the "content locust" and "race to end cap" mentality that they simply don't go off the beaten path anymore, even if they can.

    What's the point of doing tons of hearts in GW2 for example, when you can wander off in any direction and just go with the flow of events?

    Feel free to use my referral link for SW:TOR if you want to test out the game. You'll get some special unlocks!

  • DemogorgonDemogorgon Member UncommonPosts: 346
    Originally posted by dreamscaper
    From the post, it seems like you're sick of poor gameplay design, not open worlds.


    Looks like you are sick of being taken for an idiot... Glad you got out of the world of the blind fantard.


  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 20,014

    I think you're confusing what open world means and projecting boring game design onto it. The OP post is sort of confusing. One game, DA:I, has bland questing. The confusing part is you mention games where you find their directed narratives, set in an open world, boring and then suggest  some games like Destiny with boring directed narratives (if you can even call it that), set in narrow confining tunnels, as the alternative.

    Borderlands 2 has a story and narrative. It's a directed narrative. It also has a more or less open world with sub-plots and side stories that are completely optional. I think the story is interesting enough while not being shoved down my throat at every turn.

    Again with GW2 you're complaining about one thing and blaming another. The story in GW2 is linear and directed. You can follow it along the map. Along the way there are other activities and stories you can participate in, or not. They have nothing to do with the main story and don't prevent or require you to acknowledge them if you want to focus on the narrative.

    Map completion has nothing to do with the main story. Vistas and Hearts are out there for you to explore. Map completion is a measure and indicator of how many you've completed on each map, hence the title "map completion". Notice participating in the main story has nothing to do with that.

    You need to rethink the OP because it's all over the place. You don't like games with boring stories and bland build and combat mechanics. Stick to that and compare those games and why you think each one is fun or boring.

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  • SavageHorizonSavageHorizon Member RarePosts: 3,432
    Sorry but The Witcher 3 won't suffer from lack of story. The game has more story than both the previous two put together but set in a vast open world. Personally I think it will be the new king of Rpgs

  • aslan132aslan132 Member UncommonPosts: 602

    I agree that I think OP is just confused. The examples used are very bad ones to make his point, but he does have a valid point buried in there. As far as I can tell, hes not complaining about an "open world" but more an "open story". The games he likes in his example, Mass Effect, Kotor, ect. are "choose-your-own-adventure books. They are very story driven, and although they give you options, they are very limited guided options. You can only choose 1 of 3 or 4 "directions" and you always end up in the same general place. 


    Instead games with a more open world are looser on the directions. They have story or lore, but they are either not the main focus (you can choose to ignore the main quests and just play side quests all day) or are so broken down you are getting the story or lore in very small bites (say 20 objectives to get one point across instead of just 2-3).


    I can see the benefit of both. And while I cant say one side is a majority or not, we do need both types. Personally I like both, and wouldnt be happy with just one or the other. Too guided is fun when I just want to "read the book" but sometimes I just want to run off on my own and do meaningless pointless tasks. The real issue is how companies released the games. They come in blocks, and it feels like every new game is the same type as the ones that release around the same time, but you have to consider, they have been in development for years. They all know what each other is working on, and they try to make similar game styles to compete directly with each other. When we see games release and think "well this must be the new trend" it actually was started 3-4 years ago by the developers and we are just late getting the memo. You can also blame the companies for trying to cash in on a new trend, and not just make what they want to make and not worry about what everyone else is making for their games. 


    So I can see where the OP is coming from. Hes probably not alone, but this "open-world" trend will pass, and they will move on, and the next new trend will have dozens of games all coming out around the same time, with the same mechanics or gameplay direction, and someone else will say they are fed up with that style. And on and on we go. 

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 6,267

    Originally posted by Iselin
    If we're going to have a story-driven RPG, I would much rather have a longer well-written main story than a main story + a whole bunch of extra busy work sprinkled all over the countryside.
    This makes a lot of sense to me :)

    I do like quests, but lately, they have become almost too much for me. Do the publishers/developers feel that creating craploads of "little chores" makes the RPG "Open World", meaning that players can do other things besides the main story?

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.

  • LisaFlexy22LisaFlexy22 Member UncommonPosts: 450

    Nope, very happy there are more and more of them.  Wish some of them could be done better, but in no way am I getting sick of open world rpgs.  Also, I've played plenty of linear rpgs with just as crappy quests as what seems to be being associated only with open world rpgs in this post.  There is no "open world questing sucks and linear questing is awesome" as a generalization.  People are mostly just making it because dragon age inquisition is fresh on everyone's mind

  • fivorothfivoroth Member UncommonPosts: 3,916

    I agree with you OP. The only single player games I have finished had great stories to tell. I have this thing where I get bored of a game very quickly. After the 10-20 hour mark I usually quit and this is why I almost never finish any game that I start. However games like Mass effect, kotor, bg2 Dess ex etc. I did finish and I loved them. 

    In most MMOs I quit half way through. If they have no story to follow, I just lose interest. 

    However, you won't find many people on these forums who share this view. But for me story trumps all!

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